On a rainy evening in June,  the Junior Board of Careers through Culinary Arts Program (C-CAP) hosted an event to showcase some of the alumni from their program.  I am not one to ever turn down a happy hour, especially one that happens in an exclusive West Village duplex loft with a private roof deck!

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The event’s goal was to help raise funds and visibility in the community to this national nonprofit that prepares at-risk high school students for college and career opportunities in the restaurant and hospitality industry. There were raffles to help the cause, but the main attraction were the food and libations.

Patrice Vassell and Stephen Yen Chefs Anthony D'adamo and Justin Baldwin

Guests were treated to light bites from various alumni from the NYC area. Executive Chef Swainson Brown from The Writing Room prepared a Country pate with grain mustard and pickles, perfect for any wine pairing.  Chef Zinyusile Khumbula of Mzansi Eats served the most filling dish of the night, the “New York Mini Kota,” a South African style street sandwich with Peri Peri Chicken, Chakalaka, cheese and boozy bacon!

Rose and Rooftops by Socially Superlative (8) Patrice Vassell, Swainson Brown, Zinyusile Khumbula, Stephanie Grajales

Pastry Chef Stephanie Grajales, with Chefs Anthony D’adamo and Justin Baldwin represented The Ritz Carlton Central Park South with a display of a savory hamachi ceviche dish followed by sweet tropical cabana cake with passion fruit, banana and mango and the twisted peach melba with sangria foam. Baker Patrice Vassell of Cut by Wolfgang Puck finished off the offering with a strawberry shortcake, comprised of olive oil cake, marscapone mousse and, very fitting rosé soaked strawberries on top .

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To accompany the dishes, Wölffer Estate Vineyard Estate Rosé, Tito’s Handmade Vodka cocktails and Avery Brewing Company beverages were also provided. But the key drink was the rosé!

 Bar and Liquor Sponsors Rose and Rooftops by Socially Superlative (1)

Despite the inclement weather, attendees were in good spirits and the rain didn’t slow down the excitement in the room one bit. I look forward to seeing what other events C-CAP organization comes up with.

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For more information on C-Cap, please visit

– Stephanie Carino

Photos by Socially Superlative and via C-CAP