For the past six years, I’ve been immersing myself in the culinary world to write my first book, Food Whore: A Novel of Dining & Deceit, and my second un-named, un-published book that’s set at a culinary school.
What drew me to the culinary world was the passion. Beyond the hype -- impossible reservations, blog hysteria, Instagram-bait dishes -- the heart of a restaurant is a very simple, very pure goal: to give people a good meal.
So that’s why I’m excited to support C-CAP, an amazing national non-profit that connects those in underserved communities with career opportunities in the restaurant and hospitality industry. In its 25-year history, C-CAP has awarded over $43 million in scholarships, and classrooms have received $3.8 million worth of supplies and equipment.
Culinary school is NOT cheap. And, for underserved youths, it often doesn’t seem like a viable option. C-CAP helps connect talented students with more than a career -- they connect young people with that passion, the thing that makes a restaurant what it is.
I feel very lucky that I’ve had an education that generally matched my goals and temperament. But I also know that the traditional education system isn’t the right fit for everyone. C-CAP makes a culinary career possible -- through scholarships, mentorships, and a strong community of supporters.
That support makes a huge difference, and can set young chefs up for great things in the culinary world. Here’s what Marcus Samuelsson, C-CAP’s co-chairman, says:
“By my second year of high school, where I struggled to pass just the core requirements, my parents and I knew that college wasn't an option. Cooking saved me, figuratively and literally… That's why I'm so passionate about C-CAP, which helps disadvantaged, mainly minority youth where college might not be an option pursue careers in the culinary arts.
Every year, there are one or two kids who have the talent, the skill and the drive to take cooking all the way. Those are the kids who will become the chefs you love tomorrow. You'll eat at their restaurants, buy their cookbooks, revel in the deliciousness that they create and maybe you'll remember that by giving to C-CAP, you actually invested in all that brilliance.”
Please consider donating to this cause!
Click here to read more profiles of C-CAP's alumni.