For Immediate Release: July 14, 2016
AICR Contact: 800-843-8114 or

High School Students Win AICR Scholarships for Healthy, Cancer-Protective Appetizers

WASHINGTON, DC — Three high-school seniors have been awarded $10,000 in scholarships for culinary school by the American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR) in the 2016 AICR/C-CAP Small Plates Recipe Contest. The contest is a national competition sponsored by the Careers through Culinary Arts Program (C-CAP) and AICR to inspire budding chefs to create delicious dishes that are also cancer-protective.

The winners developed an appetizer that met AICR’s evidence-based guidelines on eating for lower cancer risk – highlighting fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans and other cancer-protective plant foods.
2016 ccap winners
“Our unique role in this contest is to really bring a focus on cancer prevention. This is a great educational opportunity for young chefs, who have an interest in healthy meals,” said Alice Bender, MS, RDN, AICR’s Head of Nutrition Programs. “The students show that healthy food can be delicious, beautiful, and innovative.”

Hannah Herrera, of Maricopa High School in Maricopa, Arizona, won first place with her Furikake Crusted Cod with Ponzu Vinaigrette recipe. She was awarded a $5000 scholarship and will attend the Art Institute of Las Vegas in the Fall.

“My inspiration came from my willingness to create something different, but yet still stick to my roots and maintain a very elegant dish,” said Herrera. “I learned [that] to make a dish so healthy yet flavorful, it takes some research outside of the kitchen as well as in.”

Jordyn Bray, of Kellam High School in Hampton Roads, VA, came in second place for a $3000 scholarship with her Root Vegetable Soup with Toasted Almond Gremolata. Third place and a $2000 scholarship was awarded to Samantha Gaytan, from the Los Angeles Center for Enriched Studies in Los Angeles, California, for her Grilled Vegetable Salad with Asian Dressing.

C-CAP provides scholarships, education, and career opportunities in the culinary arts for underserved youth. “Many young people today suffer from illnesses resulting from poor nutrition and being unaware about healthy eating,” said Susan Robbins, C-CAP President. “Part of our mission is to educate our C-CAP students on these issues, and provide them with the tools and opportunities to encourage healthy lifestyles and be the ambassadors of this message in their communities. We are proud to partner with AICR in this effort.”

In the AICR/C-CAP Recipe Contest, now in its fourth year, AICR awards scholarships to the top three dishes that feature a variety of plant-based foods and meet AICR recipe guidelines. Diets high in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, spices, and many other plant foods can help lower cancer risk, as shown in AICR research.

A panel of judges chose the winners based on originality, flavor, healthfulness, ease of preparation, and writing.

For the three winning recipes, along with past winners, visit

Editor's Notes:
Judges for the 2016 AICR/C-CAP Recipe Contest were:
    •    Dana Jacobi, Cookbook Author and nationally syndicated Food Columnist
    •    Scott Uehlein, VP Product Innovation and Development, Sonic
    •    Melanie Young,Author/Radio Host/Health Coach & Motivator

For the information, visit

C-CAP is a national non-profit that transforms lives of at-risk students through the culinary arts and prepares them for college and careers in the restaurant and hospitality industry. Since its inception in 1990, C-CAP has awarded $50 million in scholarships, provided job training and internships, college and lifetime career support, teacher training and product and equipment donations to classrooms. C-CAP works with over 17,000 students nationwide. Through C-CAP’s efforts, a large percentage of its students find rewarding careers in the foodservice and hospitality industry with many alumni, now graduates of top culinary schools, working in leading restaurants and hotels throughout the country. C-CAP was founded by Richard Grausman, renowned cookbook author and culinary educator. Its President is Susan Robbins, and its Board of Directors is led by award-winning chef, restaurateur and author Marcus Samuelsson and Mark Weiss, Chief Investment Officer of RFR Holding LLC. For more information, visit

AICR funds cutting-edge research that finds links between everyday lifestyle choices and the prevention and survival of cancer. AICR also empowers individuals to make healthier choices to reduce the risk of cancer through outreach and partnerships, such as this one.

AICR provides tips, guidance and support to help you change your life for lower cancer risk.

Follow AICR on twitter @aicrtweets for the latest on cancer prevention research and resources.

About AICR

Our Vision: We want to live in a world where no one develops a preventable cancer.

Our Mission: The American Institute for Cancer Research champions the latest and most authoritative scientific research from around the world on cancer prevention and survival through diet, weight and physical activity, so that we can help people make informed lifestyle choices to reduce their cancer risk.

We have contributed over $108 million for innovative research conducted at universities, hospitals and research centers across the country. Find evidence-based tools and information for lowering cancer risk, including AICR’s Recommendation for Cancer Prevention, at