By Carly DeFilippo
Each year, ICE has the honor of hosting the annual Careers through Culinary Arts (C-CAP) New York competition. This year, 24 finalists from New York City public high schools prepared two traditional French dishes in under two hours, vying for the chance to win scholarships to finance their dreams of attending culinary school.
The C-CAP finalists present their two dishes: suprême de poulet, sauce chasseur avec pommes château and crêpes sucrées.
The students were judged by a range of accomplished culinary professionals, including Sara Moulton, Nancy Olson, Matt Hoyle, David Garcelon, David Chavez, Philip DeMaiolo, Kyle Knall and Jason Weiner, as well as successful C-CAP alumni Cesar Gutierrez and Santo Saitta.
C-CAP student finalists and judges Cesar Guttierez (C-CAP alum; Lexington Brass), Kyle Knall (Maysville), Matt Hoyle (Nobu 57), Sara Moulton (Cookbook Author/TV Personality), Nancy Olson (Gramercy Tavern) and Santo Saitta (C-CAP Alum, Bar Boulud).
ICE Chef Instructor Ted Siegel was also on hand, a veteran judge of the annual competition. Clearly moved and impressed by the students’ ambitions, I asked Chef Ted to speak about his experience with the program:
The C-CAP is an execptionally important program, nationwide, geared to helping high school students prepare themselves for careers in the food service industry. It provides students with opportunities to enter the industry through scholarships to culinary schools such as ICE, The Culinary Institute of America, Johnson and Wales and ICC (just to name a few) or cash awards.
Chef Ted Siegel judges the poulet chasseur and crêpes sucrées prepared by the C-CAP competitors.
These are opportunities that these students might not have access to under normal circumstances. Many of the students are already working in the industry, at restaurants such as Daniel’s and Gramercy Tavern, while participating in the program. Not only does the program provide these student with training to develop their culinary and cooking skills, but more importantly it teaches them the value of self discipline, focus and hard work to achieve a specific set of goals.
C-CAP alumni Cesar Gutierrez and Santo Saitta with C-CAP Founder and Chairman Richard Grausman and President Susan Robbins.
These are difficult times for adolescents to grow up in and navigate. The thing that I find so striking about the program is the level of passion, dedication and professional integrity the C-CAP students display year in and year out, thanks to the support of C-CAP’s Founder, Chef Richard Grausman, and President, Susan Robbins, as well as the C-CAP Culinary Coordinators, the individual teachers in C-CAP affiliated high schools throughout the US and the large support staff that is associated with C-CAP.
Thank you to C-CAP for yet another inspiring year. We look forward to teaching future generations of C-CAP winners for years to come!