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Why is this year’s food benefit to aid the work of C-CAP (Career through Culinary Arts Program) different?

In honoring esteemed Alfred Portale, Executive Chef at the Gotham Bar and Grill, there will not only be the impressive food tasting extravaganza for which the C-CAP benefits have become known, with top New York restaurants contributing samplings of their specialties. More than 60 New York City C-CAP high school culinary students will be assisting the chefs of these renowned restaurants.

The student-helper concept for the event, on February 27, 6:30-9:00 pm, at Pier Sixty at Chelsea Piers, fittingly reflects the aim of the non-profit organization, which trains high school students for career opportunities in the restaurant and hospitality industries. Since 1990 C-CAP has awarded $22.2 million in scholarships, including a record-breaking $3.65 million last year. Many students have gone on to jobs in New York and other parts of the country.

“Each year our supporters gather at the sold-out event to enjoy culinary creations by New York’s top chefs,” says Richard Grausman, founder and president of the organization. “While enjoying the fabulous food, they are supporting C-CAP’s mission to provide underserved high school students with training, scholarship and jobs.”

In addition to its New York program, C-CAP also has programs in Los Angeles, Chicago, Philadelphia, Hampton Roads, VA, Washington, D.C. and Arizona. In the past academic year the organization has served 266 high school teachers in 204 public schools, and 22,603 students involved in their classes. C-CAP donated $278,960 worth of supplies and equipment to participating schools.

Helping to orchestrate this year’s program is television celebrity chef Marcus Samuelsson of Aquavit, Riingo and Merkato 55 restaurants. Some 36 restaurants will be represented, and Charmer Sunbelt Group will be donating wine and champagne. A silent auction with high level prizes will be held as part of the fund-raising effort. Chairs for the event are Carol and N. Richard Kalikow, with vice-chairs Susan and Richard Grausman. TV star Al Roker will be back as Master of Ceremonies.

Restaurants represented include Abigail Kirsch Pier Sixty, Aquavit, Aureole, Beacon, Blue Hill, Buddakan, Café des Artistes, Compass, Craft, dbBistro Moderne, Del Posto, Dovetail, Felidia, Fiamma, Gilt, Gordon Ramsay at The London, Gotham Bar and Grill, Gramercy Tavern, Landmarc, Michael’s, The Modern, Morimoto, Nobu 57, Olives New York, Patroon, Payard Patisserie & Bistro, Picholine, Porter House New York, Primehouse New York, Riingo, San Domenico, Sarabeth’s, Shun Lee Palace, Tabla, Telepan and Town.

General admission tickets are $450 (limited availability) and VIP tickets are $600 and $1000. For more information, phone: 212-974-711 or visit website www.ccapinc.org.

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