Academy of Culinary Arts Awards Medals To New Chefs at Dec. 21 Ceremony

group of student chefs smilingThe Academy of Culinary Arts awarded culinary medals and certificates to 31 new chefs and baking and pastry professionals prepared with the latest culinary knowledge on Wednesday, Dec. 21.

Seventeen graduates honed their skills in the Academy’s Culinary Arts program, and 12 completed the Baking and Pastry program. One short-term specialization certificate in Baking and Pastry was awarded, as well as one short-term specialization certificate in Food Service Management.

The awards ceremony was held in Atlantic Cape Community College’s Walter Edge Theater on the Mays Landing Campus, and honored the graduates with gold, silver or bronze medals or certificates based on their grade point averages and criteria established by the American Culinary Federation. Specialization graduates received certificates of completion. A reception at Careme’s, the on-campus, student-run gourmet restaurant, followed the ceremony.

David DiCesare of Cherry Hill was named valedictorian and winner of the Nathan Schwartz Award, which is presented to the top student of each graduating class.

man speaking at podiumThe keynote speaker was Peter Anthony Caporilli, Chambellan Provincial of Mid-Atlantic Region Chaine des Rotisseurs, and founder and CEO of Tidewater Workshop, the highest-grossing manufacturer and direct marketer of cedar lifestyle furnishings in the United States of America. Caporilli advised graduates, “You are the professionals and have a high-profile role in our culture. You can use your degree to have an impact on issues in our society like childhood obesity and diabetes. Be our teachers; you are our future.”

Gabrielle Sceia, Allison Ebner and Danielle Ziegler were recognized for their roles as officers of the Culinary Student Association and Baking and Pastry Club.

Chef Kelly McClay, Academy of Culinary Arts dean, closed the ceremony by encouraging students to continue their education both in the classroom and on the job. “Become a lifelong learner–knowledge helps us become better leaders. Never burn a bridge and always give 100 percent.”


Honorees, their hometowns (by county) and their awards are:



Tierney Adamson, Northfield—Silver, Culinary Arts

Thomas Anastasia, Brigantine—Silver, Culinary Arts

Tara Ciambrone, Egg Harbor Township—Silver, Baking & Pastry

Nichole Dillihay, Galloway—Bronze, Culinary Arts

Vivianna Nguyen, Galloway—Silver, Baking & Pastry

Dorcas Olanrewaju, Mays Landing—Certificate, Food Service Management

William Phillips, Galloway—Bronze, Culinary Arts

Ariana Robertson, Estell Manor—Gold, Baking & Pastry

Gabrielle Sceia, Hammonton—Silver, Culinary Arts

Dylan Siegel, Linwood—Silver, Culinary Arts

Julianna Torres, Egg Harbor—Silver, Culinary Arts



Allen Davis, Riverside ­—Silver, Culinary Arts


David DiCesare, Cherry Hill­ —Gold, Culinary Arts

Allison Ebner, Atco—Bronze, Culinary Arts

Abigail Evelo, Voorhees—Bronze, Baking & Pastry

Taylor Legault, Blackwood—Certificate, Baking & Pastry Specialization

Eduardo Miranda, Winslow—Certificate, Culinary Arts



Alexa Harrison, Sea Isle City—Silver, Baking & Pastry



Erin Doyle, Williamstown—Silver, Baking & Pastry

Justin Gahagan, Sewell—Bronze, Culinary Arts

Carole Trace, Malaga—Silver, Baking & Pastry

Danielle Ziegler, Franklinville—Gold, Baking & Pastry



Brittany Carter, Barnegat—Bronze, Baking & Pastry

Paul Gentile, Little Egg Harbor—Bronze, Culinary Arts

Claire Murphy, Waretown—Silver, Baking & Pastry

David Vertino, Manchester Twp.—Gold, Culinary Arts

David Smith, Waretown—Gold, Culinary Arts

Peter Sroczynski, Barnegat—Bronze, Culinary Arts

Tiffany Teufel, Waretown—Bronze, Baking & Pastry


Cathryn Clements, Media—Bronze, Baking & Pastry


Seth DiMartelli, Bala Cynwyd—Bronze, Culinary Arts

The Academy of Culinary Arts at Atlantic Cape Community College recently was ranked the No. 1 culinary school in New Jersey by Best Choice Schools.

The ACA has been training future chefs for more than 30 years, and is accredited by the American Culinary Federation. For more information about the ACA, call 1-800-645‑CHEF, email or visit

Spring classes begin Tuesday, Jan. 17. Seats and scholarships are available. To register, call Valerie Weller at 609-343-4944.

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