C-CAP supported me and helped me launch my culinary career, which changed my life.
As a senior in high school in 2015, Mimi Chen had no idea what her future held or what career path she would ultimately pursue. She loved watching the popular food shows on TV, but had never considered entering the food and hospitality industry herself. However, when her culinary arts teacher mentioned the C-CAP Competition for Scholarships, Mimi thought it would be a fun challenge that might afford her an opportunity to further her education. After months of practice, her hard work and talent paid off when her performance in the final competition earned her a full-tuition scholarship to the International Culinary Center.
As a result of impressing one of the judges at the competition, Mimi landed a paid internship at the highly acclaimed, Michelin star restaurant Café Boulud where she worked alongside fellow C-CAP alum Cesar Gutierrez. As a part of her program at ICC, she began an internship at Restaurant Daniel which became full-time employment while she continued her studies at New York City Tech.
Mimi’s success in the C-CAP competition led her to enter – and win – last year’s Ment’or Commis Competition which resulted in a trip to Lyon, France to assist Team USA at the Bocuse d’Or World Competition for which the team won Gold for the first time in history. Impressed with Mimi’s talent, training, and work ethic, Chef Daniel Boulud encouraged her to partner with Chef Matthew Kirkley of restaurant Coi (San Francisco) to compete for the highly sought-after position of representing the USA at the 2019 Bocuse d’Or World Competition. In May 2018, Mimi, at just 20 years old, and Chef Kirkley won the competition and will represent Team USA. We look forward to following them on their quest for Gold.