Awards honour industry experts at culinary arts benefit

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Past CEO and Chairman of Time Warner Dick Parsons and Executive Chef and Restaurateur Alexander Smalls praised at Chelsea Piers' Pier Sixty at the Annual Benefit for Careers through Culinary Arts Program (C-CAP), which is celebrating their quarter century of transforming lives with the art of cooking. Smalls and Parsons are associates in the Harlem bistro Minton's and the newly honoured Best New Restaurant in America by Esquire Magazine, The Cecil. Funds raised will help C-CAP's courses offering education, scholarships, and work opportunities in the culinary arts to deprived youth.

Attendees may transition around different tables, tasting luxurious cuisine, introduced by an exclusive lineup of 42 of the city's top star chefs, including Michael White of Marea, Daniel Boulud of Daniel, Bryce Shuman of Betony, and Dan Barber of Blue Hill, along with C-CAP alumni Cesar Gutierrez of Lexington Brass and Veronica Rivera of Restaurant Marc Forgione. Cooking together with the chefs will be in excess of 60 NYC C-CAP secondary school pupils and alumni, eager to place their mark on the culinary community.

Being this season's honorees, Smalls and Parsons will be given the C-CAP Honors Award. Prior winners consist of: Marcus Samuelsson, Daniel Boulud, Lidia Bastianich, Charlie Palmer, Thomas Keller, Danny Meyer & Michael Romano, Michael White, Alfred Portale, Jacques Pepin, Michael McCarty, Tony May, Michael Lomonaco, Egidiana & Sirio Maccioni, Nina & Tim Zagat, Drew Nieporent, and Stanley Zabar & Saul Zabar.

The co-hosts for this year's gala are Vincent Mai, Chairman and CEO of Cranemere, LLC and Alberto Cribiore, Vice Chairman of Citigroup. The Vice Chairs are Mark Weiss, and Richard and Susan Grausman, and the Chef Chair will be Marcus Samuelsson. CBS2 NY News Anchorman Maurice DuBois will be the MC. The activities will include a live auction and a silent auction led by Jamie Ritchie, CEO and President of Sotheby's Wine.

"C-CAP is celebrating 25 years of transforming lives with the culinary arts and this benefit is essential in aiding our objective of giving education, scholarships, and career opportunities to disadvantaged youth interested in pursuing careers in the restaurant and foodservice industry," stated C-CAP's President Susan Robbins. "This milestone anniversary is marked by C-CAP's dedication and commitment to helping thousands of certified learners across the nation, from culinary education in high schools to job posting support upon graduating. We are proud to know that we have granted more than $43 million in grants and will continually nurture the next generation of star chefs.".

"We are thrilled to praise Alexander and Dick for their amazing achievements and contributions to the culinary arts industry and their devotion to culinary invention," said Richard Grausman, C-CAP's Chairman and Founder. "I never dreamed that my idea in 1990 to teach French cooking in twelve New York City public schools will become the success it is right now. We currently have thousands of C-CAP graduates across the globe exhibiting the genuine potential in everyone and influencing the lives of a brand new generation of chefs. I'm so happy with each one of our students -- they continuously astonish me every day.".

Parsons is the Sr. Consultant of Providence Equity and Chairman of the boards of the Jazz Foundation of America and the Apollo Theater. Smalls, a staple on the NYC hospitality market, has a legendary reputation of accommodating the tastes buds of the city's lobbyists. Their dining establishments, The Cecil and Minton's, were inspired by Smalls' travel and study of the African Diaspora, presenting an international experience in tastes and flavors as distinct and dynamic as the Harlem neighborhood in which they reside.