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We had the pleasure of attending the 2019 C-CAP Annual Benefit last week with a grand tasting from over 30 of the best restaurants of New York City, presented by extraordinary chefs and their C-CAP students and alumni. The evening also honored award-winning chef and co-owner of Le Bernardin, Chef Eric Ripert.

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The Careers through Culinary Arts Program, C-CAP, is a national nonprofit founded by culinary educator Richard Grausman and co-chaired by chef, author, and restaurateur Marcus Samuelsson and Mark Weiss. Brian Poplin, President and Chief Executive Officer of Elior North America, is a C-CAP member and served as the event chair.

The excellent organization provides underserved high school students with educational and career opportunities through the culinary arts. This benefit event is their greatest fundraising event of the year, and one that we always enjoy taking part of.

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Chef Eric Ripert was honored not for being a fantastic chef or running a successful restaurant, but for his continued dedication to making a positive impact on the next generation of culinary students, advancing the culinary industry, and his support to charitable organizations.

Ripert a mentor to numerous C-CAP students and alumni and also serves as the Vice Chairman of City Harvest, working to bring together New York’s top chefs and restaurateurs to raise funds and increase the quality and quantity of food donations to New York’s neediest. Congratulations to a well-deserved recognition!

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Participating chefs included Abram Bissell, Aaron Bludorn, Daniel Boulud, Markus Glocker, and Alfred Portale, as well as C-CAP alumni Yvan Lemoine from Gitano and The Jungle Room and Betty Peña from Rice & Gold.

There were so many amazing dishes and here we are highlight just a few of our favorites from the night. A vast number of the dishes were seafood with a wide range of flavors and tastes.

One of our first stops were to get our paws on the delicious mini crab cakes from Chef Sherry Yard and Chef Greg Power of The Tuck Room. Following that was a small bowl by Chef Matt Hoyle of Nobu 57 featuring salmon sashimi served over soba kernels with diced vegetables.

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From Chef Marcus Samuelsson there was a beautiful, colorful dish of salmon with bone broth and aioli on top of crispy rice. Chef Kyung Up Lim of Michael’s served a juicy wedge of octopus confit with fingering potato, avocado, and GoChuJang aioli.

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From world renowned Indian Accent, Chef Manish Mehrotra served tamarind prawns with delicious curry spices, proving to be a bit too spicy for a select few (*ahem* weak) people. Chef Bill Telepan from Oceana served a tangy cobia ceviche with aguachile, orange, and jicama.

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Chef Costas Spiliadis from Estiatorio Milos was happily slicing and dicing a Lavraki sea bass baked in sea salt.

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We loved the Solomos Marinatos from Chef Maria Loi of Loi Estiatorio, with salmon tartare in a delicate phyllo cup with a yogurt dill sauce. Crumbles and melts in your mouth at the same time. The bagel and lox bite from Olmsted‘s Chef Greg Baxtrom. The everything bagel cracker was topped with whipped scallion ricotta and a slice of house=cured gravlox. It was… everything!

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For non-seafood items, one of my favorites was from the Constellation Culinary Group based in Philly, serving up and down the East Coast and New England. Chef James Miller served a soft potato and taleggio gnocci with prosecco and black truffle butter. Talk about decadent! Speaking of black truffles,Chef Abram Bissel of The Modern shaved black truffles over creamy Anson Mills polenta with white asparagus.

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I got quickly obsessed with the mini shots of pineapple passion mint juleps by Chef Matthew Tiscornia from Pier Sixty, where this amazing benefit was held. These tropical goodies were made with bourbon, passion nectar, muddled mint, ginger foam, and topped with a charred pineapple. Not to sweet but just enough to cut through the alcohol for a very smooth taste, this may be dangerous after a few!

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We had a refreshing treat from Chef Alfred Portale and Chef Ron Paprocki of Gotham Bar and Grill with their vanilla parfait with fresh mango, passion fruit, and coconut sorbet. For something truly decadent, we went for the triple-chocolate chocolate pudding by Chef Sarabeth Levine of Sarabeth’s.

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Funds raised from the ticket sales and the auction from the event will support C-CAP and continue to support students and empowers them to reach their potential through the discipline of the culinary arts. It was truly an honor to taste all of the fantastic culinary creations and be a part of this amazing celebration!


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