Without C-CAP, I think I probably would have been dead. Without their guidance, I think I would have gone back to my old lifestyle. They’ve been a part of my family.”
Executive Sous Chef
Café Boulud, New York
Cesar Gutierrez left his Queens, NY home at the age of 12 to defy his parents. In order to make a living, he fell into gang life, sold drugs, and ended up in prison. When Cesar returned to high school, he enrolled in C-CAP, where his determination earned him a spot in the C-CAP Final Competition, a full tuition scholarship to The French Culinary Institute (now the International Culinary Center) and the notice of top chefs like Daniel Boulud.
Cesar’s talent and drive led him to work with acclaimed chefs at New York’s finest restaurants including Daniel, DB Bistro, BLT Prime, Feast & Fetes Catering, and Lexington Brass. Legendary Chef Daniel Boulud first met Cesar during a stage as a Prep Cook at Daniel. He highlighted, “Cesar was able to assist the chefs in their production tasks, and everyone at Daniel benefited from his skill, discipline, and ability to be a team player.” Cesar was later awarded the venerated Daniel Boulud/C-CAP 2013 Full Scholarship to Institut Paul Bocuse — a chance to study for five weeks in Lyon, France at their Exclusive Culinary Program.
Today, Cesar is Executive Sous Chef at the popular Daniel Boulud restaurant Café Boulud, working alongside Chef Aaron Bludorn. Cesar has been working relentlessly on perfecting his craft and showing the world who he is now. He recently competed in the prestigious Ment’or Young Chefs competition, inspired and worked to create a Colombian-themed menu at Café Boulud, and claimed his rightful spot on the Zagat 30 Under 30 list. As high as Cesar climbs, he always makes it a priority to give back to C-CAP. For several years, he has served as a judge for the very C-CAP competition that gave him a tuition-free education, and he continues to mentor the next generation of C-CAP graduates.
“I am thankful to C-CAP for giving me the opportunity to change my life and to help other students like me.”