On Monday, November 11th, hungry ticket holders flocked into Marcus Samuelsson’s Ginny’s at Red Rooster space to taste gourmet food from C-CAP graduates, enjoy live music, drink at the open bar, and bid on silent auction items throughout the night. It was the C-CAP Junior Benefit, A Taste of Fall.
Every chef presenting at the night’s event was a C-CAP graduate, and it was truly wonderful to see the success of these hardworking young chefs. From smothered meatballs to decadent s’mores cakes, guests ate and drank their fill. In addition, current C-CAP students assisted each chef in preparation and presentation.
The highlight of the night—as well as a meager 4 servings of dessert for me—came from pastry chef Thiago Silva. Kabocha squash cheesecake with concord grape sorbet, pistachio streusel, yuzu curd, and a concord grape blanket. Sound pretentious? It may be, but did it taste incredible! I would never think to pair those ingredients, let alone make such melt-in-your-mouth textures. It was one of the most memorable desserts I’ve ever had, and surely the best dish of the night. A dessert with savory notes that doesn’t taste like a cheese plate. Who knew? Well done, Thiago, well done. No wonder this C-CAP graduate was picked as one of Zagat’s “30 Under 30.”
Sisters Nicole and Alexandra Leavenworth were honored for their dedication to the junior committee. Though the Junior Benefit is delicious, it’s only a teaser for the full-fledged Annual C-CAP Benefit each February/March. Some of the biggest names on the NYC food scene, along with dozens of other chefs, gather to provide incredible small plates for hundreds of attendees. Whether you choose to attend the smaller fall event or the spring blockbuster one, the food, and the purpose, remain amazing.