Mentorship Matters

Joyce Appelman C-CAP

Anyone who has had a mentor will tell you that it changes your life; sometimes in ways you never imagined.

Four years from the time they first met, C-CAP alums Brother Luck and Oliver Malcolm have just embarked on a new adventure as mentor and mentee: the Avero Restaurant Experience. But it all started in 2011 when C-CAP Chicago alum Oliver Malcolm answered an ad for cooks on Craigslist. “It was rather vague,” he recalls, “so I didn’t really know what I was going in for.” On the day of the interview, Oliver shows up to the appointed building (20 minutes early, as per his C-CAP training), rides the elevator up, and finds himself facing a large frosted glass door reading “World of Whirlpool.” Am I in the right place?, he thinks. Should I just go home? Little does he know that behind that door sits a chef who will change his life and his career forever. He gathers his confidence, goes through those glass doors, and announces himself for his interview. Behind the interview table is C-CAP Arizona alum and World of Whirlpool Food & Beverage Director Brother Luck.

“I had seen on his resume that he was a C-CAP alum, so I was interested in him right away,” remembers Brother. “Being part of C-CAP and having been mentored from the beginning by my teacher Jim Holman and C-CAP’s founder Richard Grausman gave me the skills and the confidence I needed to succeed. This was an opportunity to pass that on.” After a long conversation, he hired Oliver and became his mentor.

“He taught me to play ‘chess and not checkers’ in how I think about my life,” Oliver says fondly. “He taught me to think strategically and set up for older Oliver. In the kitchen, he gave me an appetite for learning, and for pushing myself; he said it was his job to make me better for when he wasn’t around. He taught me that you always need people who will bring you to the next level.”

Women’s Foodservice Forum February 2019 728×90

Opportunities for mentorship and bringing people to the next level? Sounds like a job for C-CAP and Avero!

For the second year running, Avero, the leading provider of web-based and mobile business intelligence and analytical applications for the hospitality industry, has provided a C-CAP hospitality student and his or her mentor with the amazing opportunity to come to New York City for a four-day immersion trip into the food and beverage industry. Oliver and Brother were selected from a competitive pool of C-CAP alums and their chef-mentors. Oliver Malcolm is a 2007 recipient of a C-CAP scholarship to the Restaurant School at Walnut College, and is currently pursuing his Bachelors at Kendall College. Brother is a 2001 recipient of a C-CAP scholarship to the Art Institute of Phoenix, and is currently Executive Chef and Owner of Brother Luck Street Eats in Colorado Springs. After Brother learned that he and Oliver had been selected for the experience, he had this to say: “It’s pretty great to be a part of a program that changes lives everyday with food and education. I received my C-CAP scholarship 15 years ago, and they’re still providing me tools to be successful. Thank you, C-CAP and Avero!”

Oliver and Brother’s Restaurant Experience included tours and meals at The Nomad, Baccarat Hotel, Reynard, Brooklyn Bowl, Union Square Greenmarket, Eataly, The Smith and Rebelle, just to name a few. At Gabriel Kreuther’s eponymous restaurant Gabriel, Chef Gabriel sat down with the C-CAP Avero group over food and champagne for four hours (!), chatting and answering questions. It was a night that Brother and Oliver both swear they will never forget.

In addition to the amazing restaurants that Avero exposed them to, Brother and Oliver also had one-on-one time in the office with the Avero team, including Founder and CEO Damian Mogavero, learning about how their products work and receiving career advice. “Learning about these new tools and what they can do really sparked new motivation within me. It was incredible to see the scope of who is using their products already,” remarked Brother. “Plus, Damian is a great motivational speaker. I feel like he opened so many doors for me, both in my mind and in the industry.” C-CAP is so grateful to our friends at Avero for giving our alums this remarkable experience!

Brother Luck has a fitting motto: “Luck is what happens when opportunity meets preparation.” With the contacts Brother and Oliver have made, we have no doubt that opportunity will come knocking. And these culinarians will be more than


Joyce Appelman
Joyce Appelman is the Director of Public Relations and Special Events for Total Food Service and previously the National Communications Director for C-CAP, Careers through Culinary Arts Program. An industry leader supporting education and scholarships, she has been instrumental in opening career opportunities for many young people in the foodservice industry. Email her at