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Kelvin Fernandez
The accidental chef

C-CAP Graduate
Long Island City High School
Queens, New York
Teacher: Terry Matsis

Current Position
Executive Chef
Antipasti Restaurant and Wine Bar
White Plains, New York

How C-CAP Made a Difference
“Without C-CAP, I wouldn’t have been able to network with so many great people,” says Fernandez. “C-CAP connected me with my first restaurant job.”

His first love in high school was sports—until the day Kelvin Fernandez signed up for culinary arts. All he wanted was to stay close to his girlfriend, who asked him to take the class with her. That chance decision became the decision of a lifetime. “I knew I wanted to be a chef once the C-CAP Competition was over,” says Fernandez. “It assured me that if I put my effort into something, I could be really great.” The accidental chef—whose success is no accident!

A TASTE OF C-CAP:
Kelvin’s Seared Diver Scallops with
White Bean Puree, Braised Trevisano and
Escarole, Black Truffle Jus

  • 1.5 lb. diver scallops (about 4 each for 2 servings)
  • 3 tsp. butter
  • 1 c. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 lb. northern white beans (soaked per package directions)
  • 1 large onion, small dice
  • 2 stalks celery, small dice
  • 10 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 2 qt. vegetable stock or water
  • 1 bouquet garni (black peppercorns, bay leaf, fresh thyme wrapped in cheesecloth)
  • 1 qt. veal stock
  • 1 fresh black truffle, sliced, or canned sliced truffles
  • 1 head escarole
  • 1 head trevisano (substitute any radicchio)
  • Salt and fresh black pepper
  • Chive oil (see below)

Chive Oil

  • 1 bunch chives
  • 1 c. extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and pepper

Note: Scallops should be firm and fresh. Dry diver scallops are recommended as they get more color when cooking and are sweeter. Have market clean them.

  1. For white bean puree: In heavy sauce pot, heat 2 Tbs. olive oil over medium heat. Add onions and celery. Cook, stirring often, 4 to 6 minutes. Add 8 cloves garlic; cook 4 more minutes. And bouquet garni, drained beans and stock. Raise heat and bring to boil; reduce heat and simmer until beans are tender. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside. When cool, put beans in blender and puree until smooth. Set aside.
  2. For chive oil: Bring 1 c. water and 2 tsp. salt to boil. Drop in chives for 10 seconds; remove and place in ice bath (cold water and ice) to shock (stop cooking). Strain with fine strainer; squeeze out excess water from chives. Chop chives; add to blender with 1 c. oil and pinch of salt and pepper. Puree thoroughly then strain. Reserve oil.
  3. Heat veal stock; reduce by three-fourths to make 1 c. Set aside for black truffle jus (sauce).
  4. Clean escarole and trevisano by cutting stem and pulling away leaves. Gather 6 leaves of each for 2 servings. Wash thoroughly.
  5. For scallops: Preheat oven to 350°. With sharp knife, score one side of each scallop in cross hatch pattern. Season both sides with salt and pepper. Heat nonstick sauté pan. Add 3 Tbs. olive oil and then scallops, scored side down. Cook for 2 minutes on medium high heat, browning but not burning. Place in oven for 3 minutes. Remove; baste with butter.
  6. In small pan, bring reduced veal stock to boil. Add sliced truffles. Finish with 1 tsp. butter to thicken.
  7. Heat white bean puree. If too thick, add vegetable stock or water.
  8. In another pan, heat 1 Tbs. olive oil. Add remaining 2 garlic cloves, escarole and trevisano leaves. Sauté; add 2 oz. water, 1 tsp. butter, salt and pepper.
  9. To assemble: Spoon bean puree on bottom of plate. Add 3 leaves each escarole and trevisano. Place scallops on top and drizzle with black truffle sauce. Finish by drizzling chive oil around plate. Makes 2 servings.

“I was the youngest
C-CAP graduate to
be Executive Sous
Chef at Café des
Artistes in New York—
promoted after only
five months there.
I’ll always remember
that restaurant
with pride.”

cooking tipThe key to any
great meal is
organization.
Follow the recipes
and once you’ve
tried them, then
start adding your
own flair.

 

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Careers through Culinary Arts Program (C-CAP) works with public schools across the nation to prepare high school students for college and career opportunities in the restaurant and hospitality industry. A national nonprofit, C-CAP provides teacher training, scholarships, cooking competitions, job shadows, training and internships, college and career advising, and product and equipment donations.

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