There are benefits and benefits, but one to delight the palate is the annual celebration to help C-CAP (Careers Through Culinary Arts Program), the latest of which took place February 25th, 2003 at Pier Sixty, Chelsea Piers. Imagine the scene. In the huge space thirty-nine of New York's top restaurants had stations where chefs and staffs prepared signature and other dishes for the crowd of some 700 people to sample. It was an embarrassment of riches, as could be seen from the eagerness of those enjoying the inviting occasion.

Just to give you and idea of the tasting opportunities, the participants included such treasured restaurants as Daniel, Café Boulud, Aquavit, Blue Hill, Gotham Bar and Grill, Lutece, The Mark, Nobu and Union Square Café, to name just a few. The throngs made their way through the maze to select from a great variety of special items, the menu eventually giving way to sumptuous desserts. One could also amble to the beverage selections for accompanying Champagne Gosset and Mondavi wines. It was an experience to be envied, in return for contributions to aid C-CAP's ongoing program of teaching cooking in high schools of New York and other cities and its success in giving students scholarships and helping them to start culinary careers.

This year the benefit honored the renowned chef and restaurant owner Daniel Boulud "for his unique contributions to the culinary industry, and for his commitment to C-CAP's mission of nurturing and training the next generation of professionals." The MC was TV's Al Roker (the newly trim Al Roker), with other dignitaries participating. C-CAP has amassed a large list of sponsors and patrons since it was founded in 1990 by Richard Grausman, President of the non-profit organization. By now more than $8 million dollars in scholarships have been awarded.

Many establishments, including restaurants, resorts and hotels, made contributions of special deals that were bid on in a silent auction that raised funds in addition to the contributions for taking part in the evening. For more information on C-CAP, phone 212-974-7111 or click on www.ccapinc.org on line.

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