And the Award Goes to… The Winners of the 2018 Nationwide C-CAP Meatless Monday Recipe Competition

February 26th, 2018

High school students from underserved communities aspiring to become future celebrity chefs faced a competitive challenge recently in the nationwide 2018 Careers through Culinary Arts Program (C-CAP) Meatless Monday Recipe Contest. The challenge: create an original, innovative meatless grains dish and impress a distinguished panel of judges.

Emily Havey

The winner of the Grand Prize Scholarship for $5,000 to attend college to study the culinary arts is Emily Havey, a 12th grader from Perry High School in Gilbert, Arizona, for her Farro and Black Bean Soup. Regional winners received $2,000 scholarships to attend college for culinary education.

C-CAP is the national leader providing scholarships, education, and career opportunities in the culinary arts to underserved youth.  Meatless Monday encourages people to make positive changes in their diet simply by choosing not to eat meat one day a week.

Chef, restaurateur, and author Marcus Samuelsson, a C-CAP board co-chair, said, “We’re thrilled to announce the winners of 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.”

Judges evaluated the recipe submissions based on originality, flavor, healthfulness, ease of preparation, and writing ability.

In addition to Chef Samuelsson, the other celebrity judges included New York-based Maria Loi who sees the winning students as “our culinary future!”  Loi, the global ambassador of Greek gastronomy, elected by the Chef’s Club of Greece, is executive chef of Loi Estiatorio, author, restaurateur, entrepreneur, and philanthropist.

Rich Landau, chef and co-owner of Vedge in Philadelphia, a cookbook author, and a pioneer of the modern plant-based dining experience, said, “I have to say that I was very impressed and very proud of these students for their culinary achievements.”

Also on the judging panel were Brother Luck, C-CAP alum, chef and owner of IV by Brother Luck in Colorado Springs; Nicole Langone Scarangello, C-CAP alumna, director of Menu Management, New York City Department of Education School Food.

Through the recipe competition, Meatless Monday offers the opportunity to both junior and senior C-CAP high school students a chance to demonstrate their creative culinary talents and create an original meatless 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 also promoted the health and environmental benefits of offering meatless dishes, one day a week.

Regional winners of $2,000 scholarship:


Jada Harris, 12th Grade, Lindblom Math and Science Academy

Quinoa Stuffed Portobello Mushroom with a White Wine Sauce and Garlic Lemon Arugula



Kalonji Hodges, 11th Grade, Crossland High School (Temple Hills, MD)

Quinoa Breaded Eggplant Parm



India Ayala, 12th Grade, Virginia Beach Technical and Career Center

Roasted Root Veggies & Barley Pastelón



Graciella Dizon, 11th Grade, Nathaniel Narbonne Senior High School

Mushroom Quartet Farrotto



Gabriella Perez, 11th Grade, Food and Finance High School

Sauté Veggie Whole Grain Lasagna with Toasted Quinoa



Jasurbek Ochilov, 11th Grade, Swenson Arts & Technology High School

Grechka with Creamy Mushroom Gravy