BY ANGELA MATUA
Queens students were served culinary scholarships and internships from the Careers Through Culinary Arts Program (C-CAP) to pursue careers in the restaurant industry.
C-CAP, a national nonprofit that prepares at-risk high school students for college and careers in the restaurant and hospitality industry, held its New York Awards Breakfast to award high school seniors with scholarships and culinary opportunities on Friday, April 17, at the Pierre Hotel in New York City.
A cooking competition at the International Culinary Institute on Thursday, April 2, finalized the winners. Each student prepared a dish for a panel of judges, which was critiqued on taste and presentation, organization, sanitation, timing and technique.
Two Queens students won the biggest awards of the night — a $100,000 full-tuition scholarship to attend the school of their choice.
Corona resident Darwin Acosta, who is a senior at Food & Finance High School in Manhattan, received a full-tuition scholarship to pursue his associate’s degree at the Culinary Institute of America (CIA).
Acosta’s parents owned a restaurant in Brooklyn and he would often visit the restaurant to help. His passion for the restaurant industry began there and he is now pursuing baking and pastry arts at the CIA and hopes to earn his bachelor’s degree in culinary management.
Long Island City High School student Emily Tepoz will use her scholarship to study at Johnson & Wales University.
Tepoz, who is an East Elmhurst resident, became interested in the culinary arts after her sister told her about a visit Chef Bobby Flay made to Long Island City High School. Tepoz decided to attend the high school for the culinary program and has received real-world experience by working in places like the Union Square Café and Catch Restaurant.
Tepoz will major in baking and pastry management so she can open a pastry shop in the future. She also plans on traveling to “become more familiar with different ingredients and how different regions incorporate them into their food.”
Three other students from Long Island City High School received scholarships and internship opportunities including Daniel Goodridge, who won $58,110 including full tuition to earn his associate’s degree at the Culinary Institute of America.
Leon Joshua Delos Reyes was awarded the Dr. Patricia S. Bartholomew Scholarship, the Daniel Boulud New York City College of Technology Apprenticeship and the Avero Externship. Giovanni Angel Torres received the Jeff Samuels Scholarship and the Daniel Boulud New York City College of Technology Apprenticeship.
Soledad Navarette, a Jackson Heights resident who attends the School of Cooperative Technical Education in Manhattan, won a $37,000 full-tuition scholarship to the Institute of Culinary Education.