Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth and Benefit C-CAP

CCAP, Marcus Samuelsson If you are looking to satisfy your sweet tooth, join us on Sunday, April 21, 2013 (3:00-5:30 p.m.), at The Old Bowery Station when local bakers and food bloggers gather for the first time to present their delicious desserts, all to raise funds to support scholarships and programs for at-risk students in the Careers through Culinary Arts Program (C-CAP). Tickets are $39 and can be purchased at http://sweetsensations.bpt.me/.

We have a great lineup of amazing chefs and sponsors for the event, including Stephen Collucci and C-CAP alum Mehdi Chellaoui. Guests will enjoy a selection of desserts and fabulous treats donated by local pastry chefs and bakers, and it's a great event for all food lovers to come and taste some amazing desserts from our local food bloggers and to help learn about the work C-CAP has been doing for over 23 years.

Stephen Collucci is currently the executive pastry chef at Colicchio & Sons and enjoys challenging himself to create desserts that guests will remember for years to come. A self-proclaimed chocolate freak, Collucci also loves exploring ways to pair the ingredient with in-season fruits. Guests will be treated to a demonstration of his amazing technique and a tasting of his memorable dessert creations.

C-CAP, Ginny's Supper Club

Former C-CAP alum and chocolatier Mehdi Chellaoui will be demonstrating his master chocolate techniques and will show guests how to make truffles three ways. Chellaoui apprenticed under the guidance of master chocolatier Jacques Torres and his designs have been showcased on the runway at New York City's Chocolate Fashion Show and have been featured in Martha Stewart Living, Gourmet, and Vogue magazines.

Participating bakers and food bloggers contributing desserts and baked goods for the event include:

Alejandra Ramos, Always Order Dessert Angela Sanchez-Robles, Mind Over Batter Hazel Sy, Tasty Pursuits Jacqueline Raposo, The Dusty Baker Joanne Bruno, Eats Well With Others Josephine Son, Saucy Smile Patty Lee, By Patty Lee Louise Ng, Lou & Esi

Guests at the event will also have the opportunity to win amazing door prices and to meet members of the C-CAP Junior Committee, and to learn how the non-profit organization helps underserved youth by exposing students to opportunities in the food and hospitality industries.

Our Platinum Sponsors:

Stephen Collucci, Colicchio & Sons Mehdi Chellaoui, Chellaoui Openhouse and The Old Bowery Station

Our Gold Sponsors:

Sugar Flower Bake Shop Pound for Pound

The Sweet Sensations Benefit is open to the public. Tickets for general admission are $39.

About C-CAP:

C-CAP works with public schools across the country to prepare at-risk high school students for college and career opportunities in the restaurant and hospitality industry. A national nonprofit, C-CAP manages the largest independent culinary scholarship program in the United States. Since 1990, C-CAP has awarded students $38 million in scholarships and donated $2.8 million worth of supplies and equipment to classrooms. C-CAP provides training and curriculum enrichment programs including: job training and internships, teacher training, cooking competitions and scholarships, college advising, career advising, and product donations.

C-CAP operates programs in seven locations: New York; Los Angeles; Chicago; Philadelphia; Hampton Roads, VA; District of Columbia/Prince George’s County, MD; and statewide in Arizona. For more information about C-CAP, visit http://www.ccapinc.org/.

Yes, Chef Charity Event at Macy's

Macy's Herald Square sure is delicious. Marcus Samuelsson recently headed to the De Gustibus cooking school located inside of Macy's on the 8th floor for an evening of cooking, laughter, and a great cause. Marcus: Yes, Chef: Charity Event  was an evening of demonstration class and tasting, showcasing Marcus's journey through life and food in Sweden, Ethiopia and the hustle and bustle of New York City. De Gustibus recreational cooking school, founded in 1980, hosts demonstrations by the most superior international chefs and wine experts, and Marcus is no stranger to superior food.

The evening took flight with a full audience beaming at Marcus as he demonstrated a 4-course tasting menu paying homage to a various number of influences, cultures and flavors. With accompanying wines from New Zealand, the journey took us to Red Rooster in Harlem, where the first course was Deviled Eggs with Fried Chicken Skin Mayo, one of the restaurants popular menu items. We went down south for the second course, as Marcus spoke about Cajun seasoning for his Cajun Catfish and Cheddar grits. The comparison to jerk flavors and seasonings was the next topic of conversation as Marcus demonstrated how to make Jerk seasoning at home for the jerk chicken reminiscent of the meals he ate while visiting Jamaica. Our Jerk chicken with coconut yams, jicama slaw, and crispy plantain for course four, was the perfect ode. Finally, we ended back in Harlem, and the evening came to an end as we topped off our evening with Rooster Mud Pie.

But the night ended even better than the food, when Marcus was presented with a surprise donation for his new charity, Three Goats Organization, he founded along with his wife Maya Haile. Three Goats is dedicated to improving the health and well being of children, young women, and families in Ethiopia.

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For more Marcus Samuelsson news and events

Yes, Chef B-Sides

Yes, Chef Wins IACP Award 

Three Goats Inaugural Fundraiser 

A Celebration of African Heritage and Health

A few days ago, you couldn't find my kitchen table as I anticipated correctly that every corner was covered by bowls and dishes of leafy greens, cabbages, millet, black-eyed peas, sweet potatoes, and layers of injera – the traditional whole-grain flatbread of Ethiopia. These were just some of the menu items I planned for an African heritage potluck I hosted to commemorate African Heritage & Health Week.

African Heritage & Health Week is an exciting new initiative founded by Oldways, a nonprofit food and nutrition education organization with a mission to guide people to good health through heritage. During this kick-off week to Black History Month, Oldways invites everyone everywhere to enjoy at least one meal with African roots. To help diners explore, we have created a new “African Heritage Dine Around Town” section on the Oldways website that offers dining destinations across the nation. If a meal at home shared with family and friends is more appealing, Oldways suggests making Jollof Rice. This is a traditional African rice dish that is delicious and healthy, plus budget friendly.

Guests at my African Heritage & Health Week potluck were also my former students – an amazing group of men and women who participated in the piloting of Oldways’ new cooking class series, A Taste of African Heritage. Over the course of six weeks, these students celebrated the healthy history of African heritage, learned about the innate nutrition of the old ways, and cooked up an array of traditional, plant-based meals.

The essence of the African Heritage & Health program is that of celebration - showing that many of today's most applauded foods in the nutrition world have African and African American roots. Because of the way African American ancestors ate and lived, they saw little to no chronic disease - a stark difference from today. Oldways’ African Heritage Diet brochure's cover line reads: "Diabetes is not a part of African heritage. Neither is heart disease." It's this celebratory spirit combined with the reality of the heritage, that draws me to teach through the old ways and keeps me inspired every day.

A major part of human history is the food that has shaped and sustained cultures around the world. We hope to see a sharp rise in the popularity of the delicious flavors and traditional foods that offer a key to better health in the African community. African Heritage & Health Week is an opportunity to raise awareness and elevate this cuisine, which is far from the unhealthy soul food some might think of. There’s no better time to dedicate a week to African Heritage & Health than during Black History Month.

What will you do?

 

Sarah Dwyer is the African Heritage & Health Program Manager at Oldways.

Photos courtesy of the author.

Quick Bites of the Big Apple

Treat yourself to a midday break with a quick walk around Lunch Hour NYC at the public library, going on now through February 2013. The free interactive exhibit will satiate foodies and history buffs alike, leaving visitors to gawk nostalgically at the price of a slice of pizza in 1980 (it was 60 cents, by the way) while reading up on the fascinating traditions of peanut butter and how salads became a diet food. Check out pictures from the exhibit, including a recipe from New York's first vending machines.

The quick American

Nowhere is this quote more appropriate than in describing an American lifestyle; but perhaps more accurately the life of a New Yorker: "The American is born 'quick,' grow up 'quick,' works 'quick,' eats 'quick,' makes up his mind 'quick,' gets rich 'quick,' and dies 'quick.'" Though a more than welcome break in the workday, there is often a sense of urgency when it comes to eating during an allotted half hour or so; a common lament for employees who understand that dawdling and literally savoring the moment has its consequences.

Woolworth's Department Store in 1960 was the first of the non-violent lunch counter sit-ins against racial segregation that remains one of the most integral movements during the Civil Rights era. What began with four young black college students refusing to leave the "whites only" counter ended in vast media attention and overwhelming involvement to protest unjust laws.

Walking through the exhibit is more than just a time capsule of the vintage coffee brewers and cooking gadgets. It reflects how shifting social trends and political changes undeniably affect food choices and eating habits. Moreover, because lunch time is usually eaten outside of the home, it becomes a culturally binding experience of "Americanness." Specifically in New York, we see food become a staple for tourist and locals alike when it comes to grabbing a quick bite--the hot dog with papaya smoothie, the pizza slice folded in half, the halal combo plate, still relatively remain affordable options that became synonymous with living in the city.

As an added feature to the exhibit, various NYC food trucks will be parked outside the library from 11-3 on the corner of Bryant Park Plaza at 40th St. and 5th Ave. The schedule is as follows:

Monday: Mexicue Tuesday: Milk Truck Wednesday: Red Hook Lobster Pound Thursday: Rickshaw Dumplings Friday: Eddie’s Pizza

If all this talk about fast street food makes you want to hightail it home, then try out this recipe for Horn & Hardart's Automat Baked Beans.

Elegant Eugene: Atlanta's Culinary Star

The roots of Chef Linton Hopkins' upscale Restaurant Eugene, aptly located on Peachtree Road, run deep. Named after his grandfather Eugene Holeman, James Beard award-winning owner Chef Hopkins is a 6th generation Atlantan who grew up visiting farms, and learned early on that excellent cooking goes hand in hand with bringing fresh food to the table. Restaurant Eugene's new American cuisine touts a steadfast commitment to sustaining the folks in their own backyard, made only more apparent with the number of farms listed on their website. The highest quality livestock and optimal seasonal produce make the cut for their innovative and fluctuating menu. Diverse dishes include early summer zucchini to Georgia Mountain trout to meats of the most adventurous nature (think sweetbreads and sorghum glazed pork belly).

Marcus joins Chef Hopkins and the talented Eugene team tonight to execute a demo dinner full of amazing food and invigorating talks on Yes, Chef. Make sure to stay tuned for the evening's pictures and updates on Twitter @MarcusCooks.

Photo courtesy of Beall & Thomas Photography