Last night I had a wonderful time at CCAP's 2012 Annual Benefit held at Chelsea Piers. CCAP, short for Careers through Culinary Arts Program, is an organization that I hold close to my heart. The organization works with public schools across the country to prepare underserved high school students for college and career opportunities in the restaurant and hospitality industry. Last night they held their annual benefit where more than 35 chefs, including myself, set up shop for an extravagant tasting reception. Â Greats like Jonathan Waxman, George Mendes, Michael Lomonaco, Bill Telepan, and many more gathered to help raise funds for this great organization and also to pay tribute to this year's CCAP honoree Michael McCarty.
Hundreds of guests gathered as all the chefs prepared tasting portions of some of their restaurant creations. Along with my sous chefs, I prepared a Hominy Risotto with Smoked Mackerel and Lemon Confit. Some of my other favorite dishes of the night were Bill Telepan's Smoked Trout with Potato Bellini and Sweet Onion and Sour Cream, Jonathan Waxman's Crudi Salad, Bar Basque's Txakoli Braised Pork Belly,Â Shun Lee Palace's Peking Duck, and Thiago Silva's Goat Cheesecake with Roasted Black Graped. All the food was marvelous, but the greatest pleasure of all was working alongside actual CCAP students like Taibat Amusa who helped out at our table.
It was also a treat to see CCAP honorary chair Bette Midler paid tribute to Michael McCarty for his generous support to CCAP throughout the years. All in all, the event was a success and it was great to see all my colleagues and meet some new faces as we all helped CCAP continue in its work to help young students in the culinary field.
Check out our photos below from the event. For more information about CCAP, check out their website here.
Photos: Cyndi Amaya