It’s back to school for these lucky young chefs!
mm … to go, or not to go? The pros and cons of culinary school weigh heavily on young adults today. There’s certainly a benefit to learning the techniques of the craft before being thrown into the high stakes world of gastronomy, but for many students, it comes at a significant financial cost. Careers Through Culinary Arts Program, otherwise known as C-CAP, was founded by Richard Grausman with this goal in mind; to help young chefs in-the-making to pursue their passion after high school and find success in their careers.
“Is the education worth it?” is the most common question students ask when considering culinary school, and rightly so. Classic techniques, such as how to properly handle a knife in the kitchen or sear a steak inside of a pan, are a given. But the ability to think quickly on your feet or use substitutions when an ingredient runs out — that’s all learned on the job. Many students wonder if the experience is simply more valuable than time and money spent at a culinary institute.
One more advantage of attending culinary school is learning in a low stakes environment, where collaboration with peers and mentors is guaranteed. Institutes create an uplifting environment to encourage students to succeed, rather than a low paying, high stakes job that comes with stress and lots of pressure. So in our book? School wins, especially when you’re blessed with a scholarship.
On Friday, June 1st, 2018, C-CAP awarded 36 stellar culinary students from Los Angeles public schools scholarships for continuing education at C-CAP’s annual Los Angeles Region Awards Breakfast. These scholarships finance community college and culinary institute tuition. C-CAP’s programs also provide chef mentoring, field trips, job shadows, work experience and job skills, as well as college and career advising for the future.
These scholarships were awarded to students who demonstrated excellence in technique and knowledge at the C-CAP Cooking Competition for Scholarships on May 18th, 2018. Students competed in culinary challenges where judgement was based on food presentation, taste, knife skills, techniques in the kitchen, sanitary handling and timeliness.
C-CAP began in 1990, and since its creation, it has awarded over $53 million in scholarships, with the hope that these awards are only the beginning for budding young chefs. Alumni of the program include Cesar Gutierrez, Executive Sous Chef at Café Boulud, Krystal Lewis of Restaurant Sant Pau and celebrity Chef Amar Santana of Broadway and Vaca.
“C-CAP has an incredible system in place that, through education and training, prepares underserved youth for careers in the professional world of culinary and hospitality. The program is also a huge benefit to the growing market and chefs looking for skilled and motivated talent.” – Marcus Samuelsson, Chef, Restaurateur, Author, Marcus Samuelsson Group and C-CAP Board Co-Chair
“How lucky for us, as chefs of restaurants to have such an incredible program as C-CAP available to us all. The young students who are excited to learn, work hard and become part of our team inspires us all. We’ve seen kids come in, who absolutely blow us away. We’ve had one young graduate that came back worked for us, eventually after a couple years, became a kitchen supervisor, a sous chef and now oversees two of his own restaurants! Talk about an absolutely rewarding result, doesn’t get much better than that.” – Susan Feniger, Chef and Owner of Border Grill
C-CAP – Careers Through Culinary Arts Program, 213.542.1967 or www.ccapinc.org.