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CHICAGO, April 9, 2014— At the Careers through Culinary Arts Program (C-CAP) Chicago Awards Breakfast, C-CAP President Susan Robbins awarded over $500,000 in scholarships and cash awards to 20 high school seniors during the awards ceremony hosted at the Signature Room at the John Hancock building.

Hard work, good grades, and a lot of broken eggs paid off for Sade Donald from Simeon Career Academy who won a full-tuition scholarship to Johnson & Wales University in Providence, Rhode Island valued at $108,000. Alejandro Gonzalez from Benito Juarez Community High School earned a full-tuition scholarship to Le Cordon Bleu for the Associate’s Degree valued at $37,000. Marina Nava from Washington High School was awarded a full-tuition scholarship to the International Culinary Schools at the Art Institute valued at $93,000. Nyree Smith from Dunbar Vocational Career Academy received a full-tuition scholarship for the Bachelor’s Degree to Monroe College valued at $49,000.

Scholarships awarded ranged in value from $2,000 to $100,000 to attend local culinary schools and some of the most prestigious culinary schools in the country. Some students also received C-CAP Education Scholarships, cash awards to help defray the costs of books, supplies, housing, and other expenses while at community college or another culinary school.

Only a few days earlier, during the C-CAP Chicago Cooking Competition for Scholarships, 20 finalists representing ten Chicago high schools competed against the clock when C-CAP re-created the intensity of a restaurant kitchen at the Washburne Culinary Institute for the high school seniors to face off in a savory and sweet challenge. Students were judged by a panel of local esteemed judges on presentation of the dishes, knife skills, techniques in the kitchen, taste, sanitary food handling, and timeliness. The judges included:

Chef Duncan Biddup  Kinmont

Executive Chef Todd Downs  Charlie Baggs Culinary Innovations

Chef William Johnson  Dine

Chef Jim Ortiz  Frontera Grill (C-CAP Alum)

Chef Nicole Pederson  Found Kitchen

Executive Chef James Samson  Renaissance Hotel

Chef Patrick Sheerin  Trencherman

Chef Garrick Turner  The Shedd Aquarium (C-CAP Alum)

Richard Grausman, C-CAP Founder

Susan Robbins, C-CAP President

The C-CAP Cooking Competitions for Scholarships are the culmination of the C-CAP high school program for underserved teenagers at risk of leaving high school without job or college prospects. The C-CAP program offers direction, a set of useful skills, scholarships, and the potential for a fulfilling career in a growing industry.



Harper High School:

Shaqueal Blakeley, Washburne Culinary Institute Partial-Tuition Scholarship, $2,000, Chicago C-CAP Education Scholarship, $2,000, Total $4,000


Prosser Career Academy:

Kwan Brown, Chicago C-CAP Education Scholarship $2,000, Knife Kit $150, Total $2,000

Miriam Chavez, Culinary Institute of America Full-Tuition Scholarship for the Associate’s Degree, $52,920, Chicago CIA Community College Stipend $1,000, Total $53,920

Christian Popoca, Robert Morris University Partial-Tuition Scholarship $28,000, Knife Kit $150, Total $28,150


Richards Career Academy:

Ashley Cannon, Joliet Junior College Tuition for the Assistance Scholarship $500, Chicago C-CAP Education Scholarship $2,000, Knife Kit $150 Total $2,650


Gallery 37 AAEP Culinary Arts Program:

Josselyn Castro, Chicago C-CAP Culinary Education Scholarship $3,000, Knife Kit $150, Total $3,150

Zainab Ganiyu, Illinois Institute of Art Las Vegas Half-Tuition Scholarship $21,465, Chicago C-CAP Education Scholarship $1,000, Knife Kit $150, Total $22,615


Simeon Career Academy:

Darrell Crawford, Chicago C-CAP Culinary Education Scholarship $2,000

Sade Donald, Johnson & Wales University Full-Tuition Scholarship, $108,624

Ruthie Eldridge, Le Cordon Blue Full-Tuition Scholarship for the Certificate $19,500, Chicago C-CAP Education Scholarship $1,000, Total $20,500

Justin Purnell, Joliet Junior College Tuition for the Assistance Scholarship $500, Culinary Futures Scholarship $1,500, Knife Kit $150, Total $2,150


Benito Juarez Community High School:

Juan Fernandez, New England Culinary Institute Full-Tuition Scholarship for the Certificate Program in Professional Cooking, $6,200

Alejandro Gonzalez, Le Cordon Bleu Full-Tuition Scholarship for the Associate’s Degree, $37,000


Roberto Clemente High School:

Bianca Huerta, Lexington College Partial-Tuition Scholarship, $60,800

Christina Rivera, Joliet Junior College Tuition  $500, Chicago C-CAP Education Scholarship $2,000, Total $2,650


Roosevelt High School:

Jasmine Huerta, French Pastry School Partial-Tuition Scholarship for L’Art de la Patisserie or the L’Art du Gateau Certificate $7,500, Chicago C-CAP Education Scholarship $2,000, Culinary Futures Scholarship $5,000, Total $14,500


Washington High School:

Marina Nava, The International Culinary Schools at The Art Institute National Full-Tuition Scholarship for Culinary Arts, $93,300

Jennifer Ramirez, Culinary Futures Scholarship $7,000, Knife Kit $150, Total $7,150

Laura Taylor, Kendall College Partial-Tuition Scholarship $18,000, Culinary Futures Scholarship $4,000, Knife Kit, Total $22,150


Dunbar Vocational Career Academy:

Nyree Smith, Monroe College Full-Tuition Scholarship for the Bachelor’s Degree, $49,344



Careers through Culinary Arts Program (C-CAP) works with public schools across the country to prepare underserved high school students for college and career opportunities in the restaurant and hospitality industry.

In the 2013-2014 academic year, C-CAP Chicago impacted the lives of approximately 2,500 students in 19 public schools working with 32 teachers in job training and internships, teacher trainings, college and career advising, product donations and culinary competitions that lead to culinary school scholarships.

A national nonprofit founded in 1990 by well-known culinary educator and author, Richard Grausman, C-CAP manages the largest independent culinary scholarship program in the United States and since inception has awarded high school students more than $40 million in scholarships and donated more than $3.1 million worth of supplies and equipment to classrooms. Many C-CAP alumni, now graduates of top culinary schools, are working in leading restaurants and hotels throughout the nation.

For more information about C-CAP, visit

Press Contacts: 

Jessica Tirschwell



C-CAP National:

Joyce Appelman




Nicola Copeland








This year’s annual C-CAP Chicago Farmer’s Market Cooking Challenge was held during our overnight ARAMARK Nutrition Camp at the University of Chicago. Thirty students were broken up into teams lead by chef mentors where they worked for two days to create recipes and plan a menu based on locally grown and sustainable items found at the Green City Market. Each team had two hours to cook as many original recipes as possible. It was an exciting two hours, in which Team #3 won this year’s challenge!

Congrats to Chef Marcel Taylor and his team of outstanding C-CAP students!

Team Members:
Brandon Gadson- Senior Simeon Career Academy
Cinthya Hernandez- North Grand High School
Allyson Hixson – Prosser Career Academy
Claudia Ramirez- Richards Career Academy

Arugula and Baby Heirloom Tomato Salad with Honey Lime Vinaigrette
Pan seared beef medallions with chipotle cream sauce served with Poblano peppered Jasmine Rice and sautéed Swiss chard
Roasted Peach and Ginger Cookies
Mixed Fruit Summer Spritzer


Click here to see highlights from the 2010 Chicago Preliminary Competition at Washburne Culinary Institute, Feb 2010


The Chicago Park District’s piece on C-CAP’s After School Program.

How to Tourne a Potato

’09 J&W winner cooking with the Exe. Chef from Table 52


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