Academy of Culinary Arts Awards Medals, Certificates to New Chefs
December 20, 2007
The Academy of Culinary Arts at Atlantic Cape Community College awarded culinary medals and certificates to more than 30 new chefs and baking and pastry professionals prepared with the latest culinary knowledge on Thursday, Dec. 20.
Seventeen graduates honed their skills in the Academy's Culinary Arts program, and six completed the Baking and Pastry program. Ten students completed short-term, specialized training to earn certificates in Baking and Pastry, Catering, Food Service Management and Hot Food.
The awards ceremony, held in the college's Walter Edge Theater, 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. Robert Harre, '83 ACA of Seaville, was the guest speaker. He is vice president and co-founder of Stockmasters, which markets its product line as Stuffin Gourmet on QVC. A reception at Careme's, the on-campus, student-run gourmet restaurant, followed the ceremony.
Mary Ellen Parfinik of Jackson was named valedictorian and winner of the Nathan Schwartz Award, which is presented to the top student of each graduating class. Edward J. Soehngen Jr. of Little Egg Harbor was salutatorian.
Honorees, their hometowns (by county) and their awards are:
Anthony Bell, Smithville-Bronze, Culinary Arts
Matthew Berardi, Somers Point-Silver, Culinary Arts and Hot Food Specialization
Daniel Burga, Pleasantville-Food Service Management and Catering specializations
Anthony Cekada, Somers Point-Silver, Culinary Arts
Denise Conover, Ventnor-Certificate, Baking and Pastry Specialization
Rebecca Leon, Absecon-Certificate, Culinary Arts
Daniel Ocampo, Mays Landing-Food Service Management Specialization
Jennifer Quig, Brigantine-Bronze, Baking and Pastry
Laurie Zimmerman, Landisville-Silver, Culinary Arts
Christopher Zolda, Hammonton-Certificate, Culinary Arts, Hot Food Specialization
Holly Bloodworth, Medford Lakes-Baking and Pastry Specialization
Noel Bloodworth, Medford Lakes-Bronze, Culinary Arts
Shakur Burton, Pemberton-Bronze, Culinary Arts
Melanie DiGiacomo, New Gretna-Silver, Baking and Pastry
Kristin Guerina, Medford-Baking and Pastry Specialization
Shane Menzel, Marlton-Silver, Culinary Arts
Josh Williams, Marlton-Bronze, Culinary Arts
Joseph Nicoletta, Cape May Court House-Silver, Culinary Arts
Julia Pearce, Ocean View-Silver, Baking and Pastry
Robert Quirk, Petersburg-Silver, Culinary Arts
Michael Inferrera, Millville-Bronze, Culinary Arts
Leighanne Carroll, Mantua-Bronze, Culinary Arts
Lynsey Longwith, Williamstown-Gold, Baking and Pastry
Meaghan Sagers, Wenonah-Bronze, Baking and Pastry
Chris Bolha, Flemington-Silver, Culinary Arts
Karen Kaszuba, Middletown-Baking and Pastry Specialization
Deborah Newmeyer, Barnegat-Certificate, Baking and Pastry Specialization
David Nordfors, Jackson-Hot Food Specialization
Mary Ellen Parfinik, Jackson-Gold, Culinary Arts
Edward J. Soehngen Jr., Little Egg Harbor-Gold, Culinary Arts
Lindley Thacker, Hamburg-Gold, Baking and Pastry
The ACA opened in 1981 on ACCC's Mays Landing Campus to meet the growing needs of the hospitality industry. Full-time classes meet five hours a day, Monday through Friday, in a morning or afternoon session from January through May and August through December. Part-time and evening classes are also available. As part of their training, students operate Careme's, a gourmet restaurant on the college's campus.
Academy graduates can be found in kitchens around the world in major hotel and restaurant chains, while many have gone on to open their own restaurants and catering businesses. For more information on the Academy of Culinary Arts, call 1-800-645‑CHEF, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit the ACA online at http://www.atlantic.edu/aca/.