Monday, February 28, 2011

C-CAP Volunteering

I had quite the eventful Wednesday last week. Just when I came down off my ICA high, I went directly back up when I arrived to volunteer at the C-CAP event down at Chelsea Piers that evening. C-CAP, or Careers through Culinary Arts Program, is a fantastic organization that takes underprivileged youth and trains them in the culinary world in hopes to help change their lives and give them a focus, direction, and future. Clearly, I don't need to explain what a connection I feel to a charity like this. When my friend told me about C-CAP back in December, she'd also told me that they do an annual benefit each year in February and that she'd keep me on the radar to volunteer. You can imagine how pumped up I was when I got the email confirming my spot as 'goodie bag distributor'. I'd also given the organizer Allison's information in case they had an extra spot and she totally got confirmed, too. So fun!

This year, the benefit was honoring the wonderful Michael Lomonaco which is a treat, in itself:
When we got down to Chelsea Piers, everything was just beautiful. They had a red carpet and all that fun stuff. We met up with the guy heading up the goodie bag stuff and he literally was like you girls go tour the room and get food! Um, we didn't argue. Some of the participating chefs are the best in Manhattan and it was absolutely awesome seeing such gorgeous presentations and such unique items. We couldn't possibly try everything (well, we could have but...) so below is what we did enjoy and where from:

Osteria Morini - Chef Michael White
Parmigiano sformato with porcini ragu

Buddakan - Chefs Yang Huang and Brian Ray
Tuna tartare spring rolls

Southgate - Chef Kerry Heffernan (the nicest man in history)
Flan of buttercup squash, roast brussels sprout and prosciutto

Blue Hill - Chef Dan Barber
Forono beets with buttermilk and horseradish yogurt

Primehouse NY - Chef Brian O'Donohue
Butternut squash bisque with porcini mushroom and duck prosciutto

Felidia - Chef Fortunato Nicotra
Baby beets with pickled cranberries, mustard seeds and local camembert

Daniel - Chefs Daniel Boulud and Dominique Ansel
Jivara chocolate mousse with espresso biscuit and aerated chocolate

Olives - Chef Alfred Stephens
Candied butternut squash float

Without a doubt, the flan from Southgate and float from Olives completely blew me away. I haven't tasted something as good as those two things in ages and meeting Cheff Kerry from Southgate was a true pleasure and highlight. I'm really excited to go eat there very soon!

The entire evening was lovely and our actual "work" time was literally about twenty minutes. They had enough volunteers where our shifts were a piece of cake and we really just got to enjoy the event. :) It was also another chance to meet people and keep my face in the culinary game, so to speak. Each experience just moves me farther along so what a blessing and total gift from god. Onward and upward I continue to go!

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