Time for a Taste…of Phoenix!

Friday, September 12th, 2014

James Beard Foundation. C-CAP Students Assisting World Renowned Chefs. Live Auctions. Friday night. These are a few of our favorite things! And luckily, they are all coming together at the James Beard Foundation’s Taste Phoenix!


This spectacular event on September 12th will begin with a Cocktail and Tasting Reception at 7:00 with tastings by Charleen Badman of FnB, Cullen Campbell of Crudo, Silvana Salcido Espearza of Barrio Café, Joshua Hebertof Posh, and Gio Osso of Virtu. At 8:00, guests will be treated to a four-course seated dinner featuring the creations of Sherry Yard, Kevin Binkley and Paul McCabe. Also in attendance will bepast James Beard Award Winners for “Best Chef Southwest”: Nobuo Fukuda, Christopher Gross, Robert McGrath, and Janos Wilder.

Look out for 17 current C-CAP students in chef whites assisting the chefs throughout the evening. Then during the Live Auction, don’t miss your chance to bid on C-CAP’s stellar New York Getaway package: Dinner for Two at Betony, a stay at the Loews Regency Hotel, dinner for two and a hotel kitchen and rooftop garden tour at the Waldorf Astoria, and two VIP tickets to the C-CAP Annual Benefit! The best part? All proceeds from this item will go to C-CAP!

Many thanks to our friends at James Beard Foundation for including C-CAP in this wonderful event. We’re so grateful for this taste of generosity!


Now that you’re in the mood for adventures in Arizona, it is not too soon to get your tickets for C-CAP’s Harvest Moon Dinner on November 6th! With an hors d’oeuvres reception by C-CAP students and teachers and a three-course dinner by three illustrious C-CAP alumni, it’s sure to be delicious. The Mayor of Phoenix will be there—so should you!

Stay tuned!



C-CAP & Avero: The Beginning of a Beautiful Friendship!

Saturday, September 6th, 2014

At C-CAP, we’re always looking to help our students achieve their potential, offering opportunities to learn and the tools to succeed.

At Avero, they’re always looking to help their clients achieve their potential, offering opportunities to learn, and the tools to succeed.

Kindred spirits? We certainly thought so!

This spring and summer, C-CAP was so fortunate to partner with Avero to give two high school students an externship, and one alumna a Restaurant Education Experience with their talented and knowledgeable team!

Avero is a sophisticated restaurant analytics platform that can help restaurants, hotels, casinos and nightclubs maximize efficiency and profitability by providing analytics and advising.

C-CAP students were handpicked for this experience; for high school seniors Sofia Mendoza and Robert Guarneri, it was based on their participation and accomplishments through C-CAP as well as their strong applications. For alumna Gabee Calle, it was her essay and her interview that convinced Avero she would be a prime candidate to benefit from the experience. And benefit they all did! Check out these itineraries from Avero’s own blog, reporting on these stellar experiences:

“Over the course of the two-day externship, Sofia and Robert participated in various sessions with Avero team members. The goal was to teach them about the latest trends in technology and the future of the restaurant industry and create a dialogue for the two students to ask questions and learn about the “business behind the business.” They learned about Avero’s restaurant software and also about the various other ways that the most progressive chefs and restaurateurs use technology to be successful influencers in this competitive landscape. And, in true Avero style, the students had the opportunity to network with the Avero staff, discuss their career in f&b and (of course) dine at some of the city’s finest establishments including Gramercy Tavern, Tertulia and Gotham West Market.”

Sofia, Robert, and Avero

(Click here to read the full post and see more fantastic pictures of Sofia and Robert with the Avero team.)

“The award recipients, along with their mentors, navigated New York City for a three-day educational immersion into the food and beverage industry. The students met and learned from leading chefs, managers and restaurateurs while experiencing some of the city’s most prominent dining trends. There was lively discussion about f&b trends as well as technology’s role in the industry combined with unique dining experiences, behind-the-scenes tours of some of NYC’s busiest kitchens such as The Smith and The NoMad, a tour of the Union Square Greenmarket, a tour and dine-around in Gotham West Market and Eataly, a private tour of Brooklyn Brewery, dinner at Brooklyn’s Reynard in The Wythe Hotel – even bowling with upscale bar snacks and a concert at Brooklyn Bowl! The tour concluded with an amazing wine dinner at Betony with Avero’s CEO and Founder, Damian Mogavero.”

Gabee, Richard, and Avero

(Click here to read the full post with pictures from Gabee’s adventures with Avero.)

Some of the major takeaways?

For Gabee, it was realizing how interconnected Avero is within the industry—she realized that most chefs and restaurants she knew and had worked with were connected to Avero and used their products.

For Robert, it was learning about restaurant trends—how they’re constantly shifting and how Avero is aware of these shifts. He also and realized that he now has an interest in learning about every aspect of the industry, not just what goes on in the kitchen.

For all three, it was the mentorship and personalized learning they received during their time with the Avero team.

Ultimately, our students got a taste of what makes Avero so revered in the industry: passion for what they do, superlative know-how, and a genuine interest in helping their clients—and C-CAP alumni—take the next step in achieving their goals.

Avero, we’re so thankful for your investment in our leaders of tomorrow.


Stay tuned!


Guess! This! Alum! C-CAP Throwback Thursday #tbt

Wednesday, August 27th, 2014

NY Competition '00 001 C-CAP NY Competitors, 2000. Do you recognize today’s mystery alum? Or any other talented chefs?


C-CAP alumni certainly have made their mark on the world. In honor of our 25th Anniversary and Throwback Thursday, we offer you a story from 2005 of a young man just beginning—who has since accomplished great things! Can you guess from these hints which C-CAP alum is described in the article below?

• Barely spoke English when he started at Long Island City High School after moving with his family from the Dominican Republic.

• He was the first of his family to graduate high school (and then college).

• He joined teacher Terry Matsis’ C-CAP class as a sophomore.

• Through C-CAP, he was awarded a two-week trip to Le Cordon Bleu in London, and then a full tuition scholarship to Culinary Institute of America.

• He worked for Charlie Palmer as a Sous Chef and later as an Executive Chef.

• He’s a California boy now, but he references his NY roots by including “Broadway” in his Orange County restaurant’s name.

Can you guess?

To find out, read the 2005 ABC Nightline article here!

And then read what the same alum is up to now!

There are so many amazing stories in this class and every class. Did you know another of the alums pictured here was the Executive Chef of the FDIC Arlington and cooked on Capital Hill? Did you know that one of these alums competed on Chopped—and won? Do recognize yourself or someone else in this picture? We want to hear your story, too! Share it with us on Facebook or email us at info@ccapinc.org.

You know what? 25 years of transforming lives through culinary arts provides a lot of good memories…

Stay tuned!

$20,000 for C-CAP? Coming Right Up!

Wednesday, August 20th, 2014

Are you in LA? Do you like great food? Are you a fan of C-CAP? On August 21 at 8:00PM, live from the Los Angeles Food & Wine Festival, Chefs Graham Elliot and Ben Ford will compete for C-CAP to the tune of $20,000! You won’t want to miss this historic event!

Presenting TEAM FORD-ELLIOT, valiant champions of C-CAP!

Team FordElliot

The Sponsors:

Chase Sapphire Preferred® in partnership with FOOD & WINE

The Challenge:

The first-ever Chase Sapphire Preferred Chef Challenge to create an iconic Los Angeles dish

The Competitors:

Chefs Graham Elliot and Ben Ford (Team Ford-Elliot), playing for C-CAP

Chefs Fabio Vivianiand Ray Garcia (Team Viviani-Garcia), playing for the Los Angeles Regional Food Bank

The Emcee:

Culinary Host Billy Harris

The Judges:

Christina Grdovic (senior vice president and publisher at FOOD & WINE)

David Bernahl (CEO at Coastal Luxury Management)

Justin Chapple (test kitchen senior editor at FOOD & WINE)

The Venue:

Los Angeles Food & Wine Festival, a four-day festival from August 21–24, that will showcase the finest in food and drink culture throughout Los Angeles, together with culinary personalities from around the country. The festival includes food and wine tastings, culinary demonstrations, live entertainment and more. The competition will take place during the Ultimate Bites of LA walk-around tasting.

The Prizes:

$20,000 for the winning team’s charity

$5,000 for the runner up team’s charity

The Quote:

“If once in a while I can compete against my colleagues for a good cause, it gives me a sense of enjoyment. I learn something new every time,” Elliot said. “It is a fun platform that allows folks to enjoy a bit of friendly competition while serving fantastic and important causes, like C-CAP and L.A. Regional Food Bank. Nothing more important than giving back when given the opportunity.” (To read the full article on this fantastic event, click here!)

Your mission should you choose to accept it:

Buy tickets, send a shout out to the LA Food & Wine Festival on Twitter, cross your fingers, think lovely thoughts, and—

Stay tuned!

A Year in Pictures

Friday, August 15th, 2014

Schools are starting all over the country, and as we prepare to begin the new school year, we cannot help but look back fondly on the year that has passed. Here, in pictures, is a tribute to this last year at C-CAP. May the next one be just as wonderful—stay tuned!

Stay tuned!

C-CAP 2013-2014123456

Because Kitchens without Students are like Summers without…

Thursday, August 7th, 2014



It’s not just job training that C-CAP students are up to this summer. Check out these cool programs that keep C-CAP students learning all year round!

Photo Credit: Matt Witt

Photo Credit: Matt Witt

Aramark team members at the University of Chicago recently conducted an annual week-long culinary camp with Chicago Public School High School students enrolled in the C-CAP Program. Members from a wide array of Aramark at the University of Chicago’s leadership team joined forces to create a culinary-centered curriculum that would be impactful, educational, and engaging for this year’s participants.

This year’s camp included a welcome BBQ for over 30 students and their families followed by an impactful week of hands on experience preparing lunch for summer conference attendees at Arley D. Cathey Dining Commons. Students worked with various members of the Aramark team including our onsite Registered Dietitian and onsite Director of Safety and Sanitation to learn vital aspects of working in the kitchen with safety as a top priority. The highlight of the camp was when students were given $25 to spend at a local farmer’s market. Afterwards, the students broke out into four teams, and under the guidance of Chef Eddie Nagy, Chef Algis Paulius and Chef Peter Maccaro, held a highly energetic cooking competition. The experiences gained from this program granted the Aramark team the privilege to further ignite the passion these students possess for the culinary arts.“ —Sophia Bamiatzis, Aramark Marketing Manager, Higher Education, University of Chicago

ccap team with border

Photo Credit: Matt Witt

Many thanks for Aramark for providing such an illuminating experience for our C-CAP Chicago students!

This Monday, 16 C-CAP students from six C-CAP locations will descend on Monroe College campus en masse for Monroe College Boot Camp!

Says C-CAP NY Culinary Coordinator Alex Olsen, “Monroe Boot Camp is a three-day program, taking place during the summer break, in which high school students learn the dynamics of a professional kitchen and get a glimpse of what it’s like to attend a postsecondary culinary program. This program offers three-night residential stay giving students the experience of living in a dorm. The program runs from 9 AM to 5 PM during which students engage in cooking, cleaning, and discussions of ingredients, dishes, and culinary techniques.”

Check out the story in the press here and read about last year’s boot camp here! And as always—


Stay tuned!

Why C-CAP Teens Are Not the 21%

Friday, August 1st, 2014

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While the unemployment rate for the nation as a whole hovers at 6.1%, for teenagers 16-19, that rate is a whopping 21%.

But not for C-CAP teens.

Each summer, C-CAP is doing its part to combat joblessness by bringing Job Training and paid internships to teenagers across the country. This year with C-CAP by their side, over 130 young people in New York City, Los Angeles, Philadelphia and the greater Washington D.C. area refused to become part of that statistic.


And you know what? We’re pretty proud.

Read the feature on C-CAP’s Job Training program in the Wall Street Journal.

Catch a glimpse of C-CAP students across the country hard at work in Job Training.

Big thank you to everyone who helped get these kids in kitchens!


Stay tuned!

Can You Guess What These Stories Have in Common? Derek Jeter’s Birthday Cake, a Farm-to-Table Legacy Award, Meatless Wonders, Cooking at the Library, and Upcoming D.C. Culinary Hotspots

Monday, July 28th, 2014

If you guessed C-CAP, you’re right! Here are a just a few of the ways C-CAP has been in the news this past month!

EMM Group Executive Pastry Chef and C-CAP Alum Thiago Silva Builds a Custom Cake for Derek Jeter’s Birthday—and is featured on Page Six of the Post!

Chef Thiago Silva with his cake for Derek Jeter (1)

C-CAP’s own Meghan Seradsky, National College Advisor and Alumni Coordinator, has been honored with a Legacy Award from Les Dames d’Escoffier for a hand-on workplace experience in farm-to-table in Atlanta, GA. Meghan is hoping to learn about biodiversity, maintaining soil quality and the cultivation of organic produce among other skills—and then bringing it all back to share with our students!

The blog Prevention just featured this Pasta Frittata recipe from C-CAP/Meatless Monday recipe contest winner Briana Bernardez of the Los Angeles Center for Enriched Studies (LACES)! Registered Dietician and contest judge Diana K. Rice says, “Her pasta frittata wowed us, and we hope you’ll love it, too!”

Pasta Frittata by Briana Bernardez (1)

The Free Library of Philadelphia is tackling culinary literacy with a brand new teaching kitchen and they’ve invited C-CAP, Chef Jose Garces, and the Vetri Foundation to partner with them in using culinary to make a difference in the lives of underserved populations.

In D.C., C-CAP Culinary Coordinator Chef Troy Williams and Program Coordinator Yvette Williams have not one, but two new dining ventures set to open in the coming months. The Spot Deli will open this fall, while fine-dining restaurant The Spot on H will open early next year. Both will be used as a training ground for C-CAP students!

Chef Troy Williams with C-CAP student (1)

What will C-CAP get up to next month? For answers to this question and many more—


Stay tuned!

C-CAP Philadelphia Meets Miss Connecticut!

Saturday, July 19th, 2014

C-CAP and Miss Connecticut

Last week, Acacia Courtney, Miss Connecticut 2014, was visiting Philadelphia and promoting her platform, The Monday Campaigns: A Guide to a Healthier World.

Our friends at The Monday Campaigns suggested that a great way to see its mission at work was to spend some time getting to know C-CAP.

C-CAP Philadelphia Director Vicki Grant and Program Coordinator Keri Fisher immediately took action and invited Acacia to a vegetarian dinner at C-CAP supporting restaurant Osteria, which is currently hosting our summer intern Noel Hooks.

The result?

The food was beautiful, the students were talented, the questions and answers were enlightening, and everyone walked away feeling like a winner.

Final Question: What’s better than an evening of delicious meatless food with new friends who share our dedication to making the world a better place?

Answer: Not much.

Best of luck to Miss Connecticut, Acacia Courtney! We loved getting to know you. Thanks for including C-CAP in your visit!

Miss CT collage

Miss CT collage 2


Pictured above:

Jacob Trinh, 16, senior, Garnet Valley High School

Noel Hooks, 17, senior, Murrell Dobbins CTE High School, C-CAP intern at Osteria

Nyshiera Jones, 16, junior, A. Philip Randolph Technical School, C-CAP intern at Philadelphia Cricket Club

Penny Greenberg, teacher, Murrell Dobbins CTE High School

Chef de Cuisine Brad Daniels and his team, Osteria

Victoria Grant, Program Director, Careers through Culinary Arts Program (C-CAP)

Keri Fisher, Program Coordinator, Careers through Culinary Arts Program (C-CAP)


Stay tuned!

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


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Careers through Culinary Arts Program (C-CAP) is a national not-for-profit and 501 (C) (3) tax-exempt organization.
All donations are tax deductible to the extent provided by law. C-CAP's Federal Identification Number (EIN) is 13-3662917.

More than 91% of C-CAP's funding directly supports its programs. 

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