As the moon rose above the towering Downtown skyline, Arizona’s Careers through Culinary Arts Program (C-CAP)
students from across the state turned up the heat at Unexpected Art Gallery. With the fourth annual Harvest Moon Feast
in full swing, Arizona’s top chefs and High School protégés put their skills to the test, serving up bites rivaling the art gallery surrounding them. From the Super Harvest VIP Party to the final dessert, the culinary passion was palpable.
The sold-out Super Harvest VIP pre-party warmed up eager diners with premium cocktails, fine wines, and tapas as Alice Cooper’s Solid Rock Foundation teen musician, Lois Zozobrando, crooned through the evening. Guests collected complimentary gift bags and copies of Chef Chris Bianco’s new cookbook to bring along to his onsite book signing. Mingling ensued among Super Harvest attendees with celebrity chef and alum, Brother Luck, of Four by Brother Luck in Colorado Springs and the latest season of Top Chef, and Chef Lee Hillson, of the Sheraton Grand at Wild Horse Pass, both emcees for the evening.
After months of preparation, C-CAP students and their local chef and alumni mentors began chopping, stirring, and searing as guests filtered in for dinner. Music by Jay Allan wafted above the action. Diners leisurely savored dishes by students from as far north as Flagstaff High School to students as far south as Rio Rico High School. A mouth-watering array flavors were served, including Moroccan spiced lamb chops, orange duck barquettes, and smoked prickly pear barbecue glazed ribs – plated to perfection. Plus, a special birthday cake baked by alum, Marcos Seville of Omni Scottsdale at Montelucia, in honor of C-CAP Founder Richard Grausman’s 80thbirthday.
As the last bites were enjoyed and the silent auction offering dream dining out and at-home party packages closed, the People’s Choice Award was presented. With much anticipation, Ganado High School’s cedar-smoked sockeye salmon with amaranth and quinoa salad, wild berry gastrique bison tenderloin with three sisters succotash and blue corn piki bread, and creme brulee fry bread and Navajo tea ice cream with chocolate dusted rose petals for dessert, stole the show. Sponsored by Phoenix Children’s Hospital, the winning team worked in tandem with C-CAP alumna Charlotte Jackson and chef mentors Tuan “Butch” Raphael & Jerald Tso.
This year, the Harvest Moon Feast raised $27,000 in funds that will feed into scholarships for deserving students across the state. C-CAP Arizona alone works with 4,300 students in 50 high schools statewide to prepare them for college and a future in the restaurant and hospitality industry. Some of the most renowned chefs in Arizona are C-CAP alumni and even more serve as mentors for students. Once a student joins C-CAP, they will receive career guidance for life.
Now, after the tables have been cleared, C-CAP Arizona students aren’t taking a break. Across the state, aspiring chefs whisk, chop, and flay their way into Cooking For Scholarships Competition season. To prepare students, C-CAP Arizona has begun holding weekly workshops. EveryTuesday, potential participants have the opportunity to train under the close guidance of C-CAP Arizona’s expert staff. The first round of this highly competitive series will fire up on February 3, 2018 with 150 students vying for the chance to move on to the second round in March.
To find out more about how C-CAP works with students in Arizona and across the country to progress their career paths in the restaurant and hospitality industry, visit www.ccapinc.org.