Zabar's is a proud sponsor of C-CAP's programs (Careers through Culinary Arts Program) and is a believer in its mission and its students. C-CAP works with public schools across the country to prepare high school students for career opportunities in the restaurant and hospitality industry. Since 1990 C-CAP has awarded students $34 million in scholarships. For more information visit www.ccapinc.org. We have been fortunate to have worked many years with C-CAP, including the great series of cooking demonstrations and tastings at Zabar’s.
Chef Mehdi Chellaoui
Chocolatier, Mehdi Chellaoui started working with chocolate in the bustling pastry kitchen of Le Cirque 2000 at the age of 16 under the guidance of master chocolatier Jacques Torres. Since then, Mehdi has graduated from the Culinary Institute of America, and went on to work at Jean Georges, Aureole, La Cote Basque, Payard Patisserie, and has served as the private chef to fashion and hip hop mogul Sean Combs. Mehdi and his designs have been showcased on the runway at New York City's Chocolate Fashion Show and was featured in Martha Stewart Living, Gourmet, and Vogue magazines. He currently is the chocolatier at Dork Chocolate.
Chef Carla Contreras
I have cooked for what feels like my entire life. My family had a garden and we shopped at the farmers market every Saturday. We also went to the fish market, butcher and my favorite—the bakery. We’d eat the middle out of the hot Italian bread before we even got home.
Food is love and coming from an Italian family it is more than love—it’s life. Becoming a chef was a natural extension of who I am. I studied Culinary at Johnson and Wales University in Providence, RI. I also completed my Master’s in Food Management from New York University. I’ve worked in kitchens in NYC, Boston and San Diego. And I made the shift to private cheffing in 2009, after working as the New York Culinary Coordinator for the non-profit organization C-CAP.
In addition to private cheffing, I started my certificate in Holistic Health Counseling at the Integrative Institute for Nutrition, which I will complete Fall 2011. My focus has become cooking really flavorful, healthy foods with four-star quality.
Chef Carla Contreras