Arizona Students win over $500,000 in Culinary Scholarships


March 16, 2014, Careers through Culinary Arts Program (C-CAP) Arizona held the annual Awards Breakfast where Arizona culinary students are awarded scholarships.  C-CAP Founder Richard Grausman, C-CAP President Susan Robbins and C-CAP Arizona Director Jill Smith awarded $500,000 in scholarships and cash awards to thirty high school seniors during the awards ceremony hosted by the Westin Kierland Resort in Scottsdale.

Former Arizona Cardinals and Buffalo Bills player, John Fina, presented the NFL Fuel Up to Play 60 and Dairy Council of Arizona $5,000 scholarship to Alhambra High School senior Noel Renteria. Students from Glendale, Mesa, Phoenix and Surprise were among the winners at the event. Local competitors Christopher Owens, North High School was awarded the CIA Full-Tuition Scholarship for the Associates and a CIA Community College Stipend valued at $51,800; Courtney Clardy was awarded the Art Institute of Phoenix Scholarship valued at $50,000 and Emily Spriet of the East Valley Institute of Technology (EVIT) received the Art Institute of Colorado Full-Tuition Scholarship for the Associates valued at $43,830. Gustavo Alegria of North High School was awarded a full-tuition scholarship to Classic Cooking Academy in Scottsdale. Michael Ritcheson of Glendale High School won a partial-tuition scholarship to the Arizona Culinary Institute supplemented by a James Beard Foundation Scholarship and employment at the Westin Kierland Resort & Spa.

Scholarships awarded ranged in value from $2,000 to $104,000 to attend local culinary schools and some of the most prestigious culinary schools in the country including: the Culinary Institute of America (CIA), Johnson & Wales University, Monroe College, the International Culinary Schools at the Art Institutes, Le Cordon Bleu, Arizona Culinary Institute. Students also received scholarships from organizations including ACF Chefs Association of Arizona and Les Dames d’Escoffier Phoenix Chapter, Slow Food, Mark Tarbell Scholarship and Sanctuary on Camelback Mountain Scholarship, C-CAP/American Institute of Cancer Research Super Foods Dessert Contest Scholarship.

Some students also received cash awards to help defray the costs of books, supplies, housing, and other expenses while at community college or another culinary school.

In addition, employment opportunities were awarded from Canyon Ranch and Westin Kierland Resort and Spa.

On March 16 at Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts, 30 finalists representing Arizona public high schools competed against the clock when (C-CAP) re-created the intensity of a four-star restaurant kitchen for the high school seniors to face off in a savory and sweet challenge. Within a two-hour time limit, each competitor prepared from memory, a two-course French meal — Sûpreme Poulet Chasseur avec Pommes Château (Hunter’s Chicken with Turned, Sautéed Potatoes) and Crêpes Sucrées with Crème Pâtissière and Sauce au Chocolat (Dessert Crepes with Pastry Cream and Chocolate Sauce).

The students were then judged on the presentation of the dishes, knife skills, techniques in the kitchen, taste, sanitary food handling, and timeliness by professionals working in the industry including:

· Glenn Humphrey, C.E.C., C.C.E., Arizona Culinary Institute
· Brian Dragos, E.C., Nestle Food Service
· Alan Zeman, Rational USA
· Silvana Salcido Esparza, Barrio Cafe/Barrio Queen
· Amy Binkley, Binkley’s/Cafe Bink
· Frank Belosic and Lee Hillson, The Phoenician
· Jared Porter, The Parlor
· Jelani Port, private chef
· Lenard Rubin, The Wigwam Resort

· Christopher Masco, The Westin Kierland Resort & Spa
· Howard Pierceall, CEC, Sysco
· Richard Grausman, Founder of C-CAP and Susan Robbins, President of C-CAP

The C-CAP Cooking Competitions for Scholarships are the culmination of the C-CAP year-long program for underserved teenagers at risk of leaving high school without job or college prospects. The C-CAP program offers direction, a set of useful skills, scholarships, and the potential for a fulfilling career in a growing industry.



Casa Grande High School CAVIT

Eyrricka Prescott, Monroe College Full-Tuition for the Bachelors, $48,192
Mykel Zankl, C-CAP Education Scholarship, $2,000
Vista Grande High School CAVIT

Kenny Wietholter, Lee Hillson Scholarship, $4,000

Flagstaff High School CAVIAT

Emma Frain, Johnson & Wales Full-Tuition Scholarship for the Bachelors, $104,448

Perry High School

Zackariah Giusti, Beau MacMillan Scholarship, $4,000

Cactus High School West-MEC

Caroline Reilly, Art Institute of Las-Vegas Half-Tuition Scholarship for the Associates ($26,145), C-CAP Education Scholarship ($1,000), Total: $27,145
Glendale High School West-MEC

Jaycob Evans, Heavy Medal Scholarship, $3,000
Michael Ritcheson, Arizona Culinary Institute Partial-Tuition Scholarship ($5,000), James Beard Foundation Scholarship ($3,750), Employment at Westin Kierland Resort and Spa, Total: $8,750

Maricopa High School CAVIT

Jessica Stansbery, Central Arizona Presidential Scholarship ($2,000), C-CAP/AICR Super Foods Dessert Contest Scholarship – 3rd Place ($2,000), Getting Our Just Desserts Scholarship ($2,500), Total: $6,500

Canyon del Oro High School Pima Co JTED

Nichole Carpenter, Art Institute of Tucson Full-Tuition Scholarship for the Associates, $43,290

Payson High School NAVIT

Levii Lopez, Le Cordon Bleu Full-Tuition Scholarship for the Certificate, $19,200
Autumn Parrish, Le Cordon Bleu Full-Tuition for the Associates, $36,200

Liberty High School West-MEC

Samantha Rudolph, C-CAP Education Scholarship, $2,000
Katie Watson, Mark Tarbell Scholarship, $2,000

Alhambra High School

Noel Renteria, Fuel Up to Play 60 Scholarship, $5,000

Courtney Clardy, Art Institute of Phoenix Scholarship, $50,000
Michelle Gero, Arizona Culinary Institute Partial-Tuition Scholarship ($5,000), EVIT Mystery Chef Scholarship ($4,000), Total: $9,000
Emily Spriet, Art Institute of Colorado Full-Tuition Scholarship for the Associates, $43,830
Metro Tech

Brenda Fernandez, Sanctuary on Camelback Mountain Scholarship, $4,000
Ernesto Gutierrez, ACF Chefs Association of Arizona Scholarship, $3,000
Joselyn Iniguez-Gonzalez, C-CAP Education Scholarship, $3,000

Gustavo Alegria, Classic Cooking Academy Full-Tuition Scholarship, $15,000
North Canyon West-MEC

Christopher Owens, CIA Full-Tuition Scholarship for the Associates ($51,800), CIA Community College Stipend ($750), Total: $52,550
South Mountain

Margie Ortega, C-CAP Education Scholarship, $2,000
Washington West-MEC

Sarah Cotten, Barbara Fenzl Scholarship, $3,000


Andrew Hills, C-CAP Education Scholarship (in Honor of Barbara Colleary), $2,000

Valley Vista West-MEC

Logan Murphy, Heavy Medal Scholarship, $4,000

Flowing Wells Pima Co JTED

Sulema Contreras, C-CAP Education Scholarship, $2,000
Santa Rita JTED

Jason Garcia, C-CAP Education Scholarship (in Memory of Tracy Fierros), Canyon Ranch Employment, $2,000
Debra Kitchens, Les Dames d’Escoffier Phoenix Chapter ($2,000), Slow Food Scholarship ($1,000), Employment in Tucson area restaurant, Total: $3,000

Source: C-CAP, INC