50 Variations on How A Great Meal is a Great Way to Say Thanks

Friday, July 11th, 2014


Do you like great food? Do you like a great deal? Do you like supporting friends of C-CAP? So do we!

One week from Monday marks the start of NYC Restaurant Week 2014 (actual dates July 21–August 15 — so really restaurant weeks!) and as of RIGHT NOW you can start making your reservations!

Over 40 of the restaurants featured are supporters of C-CAP, and some even employ C-CAP alumni. So go book yourself in for some great meals — and be sure to tell the chefs that you are there because you appreciate their support of C-CAP!

Isn’t it fun when you can eat great food, get a great deal and support great friends all at the same time?

A Voce, Columbus

featuring alumna Bethania Pena

A Voce, Madison

Ai Fiori

Arlington Club

Atlantic Grill at Lincoln Center

Atlantic Grill East Side

featuring alumna Rebeca Rios Munoz

Auden Bistro and Bar

featuring alumna Stephanie Grajales

Bar Boulud

Benoit Restaurant and Bar

featuring alumnus Brandon Bryan

Blue Water Grill

Bodega Negra at Dream Downtown

featuring alumni Yvan Lemoine and Marc Heller

Boulud Sud

Brasserie 8 ½

Café Boulud

The Cecil

featuring alumna Mame Sow



DB Bistro Moderne

DBGB Kitchen and Bar

Dos Caminos, Meatpacking District

Dos Caminos, Park Avenue

Dos Caminos, Soho

featuring alumna Berenice Cabrera

Dos Caminos, Third Avenue

featuring alumnus Jose Quinones

Ed’s Chowder House

The General

featuring alumnus Thiago Silva

Gotham Bar & Grill

featuring alumna Jennifer Zhou

L’Ecole, The Restaurant of The International Culinary Center

Lavo Restaurant

featuring alumna Oskana La Rode

Lexington Brass

featuring alumni Cesar Gutierrez, Malcolm Laeda, Ralph Bascome

Lincoln Ristorante

Lure Fishbar

featuring alumnus James Daversa at its counterpart in Miami



Michael’s Restaurant


featuring alumna Mame Sow

Nobu New York

Nobu Next Door

Nougatine at Jean-Georges


Porter House New York

Red Rooster Harlem

Ristorante Morini

Sarabeth’s Restaurant, Park Avenue South

Sarabeth’s Restaurant, Tribeca

SD26 Restaurant & Wine Bar

Shun Lee Palace

Shun Lee West


Telepan Local

Tribeca Grill

C-CAP Celebrates x 6, +5 Unusual Grilling Ideas for the 4th!

Thursday, July 3rd, 2014

Food, family, friends. We’re grateful for them all — and there’s something about this time of year that makes us want to celebrate non-stop!

Here are six amazing events that C-CAP New York attended in the last week:

C-CAP Alumni Speed Networking: the C-CAP Alumni Association’s first hosted event was a great success! Alumni and industry professional mixed, networked, asked questions, and shared experiences all to the pace of the bell. We’re so grateful to all who participated and we can’t wait for the next one! 

Women in Culinary Leadership Cocktails, Panel and Dinner: a program from The James Beard Foundation and Vermillion, Women in Culinary Leadership is an educational program focused on mentoring and training women with culinary aspirations. They led this thought-provoking panel discussion with aplomb! Don’t miss the next one, because this organization has its finger on the pulse of this very important topic.

Les Dames d’Escoffier’s California Extra Virgin Olive Oil Tasting: led by a panel of experts from Les Dames New York and San Francisco and hosted by C-CAP friend, Dame Marisa May, this is just one of many insightful and enjoyable events hosted by Les Dames!

The 9th Annual Russell Ferber Foundation Comedy FUN!draiser: a fabulous evening of eating, drinking, and entertainment in memory of Russell Ferber, proceeds benefit a C-CAP scholarship, Village Community School and an endowed scholarship at Culinary Institute of America. We are always honored to be generously included in continuing Russell’s legacy.

The Fancy Food Show: C-CAP was invited to spend time discovering some of the 180,000 exciting products on display at this incredible event. We also ran into a few friends and supporters like Guittard Chocolate!

New York Cooks for Natalie by The Les Amis d’Escoffier Society Foundation: this year marked the Foundation’s 25th Annual Wine, Spirits & Culinary Celebration & Casino Evening to Benefit the Natalie Toedter Scholarship Fund. The fund very generously contributes a scholarship for a C-CAP student, for which we are very grateful

But let us not forget the celebration of the moment — the 4th of July!

When we think of 4th of July, we think…grilling. (Besides, of course, INDEPENDENCE. We think that. Then we think grilling.) So here are 5 fun ideas of unusual ingredients to make on your grill!

The Red, White-ish and Blue (sweet)

Grilled watermelon

Grilled peaches

blueberries (you could try grilling these….if you succeed let us know how you did it!)

The Red, White and Blue-ish (savory)

Grilled red pepper

Grilled halloumi cheese

Grilled eggplant

Put ‘em in salads, wraps, lettuce wraps, top your burgers with ‘em — get creative! And don’t forget to share your recipes with us on Facebook!

Stay tuned!

Recipe for a Good School Year

Thursday, June 26th, 2014

Begin with:

a pantry stocked by 12 generous donors


Ingredients (disperse lovingly through C-CAP schools):

2,490 lbs of Blue Diamond almonds

4,275 cans of Bush Brothers & Co. beans

6 cases of Cabot cheese

798 pieces of DKB smallware

47,387 oz of Filippo Berio olive oil

8,550 lbs of Guittard chocolate

31 loaves of Jarlsberg cheese

14 half-hams from Monte’s Ham

7,680 oz of Nielsen-Massey vanilla extract

684 cases of Ronzoni pasta

535 lbs of Sugar Foods dried fruit

17,700 lbs of Uhlmann flour



1) Divide and distribute product.

2) Combine teachers and students, and allow joy to diffuse the classroom.

3) Watch hopes rise and horizons expand as the chefs of tomorrow master new skills and gain exposure to superlative products they might not otherwise encounter.

*Do not be surprised if many delicious dishes result.


Yield: Hundreds of thousands of grateful students and teachers!

Thank you to our amazing school-year product sponsors. We can’t wait to let the students thank you in their own words!

TY Card Collage

Stay tuned!

12 Things We Learned from the Sweet Genius Himself

Friday, June 20th, 2014

Ron Ben-Israel demo

When Ron Ben-Israel, host of TV’s Sweet Genius and maker of exquisite cakes, invites you to attend his cake-decorating demo, there is only one correct response — sweet! Last week, four current C-CAP students and your trusty reporter were treated to an afternoon of divine decorations and delicious decadence. We had questions answered, we had epiphanies, we had cake — we wish you could have been there! Instead, here are our top twelve indulgent takeaways. Enjoy!

What We Learned:

  • Attention to detail in the cake delivery is just as important as baking it.
  • Work in a refrigerated kitchen, but be sure the cake reaches room temperature before serving.
  • When working with fondant, a marble workspace is better than steel — and you can get leftover pieces of marble in Chinatown for a good deal!
  • When working with fondant, PVC pipes make better rollers than wooden ones. Go to Centre Street and have them cut to the size you need.
  • Don’t use Saran wrap to store your fondant because it breathes and will dry it out. Use a non-breathing plastic bag instead.
  • To make exquisite sugar paste trimmings, find a piece of lace with a wonderful pattern. Powder the lace lightly with cornstarch, put the lace on top of your rolled sugar paste and run them both through a pasta maker; you will end up with a gorgeous imprint.
  • When making a cake for an event, start planning your timeline backwards from the moment the cake will be served. That way you know you will plan enough time to accomplish everything.
  • Sugar flowers are amazing! With attention to detail and the right tools, you can create something that looks 100% real. And because sugar is a natural preservative, it will keep for years!
  • “The magic is not in the brand — it’s in what you do with it.”
  • “Behind the creativity is methodology.”


What Our Students Said:

“I really liked when you were making the sugar paste flowers and were explaining how to make them. They looked really nice! The things I thought were the most helpful were learning about how to package, store, and serve cakes and what bags to use that keep fondant fresh.”

“This demo has re-inspired me to build on the basic cake decorating skills I have and to one day express my creativity and love for flavors, colors, designs through pastry.”

“I enjoyed every single aspect of it, especially the delicious cake! I enjoyed learning that you can find a lace pattern and roll it on top of sugar paste for an added look. Seeing you do your work was insightful.”

Thank you to Chef Ron and the team at ICC for making this afternoon of learning possible!


Stay tuned!

Los Angeles Scholarship Competition

Thursday, June 12th, 2014


On Friday, June 6th at Mission College, C-CAP high school seniors competed in the C-CAP Cooking Competition for Scholarships in Los Angeles; on Monday, June 9th at the Montage Hotel, 28 high school seniors rose and walked to the podium to receive scholarships from C-CAP President Susan Robbins, Founder and Chairman Richard Grausman, and LA Program Director Mitzie Cutler totaling nearly $600,000.

Students were graded on knife skills, techniques in the kitchen, sanitary food handling, taste, timeliness, and dish presentation by our illustrious judges:

Through these awards, C-CAP students will be attending a range of post-secondary institutions including the Academy of Culinary Education, the Art Institutes, Culinary Institute of America,the International Culinary Center of California, Johnson & Wales University, Le Cordon Bleu, New England Culinary Institute, Westlake Culinary Institute and many others.

To the universities and organizations that donate — we couldn’t do this without your very generous support!

LA Students with dishes

To our senior scholarship winners: Maria Angel, Catherine Asturias, Chris Beltran-Chicas, Jacquari Blackmon, Ashley Buenrostro, Cecilia Chong, Antelmo Cruz, Ashley Cunningham, Jesus Espinosa, Jacob Funaro, Marco Galang, Jose Garcia, Tianna Gee, Mariah Gonzales, Maybellin Herrera, Jin Ho Jung, Albert Kim, Kristy Matta, Suzanna Mkrtchyan, Kevin Oajaca, Thomas Ritchey, Ayla Rizzo, Timothy Sharp, Tamara Solis, Andrea Torres, Xochitel Venero, Sayvaughn Wade, and Jessika Whitfield —

We cannot wait to see what you will accomplish next! Best of luck in college and remember, “once you’re in C-CAP, you’re in C-CAP for life!”

Stay tuned!

Spring has Sprung!

Friday, June 6th, 2014

If April showers bring May flowers, what do May flowers bring? (No, not pilgrims!) Answer: Awesome C-CAP programs across the country! (Though if you said pilgrims, you get points for humor.)

We asked our C-CAP coordinators to share some of the exciting spring happenings in their area. What we got back? A roster of great stories of wrapping up the school year, getting ready for summer programming and generally being interesting and exceptional! Read on!


“C-CAP AZ will have one full time student starting an apprenticeship with master ice cream maker, Doc Brown, owner of Doc’s Artisan Ice Creams.  Kenny Wietholter, C-CAP 2013, will begin his three-month apprenticeship in June.” Check out the business at https://www.facebook.com/ArtisanIceCreams. Cool gig! (Yes, pun intended.)


Doc's Artisan Ice Cream

Doc’s Artisan Ice Cream


“Our C-CAP Chicago students gave demos at the National Restaurant Association Show at McCormick Place, May 5/17 to 5/20. Our end of the year teacher celebration and professional development is being held in Greek Town on Friday, June 6th.” Congrats on a great year, Chicago!



“The Beverly Hills Centennial Block Party on April 27th was a huge success that involved C-CAP students, alumni, and supporters! The enormous cake, created to replicate Rodeo Drive and feed 15,000 attendees, was created by Donald Wressell of Guittard with the help of top pastry chefs around the country and some very important C-CAP alums. Anthony Greco was by Chef Wressell’s side for much of the process. Dustin J. Trani spoke at the celebration thanking C-CAP for their part in his success. Rigo Salas was a huge help the day of the celebration. And countless C-CAP students and alums were on hand to serve cake to the public.” We are so proud that C-CAP students were there making history. Final Competition and Awards Breakfast are coming up June 6th and June 9th — good luck, LA Competitors!

Alum Anthony Greco and The Cake

Alum Anthony Greco and The Cake


“Students at Long Island City high school had an exciting day when C-CAP New York alum and Executive Chef Kelvin Fernandez came to their school to do a demo. Next week, students of William E. Grady HS in Brooklyn will meet up for a Union Square market tour and scavenger hunt, and several students and alums will get to sit in on a pastry demonstration by Ron Ben-Isreal of TV’s Sweet Genius at the International Culinary Center. And last but not least, our founder Richard Grausman was this year’s Dessert Professional Hall of Fame honoree.” Congratulations, Richard!

Richard is the 2014 Dessert Professional Hall of Fame honoree

Richard is the 2014 Dessert Professional Hall of Fame honoree


“We’re having a busy spring! We held a Chocolate Workshop at the Culinary Literacy Kitchen at the Free Library of Philadelphia with Pastry Chef Peter Scarola from R2L for our teachers, and another event at Monell Chemical Senses Center, the world’s leading scientific research institute devoted to the senses of taste and smell, where our teachers learned about the science of taste and participate in hands-on demonstrations targeted to culinary science. We had our “Meet the Hospitality Professional” field trip at Drexel University, where 15 lucky students joined in the Hospitality School’s senior lunch to learn about the front of the house and learn what goes on behind the scenes. Coming up, we’ll be watching Supermensch: The Legend of Shep Gordon with some of our students, teachers, and friends of C-CAP, then meeting at a local restaurant for a reception afterward to discuss the movie.

And of course, we’ve been busy lining up host sites for our summer interns and planning an action-packed 5-days of job training at the end of June!” Way to go, Philly!



The National Alumni Board will be hosting its first event — Speed Networking! Clear your schedule from 3-6 pm on June 23rd and head on down to Clinton Hall at 90 Washington Street for a Speed Networking bonanza you won’t want to miss! To reserve your spot, contact alum Ellie Ubinas at emubinas@gmail.com.

Ellie Ubinas and Adam Perez checking out Clinton Hall

Ellie Ubinas and Adam Perez checking out Clinton Hall

That’s all for this week, but be sure to —

Stay tuned!

A Moving Experience…

Saturday, May 31st, 2014

Old space collage

As of May 29th, 2014, C-CAP is no longer at 250 West 57th Street! Come visit us in our new spacious abode at

505 Eighth Avenue, Suite 1400

(between 35th and 36th)


As a teaser, here are a few pictures as we settle in:

new digs 

Want to call or fax us? Our numbers are the same.

Want to send us something? Our new zipcode is 10018.

Want to visit us? Come on down! We can’t wait to show you our new space!

And until next time —

Stay tuned!

Recipes for Success: C-CAP students rock the AICR and Meatless Monday recipe contests and win scholarships to boot!

Friday, May 23rd, 2014

Oh happy day! Remember back in winter, we told you all about our amazing recipe contests with Meatless Mondays and AICR? (Need a refresher? Read here and here!) And we promised on our first-made omelet that we’d share with you this year’s winning recipes? Guess what? The day has arrived! Get into your kitchens and get ready to get healthy because these recipes are nutritiously delicious!

The Second Annual AICR/C-CAP Recipe Contest asked C-CAP students across the country to bring AICR’s recommendations to life with a new recipe for a “small plate” or appetizer. Our student competitors crafted low-calorie, nutrient-rich, and tastebud-dazzling recipes with as many super ingredients as possible. Check out the amazing dishes that won and try their recipes today!

First Place: Bryn Timmis for his Seared Scallops with Beet Puree and Arugula Salad

Second Place: Taylor Sterling for her Greek Veggie Slider

Third Place: Sofia Mendoza for her Roasted Acorn Squash with Kale and Quinoa

AICR Winners

Many thanks to AICR, esteemed judges Dana Jacobi (Cookbook author and nationally-syndicated food columnist), Matt Hoyle (Executive Chef, Nobu 57), Scott Uehlein (Corporate Chef, Canyon Ranch Health Resorts) and product sponsors, Bob’s Red Mill and Mary’s Gone Crackers. We couldn’t do it without you!

But wait! We’re not done yet — now that you’ve got your recipes to fight cancer, here are a few healthy meatless pasta recipes to improve your health and save the planet!

For the third year, C-CAP partnered with the The Monday Campaigns to give the opportunity to C-CAP students to create innovative, meatless recipes — this year, featuring pasta! Behold your new favorite pasta dishes — for any day of the week.

First Place: Danielle Rivers’ Pappardelle with Mushrooms, Baby Spinach and Roasted Tomatoes

Tied for First Place: Briana Bernardez’s Pasta Frittata

Third Place: Jasmine Lewis’ Vegetable Curry Pasta

MM Winners (revised)

Big thank you to The Monday Campaigns, to illustrious judges Marisa May (Co-Owner, SD26), Matteo Bergamini (Executive Chef, SD26), Hillary Mickell (Founder of FOODILY, “the world’s largest recipe network”), Diana Rice, RD, (Recipe Editor of meatlessmonday.com) and Scott Uehlein (Corporate Chef of Canyon Ranch), generous sponsor Canyon Ranch and product sponsors Jarlsberg cheese and Ronzoni pasta.

To our recipe winners — we’re so proud of you!

To everyone else —


Stay tuned!

We love Lyon in the Springtime or, C-CAP and Daniel Boulud send James Daversa to the Institut Paul Bocuse!

Thursday, May 15th, 2014

Picture this: C-CAP notifies you that you’ve been selected as a finalist for the C-CAP/Daniel Boulud Scholarship to the Institut Paul Bocuse. You get to create your own casserole-style dish with chicken, a vegetable and a starch and no more than eight ingredients — and you get to prepare it in the kitchen of iconic restaurant, Daniel. But that’s not all. You will be serving your dish to judges Daniel Chef de Cuisine Eddy Leroux, Executive Chef Jean François Bruel — and Daniel Boulud himself. The prize? A scholarship to attend the five-week Exclusive Culinary Program at the renowned Institut Paul Bocuse in Lyon, France!

For competitors Gabrielle Calle and James Daversa, this dream was a reality. On Tuesday, April 1st they toured Restaurant Daniel and started their mise en place. On Wednesday, April 2nd, they cooked, they plated, they waited with baited breath while the judges tasted their unique dishes. The judges were impressed with both dishes, and ultimately handed the prize to James Daversa for his Duo of Chicken with Caramelized Onion Potato Puree, Brussels Sprouts with Lardon, Glazed Carrots, and Wild Mushroom Sauce with Matignon Vegetables.But Gabee Calle didn’t walk away empty-handed; she and a guest will be enjoying a dinner at Restaurant Daniel!

Bocuse Scholarship

On May 10th, James Daversa began this superlative training program in Lyon, which, in its own words, “reveals the well-kept secrets of authentic French cuisine, gives free rein to the fragrant aromas of sun-drenched cuisine and teaches you to play with all the subtleties of contemporary cuisine. This program, with three complementary themes, enables you to enrich your know-how through contact with professionals from French gastronomy, rich with ancestral know-how appreciated the world over.”

We can’t wait to hear what he learns there! Last year’s scholarship recipient, Cesar Gutierrez (now Chef de Cuisine at Lexington Brass) had this to say about his experience:

“This professional and intensive experience could not be the same without the chefs helping us to realize more than our potential. Beyond the opportunity of cooking with these chefs, you also met people from all over the world. It was the first time I left the USA, and I was so surprised to see how many nationalities were blended in this program. The large knowledge I acquired, from cleaning to new culinary techniques, is a real lesson. I will keep in mind these beautiful moments I spent in Lyon.”

(You can also read about C-CAP President Susan Robbins’ adventures at the Institut last summer in this blog post.)

Just before James jetted to Lyon, he wrote this to the C-CAP office:

“So: all packed, organized and ready to go. I cannot thank you all enough for all your help again with setting everything up for me. I am really excited and anxious to start cooking and learning again. This trip is really going to be a great experience and bring me to a new level as a chef, professional and person. I’ve got my camera and journal ready to record and take everything in. I’ll definitely send pictures and keep in touch as much as I can. Again, thank all of so much for this opportunity and all of your help along the way. Will make you all proud.”

We have no doubt.

Best of luck to James, and a big thank you to Daniel Boulud and our friends at the Institut Paul Bocuse!


Stay tuned!

“Everything speaks” or, C-CAP Alumni Get Coached by the Marketing Masters

Friday, May 9th, 2014

Neuberger Berman

“Marketing is like baking,” explained Neil Siegel, Chief Marketing Officer of Neuberger Berman. A dozen C-CAP alumni are nodding, at rapt attention. “In cooking you can improvise, right? But baking and marketing are scientific. They use precise formulas based on research and extensive problem-solving.”

In the appreciative silence, you can hear it: the sound of a dozen young minds being blown.

Insight was in no short supply on Thursday, May 1st when C-CAP alumni were invited to Neuberger Berman’s corporate headquarters to take part in a skills-based volunteer project on Marketing and Branding designed and executed by Neuberger Berman employees.

Neuberger Berman is an investment management firm with a 75-year history. Each year in May, Neuberger Berman takes a week to give back. They call it a “Celebration with Service” and C-CAP was so honored to be one of its beneficiaries in 2013 and again in 2014.

After an introduction by C-CAP President Susan Robbins and an inspirational marketing overview by Neil Siegel, C-CAP alumni and Neuberger Berman employees engaged in focused discussions around four themed tables: Clients, Competitors, Branding, and Modern Marketing/Social Media. Some alumni had come with specific ideas or products they wanted to learn how to market; others were learning how best to market themselves to employers.

We learned techniques, tools, and troubleshooting processes. One of the biggest takeaways? Pay attention to the big picture of what you’re creating: your brand is the result of everything you put out there in the world, from your customer interactions to your targeted marketing and beyond. In other words, “Everything speaks.” Focus on three main descriptors of your brand and integrate them into everything you do.

C-CAP Alumni Association President Larry Purvis closed out the meeting thanking Neuberger Berman for their generosity and insight, and inviting alumni to join the Alumni Association meeting that afternoon. The next Alumni Association event will be a Speed Networking event; stay tuned for details about when and where!

On behalf of our alumni who attended and all the other alumni who will benefit from their knowledge, we’d like to extend a big THANK YOU to our friends at Neuberger Berman for a truly beneficial and illuminating morning!


Stay tuned!


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Careers through Culinary Arts Program (C-CAP) is a national not-for-profit and 501 (C) (3) tax-exempt organization.
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