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The moment is approaching for one of the top benefits in the city, an event at which leading restaurants provide the opportunity to taste samples of their specialties and patrons can enjoy the goodies at various tables where gourmet dishes and desserts are prepared, in addition to sampling beverages at stands that serve champagne and wine. The occasion is the Monday, February 28, 6:30-9 p.m., benefit for Careers Through Culinary Arts Program (C-CAP) at Pier Sixty of Chelsea Piers at West 23rd Street.

This year the benefit will honor distinguished chef Charlie Palmer, and top chefs of the city are preparing “a spring preview of dining” for the occasion, under the restaurant chairmanship of Marcus Samuelsson of Aquavit and Riingo. In addition to participation by Samuelsson’s establishments and Palmer’s Aureole, some of the others represented included Daniel, Eleven Madison Park, Gotham Bar & Grill, Le Bernardin, Nobu, Tabla, Town and Union Square Café, to name just a few.

As he has in past years, television star Al Roker will be master of ceremonies. Chairs will be Deborah and Rick Smilow, with Vice-Chairs Barbara and Donald Tober, and C-CAP founders Susan and Richard Grausman.

The success of C-CAP, a non-profit organization, has been remarkable. It started with classes in one high school but now each year some 10,000 students in more than 200 high schools around the country are offered cooking classes that not only increase self-esteem but enable many to learn skills that will lead to jobs in the food service industry. Since 1990 C-CAP has awarded more than $13 million in scholarships.

For more information phone 212-974-7111, or click on www.ccapinc.org.

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