Newswise — NEW YORK -- High school students from underserved communities aspiring to become future celebrity chefs will face a challenge from the nationwide 2018 Careers through Culinary Arts Program (C-CAP) Meatless Monday Recipe Contest.

“We're thrilled to announce the stellar line-up of chefs on the panel that will judge this year’s recipe contest.  Through this annual contest, culinary students receive guidance from their teachers on recipe writing and development and are able to showcase their talent of creating meatless recipes,” said Marcus Samuelsson, chef, restaurateur, author, Marcus Samuelsson Group, and C-CAP board co-chair.

The challenge: create an innovative meatless grains dish and impress the distinguished panel of judges including:

Rich Landau- Chef/co-owner of Vedge in Philadelphia, chef, cookbook author and a pioneer of the modern plant based dining experience, opened his first restaurant, Horizons, in 1994. He was the winner from Season 15 of Food Network’s Chopped, a finalist multiple times for the James Beard Foundation’s Best Chef Mid Atlantic, twice-named “Best chef in Philadelphia” by Philadelphia Magazine. Landau has co-authored four cookbooks, including the most recent, "Vedge: 100 Plates Large and Small that Redefine Vegetable Cooking.”

Maria Loi - Global ambassador of Greek gastronomy, elected by the Chef's Club of Greece – executive chef of Loi Estiatorio, author, restaurateur, entrepreneur, member of Les Dames d'Escoffier, and philanthropist. Chef Loi is a popular television chef in Greece, the U.S.A, and the author of more than 36 cookbooks, including Ancient Dining, the official cookbook of the Athens 2004 Olympic Games, and her most recent, The Greek Diet.  

Brother Luck- C-CAP alum, chef/owner of IV by Brother Luck in Colorado Springs, a contestant on season 15 of Bravo TV’s Top Chef, winner of Food Network’s Beat Bobby Flay, and a finalist on Food Network’s Chopped “Beast Feast” episode. He participated in C-CAP while attending Metro Tech High School in Phoenix, AZ and was awarded scholarships from C-CAP and The Art Institutes (Best Teen Chef 2001). He was awarded a scholarship to go to Japan to explore Japanese culture and cuisine by The Gohan Society, along with the inaugural The Joyce Chen and Helen Chen Foundation Fund Scholarship, extending his cultural experience into China. He is also Certified Executive Chef through the American Culinary Federation (ACF).

Nicole Langone Scarangello - C-CAP alumna, director of Menu Management, New York City Department of Education School Food. She participated in C-CAP while attending Tottenville High School in Staten Island, was awarded scholarships from C-CAP to study at Le Cordon Bleu, London and a full scholarship to attend The New York City College of Technology in Brooklyn, NY, where she graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Hospitality Management.  Nicole went on and obtained a Master of Science in Nutrition from Brooklyn College and completed her Dietetic Internship there as well.

The judges will evaluate the recipe submissions based on originality, flavor, healthfulness, ease of preparation, and writing ability.

Meatless Monday, an initiative of the nonprofit The Monday Campaigns, which provides research, recipes, educational and promotional materials to help participants live a healthier, more eco-friendly life, is giving C-CAP students another exciting opportunity to win scholarships. The national grand prize winner will receive a scholarship of $5,000, with regional winners receiving $2,000 scholarships.  

Samuelsson added, “C-CAP has an incredible system in place that, through education and training, prepares underserved youth for careers in the professional world of culinary and hospitality. The program is also a huge benefit to the growing market and chefs looking for skilled and motivated talent. We greatly appreciate that The Monday Campaigns is providing our high school students with scholarship opportunities while preparing healthy eating habits.”

The annual recipe contest offers the opportunity to both junior and senior high school students a chance to demonstrate their creative culinary talents and create an original meatless grains recipe. With the Meatless Monday recipe contest, C-CAP is challenging high school students who aspire to be culinary leaders to develop delicious plant-based dishes.  The contest will also make the students aware of the health and environmental benefits of offering meatless dishes, one day a week.  

Meatless Monday is a nonprofit public health initiative founded by Sid Lerner, chairman of The Monday Campaigns, with the Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future. The initiative is in association with the Lerner Centers for Public Health Promotion at Johns Hopkins, Columbia and Syracuse universities.

Co-chaired by chef, author, and restaurateur Marcus Samuelsson, Careers through Culinary Arts Program (C-CAP) is a national non-profit that educates and guides underserved high school students toward a bright future. Through its holistic approach to culinary training and career exploration, C-CAP prepares students for the workplace through chef mentoring, field trips, job shadows, work experience and job skills, and college and career advising. Founded in 1990 by culinary educator and cookbook author Richard Grausman, C-CAP impacts over 17,500 students a year and has also awarded over $53 million in scholarships since its inception. Countless C-CAP alumni work throughout the country and are guiding the future leaders of the culinary and hospitality industry.