I’ve been writing about the Careers through Culinary Arts Program (C-CAP) ever since 1990 when the non-profit organization was founded by culinary educator and cookbook author Richard Grausman, who had what has proven to be a great idea and pursued it with dedication and foresight. I attended award ceremonies that brought tears to my eyes as inner city high school students movingly accepted scholarships presented by Grausman on behalf of C-CAP—scholarships that would change their lives and open up job opportunities.

I have continued to write about C-CAP tasting benefits through the years chaired by Grausman (now Chairman Emeritus) and have reported on the remarkable $53 million in scholarships and the inspiring stories of students who have gone on to earn distinction in the food service world and bear out the importance of the C-CAP mission. I have watched TV segments of Grausman conducting high school cooking competitions and the excitement involved.

Now it is once again time for a C-CAP food tasting benefit. This year the honoree will be José Andrés, internationally recognized culinary innovator, author, educator, television personality, humanitarian, and chef/owner of ThinkFoodGroup & minibar by José Andrés. The annual culinary event will take place on Tuesday, February 27, 2018 from 5:45-9:00 p.m. at Pier Sixty, Chelsea Piers, the long-time benefit venue. Elior North America is the lead sponsor of the event, which will feature culinary tastings prepared by over 30 of the city’s noted chefs, including Chef Chair and C-CAP Board Co-Chair Marcus Samuelsson and Michelin Star Chefs José Andrés, Abram Bissel, Daniel Boulud, Markus Glocker, Alfred Portale, Thomas Keller, and Michael White, as well as C-CAP alumni Cesar Gutierrez from Café Boulud and Yvan Lemoine from Union Fare. Assisting the chefs will be more than 60 New York City C-CAP high school students and alumni.

“C-CAP changes lives by arming disadvantaged high school students with the skills they need to succeed in the culinary arts,” says Marcus Samuelsson. “C-CAP helps thousands of qualified students across the country through education and career placement 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.”

The Chair for this year’s benefit is Kenneth A. Himmel, President & CEO of Related Urban. “We are thrilled to honor José Andrés for his remarkable contributions to the industry, for making the world a better place, and for his commitment to culinary innovation,” says Himmel.

José Andrés was named one of Time’s “100 Most Influential People” and “Outstanding Chef” by the James Beard Foundation. A pioneer of Spanish tapas in the United States, he is known for his avant-garde cuisine and his award-winning group of 28 restaurants throughout the country and beyond. His innovative minibar by José Andrés earned two Michelin stars and with that, José is the only chef globally that has both a two-star Michelin restaurant and four Bib Gourmands. Andrés’ work has earned numerous awards including the 2015 National Humanities Medal, one of 12 distinguished recipients of the award from the National Endowment for the Humanities.

WCBS-TV News Anchorman Maurice DuBois will be the Master of Ceremonies. The event is coordinated by Gourmet Advisory Services; Harriette Rose Katz will be overseeing the chefs. The featured C-CAP alumni speaker will be Gabrielle Calle, who received C-CAP scholarships to attend the Culinary Institute of America and to study and work in Madrid. She has advanced in her career at such venues as Gotham Bar & Grill and Union Square Cafe, and she is currently sous chef at Pier Sixty.

Past recipients of the C-CAP Honors Award include: Michael Anthony, Daniel Humm, Richard Parsons & Alexander Smalls, Michael White, Tony May, Michael McCarty, Michael Lomonaco, Marcus Samuelsson, Drew Nieporent, Alfred Portale, Lidia Bastianich, Thomas Keller, Charlie Palmer, Danny Meyer & Michael Romano, Daniel Boulud, Jacques Pepin, Egidiana & Sirio Maccioni, Nina & Tim Zagat, and Saul Zabar & Stanley Zabar.

The C-CAP Benefit is open to the public. VIP Admission Tickets are $1,000 and include a signed cookbook from a celebrity chef. General admission tickets are $600 (limited availability).

Participating chefs and restaurants include:

Philip DeMaiolo, Abigail Kirsch

Jason Weiner and Alex Nieto, Almond

Cyril Renaud, Asiate

Markus Glocker, Bâtard

Daniel Boulud, Aaron Bludorn, Cesar Gutierrez*, Café Boulud

Carla Hall, Carla Hall

Melissa Rodriguez, Del Posto

Fortunato Nicotra, Felidia

Scott Conant, Fusco

Alfred Portale, Gotham Bar and Grill

Miro Uskokovic, Gramercy Tavern

Manish Mehrotra, Indian Accent

Maria Loi, Loi Estiatorio

Kim Up Lim, Michael’s

Abram Bissell, The Modern

Matt Hoyle, Nobu 57

Bill Telepan, Oceana

Zene Flinn, Park Avenue Winter

Ashfer Biju, Perrine

Thomas Keller, Per Se

Philippe Bertineau, The Polo Bar

Michael Lomonaco and Wayne Harley Brachman, Porter House

Delfin Jaranilla, Quality Eats

Sarabeth Levine, Sarabeth’s

Marcus Samuelsson, Streetbird Rotisserie

Sherry Yard and Greg Power, The Tuck Room

José Andrés, ThinkFoodGroup

Thomas Chen, Tuome

Yvan Lemoine*, Union Fare

Chris Santos, Vandal

Michael White, Vaucluse

*C-CAP Alum

(For more information visit www.ccapinc.org; follow C-CAP on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook @CCAPINC ; Event hashtag: #ccapbenefit.)

Posted January 9, 2018.

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