Those attending benefits of Careers through Culinary Arts Program (C-CAP) have the pleasure of knowing that they are helping students to pursue work opportunities in the food industry, as was the case in the latest event on Tuesday, February 26 at Pier 60, Cheslea Piers, where nearly $1 million was raised, according to C-CAP president Karen Brocius. But attendees also have the pleasure of tasty treats provided by chefs of leading New York restaurants at tables throughout the venue.

This event honored Eric Ripert, award-winning chef and co-owner of the renowned Le Bernardin, who lauded C-CAP’s work and said he wanted to share the C-CAP award with the organization’s students, whom he welcomed to his kitchen. The event chair and C-CAP board member was Brian Poplin, president and CEO of Elior North America, who called supporting C-CAP a good fit for his company. The event’s Chef Chair was Marcus Samuelsson, chef, author and chairman of the Marcus Samuelsson Group and also C-CAP board co-chair.

The printed program devoted a page to lauding Richard Grausman, founder and chairman emeritus of C-CAP, and award-winning educator and cook book author who previously represented France’s renowned Le Cordon Bleu in the United States. The program noted of Grausman: “As a result of his longtime leadership, C-CAP has helped train over 200,000 young people in the restaurant and hospitality industries and in the last 29 years has awarded over $56 million in scholarships to deserving high school students across the country.”

Those attending the 2019 benefit wended their way along the many tables spread throughout the venue and sampled as many dishes as stomachs could hold. I did my share, and naturally, while it was impossible to sample all the dishes and desserts, I had favorites among those I did try.

Restaurant Rice & Gold offered delicious mini Thai chicken sliders. Café Boulud served crispy duck rillette. The Polo Bar had Ralph’s corned beef sandwich. Estiatoro Milos served lavraki baked in sea salt.

I liked the Mangalitsa pork shoulder confit that was a specialty of the Tavern on the Green. I also liked the Michael’s octopus confit. At the Oceana table, one could enjoy cobia ceviche with Aguachile, orange and jicama.

One popular site was the table of Indian Accent, where I enjoyed the tamarind prawns, coconut barley, curry leaf gunpowder. Marcus Samuelsson , of course, is known for his Red Rooster and Marcus B & P. His dish of the night was the delicious salmon with bone broth aioli and crispy rice.

Maria Loi, long well known as a restaurateur, operates Loi Estiatorio, and she was personally on hand to supervise the servings of her tasty solomos mariantos: salmon tartare in phyllo cup with yogurt-dill sauce. Nobu 57 offered a tasty salmon sashimi over soba kernels with diced vegetables.

The treat at Park Avenue Spring was eggplant “meatball,” pine nuts, miso and kimchi. Almond excelled with smoked duck tacos. Porter House Bar and Grill served beef tenderloin salad. From Untitled at The Whitney: fingerling potato salad, trout roe, kombu, Granny Smith apple. Felidia had beets, apple, passion fruit, ricotta, pistachio “al pane.”

As for desserts, The Gotham Bar & Grll pleased with its vanilla parfait with fresh mango, passion fruit and coconut sorbet. I found very special Abigail Kersch’s “Fosters” ice cream sandwiches and pineapple passion mint julep. The black cocoa tiramisu offered by Don Angie was mouth-watering.

Sarabeth pleased with its rich triple-chocolate chocolate pudding generously topped with whipped cream that had to be plunged through to get to the chocolate. Gramercy Tavern treated the crowd to its passion fruit meringue pies.

All of the above skims the surface and just represents what I was able to sample. The full list of participating chefs and restaurants included:

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.

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