It’s time again for one of New York’s most enjoyable benefit events, the annual food-tasting gathering to raise money for the non-profit Careers through Culinary Arts Program (C-CAP), dedicated to advancing the careers of underserved high school students in the field of culinary arts. This year’s honoree is Eric Ripert, noted chef and co-owner of the renowned New York restaurant Le Bernardin. Ripert will receive the 2019 C-CAP award, which is given to honor exceptional leadership and achievement within the food industry.

Some 40 of New York City’s outstanding chefs are participating, with tables featuring tastings of their restaurant specialties, and some 100 C-CAP students and alumni from high schools in New York and other cities assisting in the servings. As in the past, the event will be held at Pier Sixty, Chelsea Piers. The date in Tuesday, February 26, from 5:45 to 9.00 p.m. Those who have attended in previous years know the pleasure of wandering among the tables and tasting the wide array of food offered. It is a challenge to see how much a person can sample from all of the opportunities available. Wines are also served.

The 2019 event chair is Brian Poplin, President and CEO of Elior North America, lead sponsor of the benefit. Those participating include Chef Chair and C-CAP board Co-Chair Marcus Samuelsson and Michelin star chefs Abram Bisssell, Aaron Bludorn, Daniel Boulud, Markus Glocker, Alfred Portale and Michael White, as well as C-CAP alumni Yvan Lemoine from Gitano and The Jungle Room, and Betty Peña from Rice & Gold.

Over the years C-CAP has given out more than $53 million in scholarships awarded through culinary competitions. The organization was founded in 1990 by culinary educator and cookbook author Richard Grausman, now Chairman Emeritus.

“C-CAP changes lives by arming underserved high school students with the skills they need to succeed in the culinary arts,” says Marcus Samuelsson. “C-CAP helps thousand of students across the country through education and career readiness opportunities . As a chef and longtime supporter of C-CAP’s work, I have seen first-hand how this program benefits its remarkable students and the industry’s growing demand for skilled talent. C-CAP’s benefit makes a huge difference in the lives of so many students.”

Ripert, chosen as this year’s honoree, not only has achieved distinction as co-owner of Le Bernardin, but is Vice Chairman of City Harvest, which works to bring together New York’s top chefs and restaurateurs to raise funds and increase the quality and quantity of food donations to New York’s neediest. He has also mentored C-CAP students and alumni.

Ripert was born in Antibes, France. He moved to Andorra, the small country just over the Spanish border, as a child. His family instilled a passion for food in the young Ripert, and at the age of 15 he left home to attend culinary school in Perpignan. At 17, he moved to Paris and cooked at the legendary La Tour D’Argent before taking a position at the Michelin three-starred Jamin. After fulfilling his military service, Ripert returned to Jamin under Joël Robuchon to serve as chef poissonier.

In 1989, Ripert was given the opportunity to work under Jean-Louis Palladin as sous-chef at Jean Louis at the Watergate Hotel in Washington, D.C. Ripert moved to New York in 1991, working briefly as David Bouley’s sous-chef before Maguy and Gilbert Le Coze recruited him as chef for Le Bernardin. He is one of only a few chefs in America to consistently receive three Michelin stars and has been top-rated in the Zagat Survey over the last 10 years.

In September 2014, Ripert and Le Coze opened Aldo Sohm Wine Bar, named for their wine director Aldo Sohm. That same month, the two expanded Le Bernardin’s private dining offerings with Le Bernardin Privé, a space above Aldo Sohm Wine Bar that can accommodate a range of events. In addition, Ripert partnered with the Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company to open Blue in Grand Cayman, the Caribbean’s only AAA 5 Diamond restaurant.

VIP admission tickets to the benefit are $1,000. General admission tickets are $600. (https://ccapinc.org/events/c-cap-annual-benefit-2019/)

Participating chefs and restaurants include:

Matthew Tiscornia, Abigail Kirsch

Jason Weiner and Alex Nieto, Almond

Markus Glocker, Bâtard

Floyd Cardoz, Bombay Bread

Daniel Boulud, Aaron Bludorn, Café Boulud

Bruno Bertin, Cuisine Solutions

Angie Rito, Scott Tacinelli, Don Angie

Ivy Stark, El Toro Blanco

Costas Spiliadis, Estiatorio Milos

Fortunato Nicotra, Felidia

Yvan Lemoine, Gitano, The Jungle Room

Alfred Portale, Gotham Bar and Grill

Michael Anthony, Gramercy Tavern

Miro Uskokovic, Gramercy Tavern

Manish Mehrotra, Indian Accent

Jonathan Waxman, JAMS

Maria Loi, Loi Estiatorio

Kyung Up Lim, Michael’s

Abram Bissell, The Modern

Matt Hoyle, Nobu 57

Bill Telepan, Oceana

Greg Baxtrom, Olmstead

Zene Flinn, Park Avenue Winter

Ashfer Biju, Perrine

Philippe Bertineau, The Polo Bar

Michael Lomonaco, Wayne Harley Brachman, Daniel Rutledge, Porter House

Marcus Samuelsson, Red Rooster Harlem and Marcus B&P

Jae Lee, Betty Peña, Rice & Gold

Sarabeth Levine, Sarabeth’s

Jeff Miller, Storico, Constellation Culinary Group

Bill Peet, Tavern on the Green

Sherry Yard and Greg Power, The Tuck Room

Suzanne Cupps, Untitled

Michael White, Arthur Lee, Vaucluse

(For further information visit www.ccapinc.org and follow C-CAP on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook. Event hashtag: #ccapbenefit) Posted February 2, 2019.

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