By William Wolf


More than $1,200,000 was raised from this year’s benefit for Careers through Culinary Arts Program (C-CAP), held on March 9, 2016 at Pier 60, with some 800 guests taking part in the huge food tasting event for which more than 40 chefs of top New York restaurant prepared signature dishes. Susan Robbins, C-CAP’s president said, “The benefit was the most successful in C-CAPs history.”

This year’s honoree was chef, restaurateur and owner Daniel Humm of Eleven Madison Park and The NoMad, who received the award from Tim Zagat, C-CAP Co-vice-chairman and founder of the renowned Zagat guide.

C-CAP raises funds to support its national non-profit mission of providing culinary career opportunities, education and scholarships to disadvantaged youths, and there is a long history of students who have found jobs in the food industry as a result of getting a start with C-CAP. The organization was founded by Richard Grausman, now Chairman Emeritus, who received an especially loud ovation when introduced. Over $43 million in scholarships have enabled students to study the art of cooking. The organization’s new Co-Chairs of its board are chef and restaurateur Marcus Samuelsson and Mark Weiss, head of Capital Investments and RFR Holdings. Commenting on Samuelsson’s past contributions, Robbins said, “He has been a great mentor and leader to C-CAP students and graduates.”

The Chair for the event was Will Guidara, co-owner of Eleven Madison Park and The NoMad. Event Vice Chairs were Susan and Richard Grausman and Mark Weiss. The Chef Chair was Samuelsson, chef and owner of Red Rooster Harlem and Streetbird Rotisserie.

I have been attending these benefits through the years, and one feels immediately intrigued upon entering the Pier 60 space and seeing the entire room lined with tables of leading restaurants. Along with the star chefs were some 60 C-CAP high school students and alumni helping out.

Honoree Humm gave back in a very tasty way on the occasion of the salute to him. One of the dishes I enjoyed most during the evening was the Eleven Madison Park’s sea urchin cappuccino with peekytoe crab and granny smith apple. Delicious.

I wish I could say I tasted everything in the room, but the stomach has its limit. Among favorites were escargot vol-au-vent with garlic parsley from Philippe Bertineau of Benoit; burgundy braised short ribs with spring onions and horseradish cream from Dmitri Petriakov, BLT Prime; Yuzu cured sea trout, soy, sesame, rice cracker from Daniel Boulud, Aaron Bludorn and Cesar Gutierrez; fluke crudo, yuzu mustard and dill from Jason Atherton and Brian Kevorkian of The Clocktower; boudin blanc with mustard and cabbage from Daniel Eddy of Rebelle, and Peking Duck of Michael Tong of Shun Lee Palace. A terrific dessert was the expresso-white chocolate pudding from Sarabeth Levine of Sarabeth’s—I had two portions.

I could go on and on, but here for your perusal is the full list of chefs and the choice dishes enjoyed by those attending:

Philip DeMaiolo – Abigail Kirsch: Warm open-faced lobster roll and harvest-spiced poached bread pudding

Jason Weiner and Alex Nieto – Almond: Coriander bacon with smoked paprika and avocado

Jose Garces and Justin Bogle – Amada New York: Sopa de Castaña

Garrison Price – Asiate: Chilled king crab, grilled hearts of palm, avocado and forbidden rice

Kelvin Fernandez and Alejandro Contreras – Barcelona Bites: Roasted pork taco with pineapple pico de gallo and guacamole

Marckus Glocker – Bâtard: Sweet potato crémeux with hazelnut financier and bourbon

Philippe Bertineau – Benoit: Escargot vol-au-vent with garlic parsley

Bryce Shuman – Betony: Chanterelle, sencha, dashi

Dan Barber – Blue Hill New York and Blue Hill at Stone Barns: Malted yogurt, savory granola and quince marmalade

Dmitri Petriakov – BLT Prime: Burgundy braised short ribs, spring onions, horseradish cream

Daniel Boulud and Aaron Bludorn and Cesar Gutierrez - Café Boulud: Yuzu cured sea trout, soy, sesame, rice cracker

Carla Hall – Carla Hall’s Southern Kitchen: Hot chicken on potato roll slider bun with pickles

Jason Atherton and Brian Kevorkian – The Clocktower: Fluke crudo, yuzu mustard, dill

Andrew Whitcomb – Colonie: Charred bread topped with buratta, spring peas, preserved ramps, nepitella

Rich Torrisi and Dai Matsuda – Dirty French: Duck rillette, red kraut, creole mustard, gherkin

Ivy Stark – Dos Caminos: Chile-braised beef short ribs with oaxacan mole

John Fraser – Dovetail: Baby beets, lentils, pistachios, rosewater buttermilk

Daniel Humm – Eleven Madison Park: Sea urchin cappuccino with peekytoe crab and granny smith apple

Fortunato Nicotra – Felidia: Braised beef cheeks “Carpaccio”, grana padano, balsamic, winter salad

Nick Martinez – Foragers: Emmer and freekah salad

Gabriel Kreuther – Gabriel Kreuther: Verjus marinated diver scallops, fresno chili, daikon, buddha hand

Alfred Portale and Ron Paprocki – Gotham Bar and Grill: Tahitian vanilla parfait

Manish Mehrotra – Indian Accent: Dal Moradabadi

Jonathan Waxman and Preston Madson – Jams: Smoked Chicken Galantine with Salsa Verde

Maria Loi – Loi Estiatorio: Htapodaki Stin Schara

Melba Wilson – Melba’s: Country catfish with chipotle dipping sauce

Kyung Up Lim – Michael’s: White and green asparagus, parmesan beurre blanc, peas, prosciutto

Matt Hoyle – Nobu 57: Nobu Taco

Daniel Humm and James Kent – The NoMad: Humm Dog

Braden Reardon – NYY Steak: Dry-aged rib eye, black garlic, bone marrow gremolata, cauliflower romanesco

Ben Pollinger – Oceana: Norwegian Fjord trout escabeche

Trae Basore – Pearl & Ash: Long Island fluke, mascarpone, celery, potato vinaigrette

Cedric Vongerichten – Perry Street: Peekytoe crab dumpling, gae jang sauce

Daniel Eddy – Rebelle: Boudin Blanc with mustard and cabbage

Sarabeth Levine – Sarabeth’s: Espresso-white chocolate pudding

Yuhi Fujinaga – Sea Grill: Hamachi Chark Siu, tonkotsu ramen

Michael Tong – Shun Lee Palace: Peking Duck

Marcus Samuelsson – Streetbird Rotisserie: Uncle Tito's udon with shredded brisket, apple, cucumber and black bean soy vinaigrette

Bill Telepan – Telepan: Meatball & tortellini soup

Alexander Smalls and JJ Johnson – The Cecil: Afro / Asian / American Gumbo –smoked chicken, Chinese chicken sausage, gulf shrimp, crabmeat

Abram Bissell – The Modern: Warm poached egg with black truffle

Michael White and Jared Gadbaw – Vaucluse: Saumon fumé

A portion of the money raised came from an auction conducted by auctioneer Billy Harris, as well as from a silent auction, Among the packages won were dinner for 32 people at Eleven Madison Park prepared by Chef Humm, Abram Bissel of The Modern, Bryce Shuman of Betony, James Kent of The NoMad, Daniel Boulud of Daniel, Aaron Bludhorn of Café Boulud and Lee Wolin of Boka; a trip to Switzerland curated by Humm, including business class airfare for two on Swissair, and dinner for four with the renowned chef Jacques Pepin.


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