We are so enjoying some spring weather and celebrating the progress and incredible work our students have achieved as we reach the end of the school year. A big thank you to all of our culinary teachers for their hard work throughout the year!
In this spring newsletter, we’re delighted to feature updates on several outstanding C-CAP alums – Carson Moreland, Juliet Auld, and Warren Ottey – who share stories about their exciting professional journeys, rooted in their C-CAP experiences and ongoing connections.
It’s also award season! We congratulate our Board Co-chair Marcus Samuelsson on his 2019 James Beard Foundation Media Award for Outstanding Personality, along with other James Beard award winners who have supported our students in a variety of ways.
Our annual cooking competition for scholarships was a great success, with more than 400 young culinarians participating from our 150 C-CAP schools. Awards Breakfasts follow these competitions, and it is a wonderful time of year to recognize all of the hard work that the C-CAP students and teachers put into this extraordinary opportunity. In addition, we provided Industry Awards to C-CAP participants to explore firsthand, real-world experiences with top restaurant and hotel partners. We offer heartfelt thanks to all the volunteer chefs, judges, generous sponsors, industry partners, and post-secondary institutions that make all of these events such a success.
I wish you a wonderful start to the summer and that you may enjoy the season’s bounty.
Careers through Culinary Arts Program
Tuesday | June 25 | 6:30
570 10th Avenue
(Between West 41st and 42nd Streets)
New York, NY 10036
C-CAP’s board co-chair Marcus Samuelsson received the James Beard Media Award for his program “No Passport Required,” which airs on PBS.
The Media Awards honor the nation’s top food authors, broadcast producers and hosts, and journalists. Nominees and guests gathered at a celebratory dinner, hosted by Emmy Award–winning television host Tyra Banks on April 26, at Pier Sixty at Chelsea Piers in New York City.
Read the full story here.
Congratulations to these 2019 James Beard Award winners, who have inspired and hired our C-CAP students
Kwame Onwuachi of Kith and Kin in Washington, DC, was named Rising Star Chef of the Year on May 6 at the James Beard Foundation’s annual awards ceremony in Chicago. He was also featured in a recent New York Times article here.
Other awardees include:
Charleen Badman, Best Chef, Southwest;
JJ Johnson and Alexander Smalls with Veronica Chambers, cookbook coauthors of “Between Harlem and Heaven: Afro-Asian-American Cooking for Big Nights, Weeknights, and Every Day”;
and Michael Solomonov and the whole team at Zahav in Philadelphia for receiving the award for Outstanding Restaurant in America.
We offer a round of applause for their persistence and dedication to our industry!
Supporting Chef Neal Fraser of Redbird Creates a Stellar Los Angeles Evening to Benefit C-CAP
Chef Neal Fraser of Redbird hosted C-CAP’s second annual Full Circle Dinner Benefit on April 25 at his Redbird restaurant in Los Angeles. It’s called “full circle” because the participating chefs mentor young high school students, who develop work and life skills and then often become successful chefs themselves, some now coming full circle to assist in the preparation of the event. View photos here, generously donated by Fred Martin.
Fraser coordinated the multi-course seated dinner with participating celebrated chefs including Monti Carlo, a Food Network personality; Josiah Citrin of Openaire and Charcoal Venice; Sandra Cordero of Gasolina; Duff Goldman of Charm City Cakes; C-CAP alum Anthony Greco of Lukshon and Father’s Office; Kyle Johnson of Bourbon Steak; Antonia Lofaso of Scopa, Black Market, and Dama; Nicole Rucker of Fiona; C-CAP alum Dustin Trani of J. Trani’s Ristorante; and more. The dinner featured a spring bean salad, steamed Alaskan salmon, rib cap and pastrami short ribs, and chocolate chess pie.
Guests were greeted with a cocktail reception featuring downtown LA’s own Greenbar Distillery Tequila plus Fords Gin cocktails, created by Anthony Greco and Alex Kitzmann. Premium wines from Hitching Post and No.1 Family Estate as well as craft beer from local El Segundo Brewing Company were paired with each course.
The silent and live auction, with guest emcee and auctioneer Billy Harris, was a big hit. The event raised more than $65,000 to support C-CAP’s career readiness programs for underserved high school students in Southern California.
C-CAP’s Program Director Lisa Fontanesi and Chef Neal gave KFI radio’s Fork Report program all the details. You can listen to it here. C-CAP Council LA’s chairperson, Barbara Fairchild (former editor-in-chief of Bon Appétit magazine) talks about her involvement with C-CAP and the benefit in this SoCal Restaurant Show podcast.
New York Seniors Competition
C-CAP held cooking competitions around the country in May. We are especially grateful to the participating judges who donated their time and talent to our young competitors.
The New York competition for 20 senior finalists from New York’s five boroughs was graciously hosted by the International Culinary Center in SoHo on March 30. NY1 TV covered the event, which you can view here.
C-CAP students and their teachers, family members, and friends were present to cheer them on. C-CAP alumni, now holding successful positions in the culinary world, marveled that they too had taken part in this competition several years ago, and now they are the judges! They could certainly empathize with these young competitors.
New York results and scholarships were announced at the New York Awards Breakfast on May 30 at the Pierre Hotel.
“C-CAP is for life!”
C-CAP recently spoke with Juliet Auld about her C-CAP experience, her current position, and her goals for the future.
C-CAP: Could you tell me when you first heard about C-CAP?
JA: As a junior, I transferred to Mountain View High School in Tucson, Arizona, and I took a culinary arts class, held in the same building as C-CAP’s programs, to help cope with some family issues. I saw the flyers and decided to join.
C-CAP: What are your best memories of your C-CAP teachers and experience?
JA: My high school teachers saw that I had a passion for cooking and and encouraged me to enter the preliminary cooking competition for scholarships. I did well in the preliminaries so I was able to move forward and compete in the finals.
C-CAP: What was the next step in your culinary journey after high school?
JA: I attended a six-month technical program, covering all the basics, at the International Culinary Center in New York. All that practice making 100 omelets for the preliminary competition really paid off to move on to the finals – C-CAP made it happen for me.
C-CAP: Where are you working now?
JA: I’ve moved up from garde-manger to saucier at Bar Boulud in New York City. It’s a good company to work for; Chef Boulud is a big mentor.
C-CAP: What are some of your goals for the future? Where do you see yourself in five years?
JA: I’m 20 years old now; I hope to become a sous-chef by 25. Another big goal is to travel to see the world, to immerse myself in different cultures, and to absorb new techniques, particularly in Asia, in Japan, or Thailand. They are very clean and respectful of food culture. Of course, I’d like to visit France, but with my experience, I feel I’ve gotten acquainted with its food and culture here.
C-CAP: How has C-CAP prepared you for all of this?
JA: C-CAP gave me the connections – even if I hadn’t competed, they teach you the life skills: be on time, be presentable, practice to make perfect, cultivate self-discipline. Three years later, they are still guiding me, giving me opportunities, supporting my entire career. C-CAP is for life!
“You become part of the C-CAP family, who stay in touch.”
Carson Moreland will graduate from the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park this July, holding a bachelor’s degree in business management with a concentration in entrepreneurship. As part of his program, he is developing a complete restaurant concept and menu to be pitched to industry experts and investors – similar to “Shark Tank” – and brought into production in the CIA’s new food court–style dining hall, The Egg.
He and fellow students designed and run this pop-up, called Bao Town. The menu is built around the Taiwanese open-face steam bun, traditionally filled with roasted pork belly, pickles, and scallions. Students are experimenting with new recipes, testing the boundaries of bao. “We want to take it to the limits of where it can go,” says Carson. “We don’t want to make it a boring concept.”
“Without the program, I would be in a different position now.”
Growing up in East New York, a residential neighborhood in the eastern section of Brooklyn with some of the highest crime rates in the borough, Warren Ottey did not have many local culinary programs available to him; so, starting in grade 10, he made the two-hour trip by subway, ferry, and bus to Staten Island to attend a high school with a C-CAP program. “Early morning classes were tough,” he said. Compared with the typical high school culinary course, which is just another period or class to pass, in C-CAP programs he met students who shared the same passion for cooking; they became his peer community.
Warren recalls his teachers, many with whom he is still in contact, such as Caryn Hayes and Carla Contraras, for culinary, and Cathleen Mitchel, his advisor. “Cathleen offered support to help you find yourself, to figure out what you really wanted to do, what would make people happy,” he recalls. “They helped you pinpoint who you were as a young adult, so you didn’t get confused later on. They pushed you and encouraged you. Without the program, I would be in a different position now.”
Warren currently runs his own private catering business, which allows him to follow his artistic passions, he is responsible for not only cooking but presentation, creating floral arrangements and a unique setting.
He is also an assistant food stylist, making many commercial brands’ dishes look appetizing. Styling on camera, where positioning and lighting play such a crucial role, is a new skill to master. Every year, Warren travels to a different country, to acquire new tastes and techniques. He is saving up to one day to open a bed and breakfast in New Orleans.
With a focus on culinary innovation and exemplary service, Elior North America is committed to making a positive difference in people’s lives every day. Through its family of companies, Elior offers food service management and catering to these industry segments: senior nutrition, health care, education, corrections, business and industry, and cultural destinations.
Each of the companies under the Elior North America umbrella delivers innovative culinary experiences uniquely tailored for its customers and the local communities it serves. Brands in the Elior family do more than serve meals. They create experiences through food.
Made up of nearly 18,000 team members serving more than 1,500 client accounts across the United States, the Elior North America family of companies is committed to strengthening its position in the middle market through these key ingredients for success: culinary innovation, exemplary service, and the concept of local supported by global.
C-CAP has designed a series of career-readiness and skill-building workshops with Elior chefs, which were launched this past year to great success in Chicago, New York, Philadelphia, and Washington, DC. The Elior chefs have been great mentors and role models to the high school students who participate, by providing them with professional advice and training.
Careers through Culinary Arts Program empowers underserved youth through the discipline of the culinary arts. Founded by culinary educator Richard Grausman in 1990, the program provides a holistic and integrated approach to employment for youth and young adults through job training and life skills, internships and work opportunities, industry mentoring and connections, college and career advising, and scholarships, along with product and equipment donations to partner high schools across the country. Co-chaired by chef Marcus Samuelsson, C-CAP partners with 150 public high schools to support 17,000 students nationwide each year to develop their interest and skills for careers in the culinary and hospitality industry. For more information, visit www.ccapinc.org.