2021 Program Updates

It’s been a long, hard time for everyone, but one thing this pandemic has proven is that we need each other—now more than ever—and that’s where your C-CAP family comes in. As you will read in this, we’re striving to bring enriching opportunities to our students and alumni, further our partnerships, and create compelling content.


Students Cooking with Masks on
  • These C-CAP Students watched our “A C-CAP Black History Month Cooking Class: Rise with Chef Marcus Samuelsson” together and made both the recipes featured in this special class: Collard Green & Fresh Cheese Salad and Papa Ed’s Shrimp & Grits. Make sure you check out The Rise: Black Cooks and the Soul of American Food A Cookbook by Marcus Samuelsson, C-CAP Co-Chair.
  • This month kicks off Careers through Culinary Arts Program’s (C-CAP) 31st annual Scholarship Cooking Competition, where C-CAP students from each of our six locations compete for scholarships to academic institutions and culinary programs across the country. The competition this year in many ways followed the same format since its inception three decades ago: students train throughout the academic year to master recipes that demonstrate their culinary skills and then compete for scholarships in front of a panel of expert judges. Despite the hardships of the pandemic, we have endeavored to give these kids a chance to pursue their dreams in the food sector and worked hard to create a safe and strict COVID-compliant setting so that five out of six of our locations are able to compete in-person!


  • In the first virtual session, C-CAP Chicago teamed up with Plant Chicago to explore the relationship between aquaponically grown produce and fish. Students will be introduced to the basic needs of plants and fish and engineer, assemble, maintain, and observe a small-scale aquaponics system that meets plant and fish needs.
  • C-CAP Chicago then joined the Chicago Department of Public Health to learn about the average day of food inspectors. Students will get the opportunity to speak with a Sanitarian II Inspector and learn about the daily tasks and responsibilities that they encounter while inspecting the average food retail operation.
  • In honor of CTE Month C-CAP has teamed up with the president/founder of Multicultural Food Service & Hospitality Alliance (MFHA) Gerry Fernandez.  MFHA is known for making the business case for developing cultural awareness and intelligence in the foodservice workplace. During this presentation, Mr. Fernandez takes a “straight-talk” approach of sharing his view on current “State of The Industry” issuesArea such as how to navigate the foodservice and hospitality landscape, after COVID? What job skills should be identified before going on an interview and many more.


Students Standing Together with Masks on

C-CAP DC’s partnership with Sodexo is gearing up for Phase II starting on March 22nd. This Program is to introduce alumni to contract Foodservice Operations. C-CAP alumni will be participating in a 5-week job training workshop with coursework that consists of but not limited to:

  • Culinary Skills Training
  • Soft Skills/Classroom Instruction (Enable individuals to deal effectively with the demands and challenges of everyday life)
  • Career Readiness (Prepare graduates for a successful transition into the workplace)
  • Job Experience (will work alongside culinary professionals to learn about and execute daily culinary operations)
  • Sodexo Applications/Systems Training (introduce to Sodexo applications, policies, and procedures)

If they successfully complete the 5-week job training workshop, they will then enter a 11-week paid apprenticeship with Sodexo MedStar accounts like hospitals and facilities around the D.C. Region. Each apprentice who is considered for hire will be extended an offer letter.

Los Angeles

Students, Alumni, and Teachers with Product Donations
  • C-CAP LA Partnered with CAKE to introduce a reimagined education in schools by offering innovative new virtual Healthy Lifestyle Enrichment Program to promote healthy lifestyles and wellness among high school students during this more critical time, as the global pandemic has caused so much fear, stress, and anxiety in their lives! The full objective of the program is to promote healthy social interaction and help at-risk teens maximize their social, emotional, physical, and academic potential while gaining a new perspective on the regenerative properties in life while learning to utilize these new tools to establish a strong base of coping skills when faced with anxiety and stress. States Mel Nicola, Executive Director of CAKE, said “As C-CAP LA has trained youth to garner professional culinary skills and gifted them opportunities for scholarships onto higher learning – CAKE can offer life skills in addition to professional skills to help cultivate a strong infrastructure, so our youth can navigate through tough terrain and shine.”
  • Dalstrong donated 1,200 knives to C-CAP students and Impossible Foods donated plant-based burgers to students, teachers, and alumni. Look out for a recipe challenge using Impossible Foods in our LA and Arizona soon!

New York

Students and Alumni Cooking with Masks on
  • To celebrate CTE Month (Career and Technical Education) C-CAP’s New York team has put together virtual tours, demos, and conversations to connect the skills that students are learning in their classrooms, to culinary jobs and careers.
    • Kicking off the month: Chef Steven Barrantes of North Fork Table & Inn is leading a demo on fish fabrication and plate composition!
    • Next, we’re partnering with Restaurant Associates for a virtual guided tour of one of their dining facilities and hear from their GMs and chefs how operations have changed and adapted during COVID-19.
    • Finally, Chef Harold Villarosa (check him out on Bon Appetit) hosts a conversation and Q&A on his career path and hustle – how his strong work ethic and determination have led to his varied job roles and experiences, and to finding his own voice and style in the culinary industry.
  • C-CAP New York wrapped up Black History Month and the start of Women’s History Month with a demo from Chef Alum Angie Kingston (High School of Hospitality Management ’10). Chef Angie prepared her version of Pasta e Fagioli, swapping in ingredients that blended the cultural story of the dish like smoked turkey necks and black-eyed peas. Two interns joined C-CAP and Chef Angie in the kitchen to prepare the dish, while 50 students and teachers joined via Zoom. Chef Angie also shared experience and advice about her career as a female POC in the culinary industry, and the amazing work she does in private catering and with Black Chef Movement.
  • March will continue to focus on Women’s History and strong female leaders in the culinary and hospitality, including programs with Chef Gaby Melian of “Gaby’s Kitchen”, a pastry chef from North Fork Table & Inn, and an alumni panel of current female C-CAP alumni studying culinary arts and hospitality at Paul Smith’s College.
  • C-CAP New York’s Cooking Competition for Scholarships – This past Monday, March 1st, C-CAP’s New York team hosted their cooking competition for scholarships at the Institute of Culinary Education. 14 students competed and were scored by four culinary post-secondary and industry partners on their omelet making and knife skills. Now that competition is over, these students will focus on considering their college acceptances and options before scholarship awards are announced in mid-April.
  • C-CAP New York team, in partnership with the Door, completed the second cohort of the Remote Culinary Internship program. 9 interns participated in the 6-week program. The interns were introduced to culinary soft skills and technical skills as well as industry knowledge through remote culinary classes, Rouxbe online culinary school, virtual live cooking demonstrations, and zoom conversation with industry chefs. C-CAP New York team also provided limited in-person culinary learning opportunities, such as a walking tour of the farmer market, and the culinary training a the Door’s kitchen facility for knife skills, product and equipment identification, stock making and recipe execution. The next cohort starts on March 8th and the team is looking forward to meeting and working with a new set of interns.



  • C-CAP PHL held a Virtual Financial Aid Workshop with senior competitors and had guest speaker Terry Goggans from Citizens Bank, who is a C-CAP Philly Alum from Frankford High School.
  • In December, C-CAP PHL also kicked off its Virtual Mentorship Program – 17 students were matched with a mentor in the industry they hope to work in one day. Students will meet one-on-one virtually with their mentor at least once a month. Mentors work in industries ranging from private chef, corporate dining, product development, restaurant design, pastry, and everything in between. Students and mentors will work together on students’ goals such as resumes, interview skills, and entrepreneurship.
  • On January 4th, C-CAP PHL started a 13-week paid apprenticeship program with The People’s Kitchen and 215 People’s Alliance. Five C-CAP Alumni and five mentor chefs from Philadelphia will work together through April to serve 200 free meals every day to Philadelphia community members. Each alum is paired with one chef for the entire 13 weeks, and once a week the alums meet over Zoom to discuss social justice issues in Philadelphia.
  • In January, C-CAP PHL also held the first of three virtual competition workshops, the French omelet workshop, led by C-CAP alum Jacob Trinh. Students practiced cooking omelets at home over Google Meet while Jacob instructed them (pictured above).
  • In March, C-CAP PHL had a C-CAP Alumni Panel with three female chefs in honor of Women’s History Month: Lasheeda Perry, Sasheika Duffus, and Brianna Wellmon talk about their careers, how they got to where they are, and their goals.
  • Another Virtual Fieldtrip featured Chef Gerald Drummond, Executive Chef at Campbell’s Food Service talking about working in corporate foodservice and developing products for Campbell’s.

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