Vaca co-owner and chef Amar Santana (on right) is one of the most famous graduates of the Careers through Culinary Arts Program (C-CAP). The nonprofit started in 1990 to help underserved public-school students get into the restaurant industry. “When I became a C-CAP student, I already had a passion for food and cooking—but they opened up a whole new horizon for me that I hadn’t dreamed of,” Santana says. On June 5, South Coast Plaza’s penthouse level will be the site for a C-CAP fundraising event featuring some of the county’s best chefs. Michelin star recipient Tony Esnault (on left) has been a mentor for C-CAP students for years. He and Santana will team to present a four-course meal that night. “C-CAP changes lives—I can vouch for that firsthand,” Santana says.
Number of acclaimed O.C. chefs participating in the fundraiser.
Ross Pangilinan, Nick Weber, John Park, and James Hamamori will create appetizers to go with Santana and Esnault’s dinner.
Price per person for the evening
C-CAP alumni chefs working in O.C.
In addition to Santana, Jayro Martinez, chef de cuisine at Outer Reef in Dana Point, and Ray Alvarez, executive chef of Baja Sharkeez Restaurant Group, came through the C-CAP program.
Number of students served nationally by C-CAP
Amount awarded in scholarships