The 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.
The 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
CAPE MAY COUNTY
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
DELAWARE COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA
Cathryn Clements, Media—Bronze, Baking & Pastry
MONTOMERY COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA
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 firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.atlantic.edu/aca.
Spring classes begin Tuesday, Jan. 17. Seats and scholarships are available. To register, call Valerie Weller at 609-343-4944.