Bronx high school twins win $30,000 in culinary scholarships

Bronx high school twins win $30,000 in culinary scholarships|Bronx high school twins win $30,000 in culinary scholarships|Bronx high school twins win $30,000 in culinary scholarships
Photo by Jerry Ruotolo Photography|Photo by Jerry Ruotolo Photography|Photo by Jerry Ruotolo Photography

Dedication to the culinary arts and good grades are a recipe for success for two Bronx students, who were winners of a highly-competitive cooking competition.

On Friday, April 17, Careers Through Culinary Arts Program celebrated a recording breaking 25th year in awarding more than $750,000 in culinary scholarships and opportunities to New York public high school students and alumni during its New York Awards Breakfast at the Pierre Hotel.

Harry S. Truman High School honor students and twin sisters, Amia and Araina Chase were declared the Bronx’s 2015 scholarship winners bringing home almost $30,000 in college scholarships.

Amia was awarded the Restaurant School at Walnut Hill Associates Degree Half-Tuition Scholarship for $19,650 while Araina is the proud recipient of the Harlem Jazz Enterprises Scholarship, a $10,000 cash scholarship used to pursue Culinary Arts, Pastry Arts, Nutrition or Hospitality and be applied to Post-Secondary school.

“Our family was ecstatic when they found out that we got our scholarships,” Amia shared. “They were happy to have some financial burden taken off their shoulders for paying for education, and that we would be able to go to good schools and get the education to fulfill our dreams. They’ve already started to talk about the names of our future restaurants.”

The twins admit they were anxious to hear how much their hard work and dedication had paid off and were completely surprised by their accomplishments.

Impressive as their victories are, it has not stopped the girls from striving to achieve even greater within their lives.

“My career goals are to finish culinary school and eventually own my own business and be a personal chef with my own catering business,” Araina revealed.

Amia Chase working diligently on her final dish for C-CAP’s Cooking Competition.
Photo by Jerry Ruotolo Photography

“My top three goals following my scholarship to The Restaurant School at Walnut Hill in Philadelphia is to graduate at the top 10% of my class, travel the world, and gain as much experience as I can,” Amia expressed. “In 10 years, I’ll have started a restaurant with my sister and branching out with my catering business.”

Their inspiration in pursuing culinary arts literally runs in the family which both described as being ‘centered around food’ as well as their older sister, Anjoli, a John & Wales University graduate who shared her culinary knowledge with her younger siblings.

The twins said their C-CAP Competition experience was like working in a real restaurant, sometimes hectic and time consuming, but well worth their participation.

They added the opportunity this competition presented in receiving culinary school scholarships to help pay for their college education was too good to pass up and ultimately inspired them to keep moving forward.

“It was no easy feat I can tell you that, we both worked very hard for these scholarships,” Amia said. “I know it will help me to reach every goal I have set for myself, starting with graduating from college.”

“Positivity and courage are key ingredients to a career in the culinary arts,” Araina shared. “My motto has helped me stay focused and can be used outside of the kitchen, ‘Don’t let anything bring you down and keep working as best as you can’.”

The twins would like to thank their family for being supportive; Jeff Brylski, their high school culinary teacher for coaching them through the competition; every C-CAP donor and supporter for believing in young people when most do not; and especially Richard Grausman, C-CAP founder and Susan Robbins, C-CAP president, for creating and running the Careers Through Culinary Arts Program.

Executive chef of Dos Caminos Ivy Stark mentors Araina Chase.
Photo by Jerry Ruotolo Photography