CAKE Enters FitExpo Anaheim's CHOPed

On August 26th-27th CAKE is heading to Anaheim, CA., for it's annual FitExpo's CHOP'ed contest, sponsored by Vitamix.

The CHOP'ed competition puts 4 inner city teens to the test. With only 15 minutes to work, participants are tasked to create a healthy recipe given only 4 mystery ingredients, plus 6 more pantry items. The challenge: tools are limited to items without heat, such as a Vitamix, knives, and spiralizers.


Winners from the initial challenge move on to Sunday, where they are tasked at crating a re-purposed food or product from their original recipes with only 5 minutes.

Vitamix is donating two machines for the winner to take home.

CAKE Joins "Summer Night Lights"

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Summer Night Lights is a program that aids in building a community and fights against gang activity. The program was launched by the City of Los Angeles Mayor’s Office of Gang Reduction & Youth Development (“GRYD”) and The GRYD Foundation. By giving students activities throughout the summer, GYRD fights against gang violence and the influence of gangs.

Our students were hired as artists to conduct workshops on how to create delicious, and healthy meals throughout the summer. With 2 workshops a night, 200 people per workshop, and events throughout the summer, we're ready to put our culinary skills to the test.

Tonight, to kick of the summer, we will be at Normandie Recreation Center from 8pm-10pm. Join us for the free event!

Serving It Up At City Lights 5K

CAKE team developed line of fresh healthy drinks for City Light's 5K on June 3rd. After the run, U.S. Representative Maxine Waters spoke about "impeaching" President Trump, as our students served drinks to match the mood. Vere offered her our Peach Ginger & Mint beverage, and she loved it!


The Awesome Foundation

The Awesome Foundation - Atlanta Chapter's video explanation of who they are.

The Awesome Foundation - Los Angeles just announced their 10 monthly grant winners, and CAKE is proud to announce that we are one of them. Our innovative program captured the attention of the foundation that gives "no-strings attached" micro-grants, allowing us to fund almost 3 months of culinary programming for 50 students. Thank you so much to The Awesome Foundation for giving us this opportunity!



Healthier You Show cohosts Wendy and Alana discuss Culinary Arts Kids Eat with Chef Melisa Nicola, Chef Lisbeth Caiaffa and Emilio Rivera April 2014

Melisa Nicola
President, Culinary Arts Kids Eat (C.A.K.E); Co-Owner, Nic’s Beverly Hills, Food Ambassador

Melisa Nicola has devoted her life to exposing people to fresh, healthy, delicious food, and her intention is to make that food accessible, affordable and available in every neighborhood. Ms. Nicola has co-owned four restaurants in Los Angeles, California having-thirty years of entrepreneurial experience. Currently she is part of the creative team at Nic’s Beverly Hills overseeing the operations of the business. An opportunity to become an architect of change in an inner city high school was offered to her. She was given the chance to transform lives. Working as a teacher in a south central high school she shared her passion for culinary arts, and through that vehicle educated students- inspiring them through knowledge on the importance of a healthy lifestyle. Ms. Nicola is the president of Culinary Arts Kids Eat, (CAKE) a philanthropic non-profit formed to enrich the lives of kids through the culinary arts. She co-created two pilot programs within L.A.U.S.D both centered on inspiring a healthy change in foods served to teens. Students became the culinary experts and prepared fresh healthy L.A.U.S.D. approved salads for their school. Her work as a food ambassador has continued with The American Heart Association. Here she has co –piloted a curriculum called “Harvest With Heart” teaching life skills to inner city teens. These students are now the vehicle for change and are ambassadors of health.

Lisbeth Caiaffa
Co-Founder, Culinary Arts Kids Eat (C.A.K.E); Teacher, Culinary Arts, Santee Education Complex

Lisbeth Caiaffa is the co-founder of the Culinary Arts Kids Eat (C.A.K.E.) non-profit organization, which was formed to enrich the lives of kids through the culinary arts. Caiaffa is both a trained chef from the Culinary Institute of America as well as a certified Master Gardener through the UC Cooperative Extension Program. In addition to being the Culinary Arts teacher at Santee Education Complex, she also is a private chef through her company, Flavor Organico.

Emilio Rivera
Student ambassador at Santee High School Culinary Arts Kids Eat program, Los Angeles, California

*Bios courtesy of

*Video courtesy of

NBC Los Angeles's Lolita's Lopez & Julie Brayton discusses C.A.K.E.

"As part of a lunch pilot program for the culinary arts, students are making salads from scratch and selling them to other students. "I'm noticing things I never even knew existed," says student Rafael Alvirde. He's part of a group of 80 students at Santee Education Complex who are eating in a whole new way, at school and at home. Lolita Lopez reports from South LA for the NBC4."