Iron Student Chefs Announced for Academy of Culinary Arts

Four male culinary students with chef educator

First-place team members from left to right: Amiri Jones of Pleasantville, Mo Llabres, Noah Brent and Kristopher Brown, all of Vineland, with ACA Chef Educator Vincent Tedeschi of Northfield.

Twenty-four culinary students showed their passion for food and competed in the 13th annual Iron Student Chef Competition at the Academy of Culinary Arts located at Atlantic Cape Community College’s Mays Landing Campus, April 24.

At 9:30 a.m. sharp, it was time to start the competition coordinated by ACA Chef Educator Vincent Tedeschi of Northfield. The students were organized into five teams. Their mission: to create four dishes, each incorporating a tightly guarded secret ingredient revealed only minutes before the start of cooking. The teams were given 15 minutes to create recipes and 90 minutes to cook.

The secret ingredient to be included in each team’s four dishes, from appetizers to entrees: ground pork. The teams were given the pork and a variety of other ingredients and told to produce three plates for each dish, one for display, and the others for judging.

aerial view of four white plates with food

The winning team’s dishes.

The first place trophy-winning team included: Kristopher Brown of Vineland, Amiri Jones of Pleasantville, Mo Llabres of Vineland and Noah Brent, also of Vineland. Each teammate received a chef’s knife from Mercer Cutlery.

The second place team, silver medal winners: Maria Summerville of Mays Landing, Jozlyn Rivera of Collingswood, David O’Neill of Barnegat, Brendan O’Brien of Somers Point and Gavin Tarves of Marmora.

The bronze medal, third place team: Briana Husak of Vineland, Samuel Vera of Pleasantville, Jeffrey Slotterback of Egg Harbor Township, Rebecca Leon of Absecon and Ony Randrasana of Cape May.

The winning team’s menu consisted of Steamed Pork Dumplings, Asian Pork Soup, Chilled Pork and Mango Salad and Szechuan Noodle Bowl with a Spicy Pork Sauce.

Chef Michael Brennan of Cardinal Bistro in Ventnor and Chef Christopher Sanchez of Black Eyed Susans in Long Beach Island were this year’s tasting judges. Kitchen judges were ACA Chef Educators Daniel Matt and Michael Huber.

Iron Student Chef 3

Tasting judges Chef Michael Brennan of Cardinal Bistro in Ventnor, left, and Chef Christopher Sanchez of Black Eyed Susans in Long Beach Island, discuss dishes during the 13th annual Iron Student Chef Competition.

Judging was based on a possible 50 points, including 10 points each for flavor, knowledge of item, presentation, originality and sanitation. Teams lost 10 points for lateness and 10 points if kitchen/lab clean up was not satisfactory.

The academy offers two-year degree programs in culinary arts, baking and pastry, and food service management, and specialization programs in hot foods, baking and pastry, food service management and catering.

The academy also offers two one-year certificate programs, Baking and Pastry Certificate I and Culinary Arts Certificate I. These two-semester certificates are designed to provide students with career training for entry-level positions in the baking and pastry or culinary fields. The certificates can also be used as a foundation for completing an associate degree at the Academy of Culinary Arts.

Registration for the fall semester is under way. For more information about the ACA, call 1-800-645‑CHEF, email or visit

See more photos HERE.

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