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ACA Awards Medals to New Chefs; Molecular Gastronomy Expert is Guest Speaker

May 16, 2011

The Academy of Culinary Arts at Atlantic Cape Community College awarded culinary medals and certificates to nearly 60 new chefs and baking and pastry professionals prepared with the latest culinary knowledge on Monday, May 16.

 Twenty-eight graduates honed their skills in the Academy’s Culinary Arts program, and fourteen completed the Baking and Pastry program. Seventeen short-term specialization certificates in Baking and Pastry, Hot Food, Food Service Management and Catering were also awarded.

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. A reception at Careme’s, the on-campus, student-run gourmet restaurant, followed the ceremony.

Reuben Gutierrez of Washington Township, Gloucester County, was named valedictorian and winner of the Nathan Schwartz Award, which is presented to the top student of each graduating class. Joshua Miller of Willingboro received the Culinary Student Association Award for his service as Student Government Association representative for the past two years.

Molecular gastronomy expert Dr. Lynn Hoffman of Philadelphia was the guest speaker. Hoffman joined Atlantic Cape and the ACA this semester as the Beacons by the Sea Visiting Professor.

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


Yousef al-Khattab, Mays Landing—Certificate, Hot Food Specialization

Diego Amaya, Egg Harbor Township—Silver, Culinary Arts

Josiah Andrews, Absecon—Bronze, Culinary Arts

Louis Baez, Hammonton—Bronze, Culinary Arts

Belinda Chester, Egg Harbor City—Certificate, Baking and Pastry, Food Service Management and Catering specializations

David Dobbins, Mays Landing—Certificate, Baking and Pastry Specialization

Shelby Ferguson, Northfield—Silver, Baking and Pastry

Ann Granata, Egg Harbor Township—Certificate, Hot Food Specialization

Darian Henderson, Newtonville—Certificate, Culinary Arts

William Hurst, Egg Harbor Township—Silver, Culinary Arts

Samantha Kingsdorf, Mays Landing—Bronze, Baking and Pastry

Timothy Kirk, Mays Landing—Bronze, Culinary Arts

Isaac Landau, Linwood—Certificate, Baking and Pastry Specialization

Kamall Mason, Egg Harbor Township—Bronze, Culinary Arts

Christina Nguyen, Egg Harbor Township—Gold, Culinary Arts

Jordan Rodriguez, Egg Harbor Township—Certificate, Culinary Arts

Nydia Rodriguez, Egg Harbor Township—Silver, Culinary Arts

Nicholas Salvatore, Hammonton—Silver, Culinary Arts

Edward Soehngen, Little Egg Harbor—Certificate, Hot Food Specialization

David Worden, Mays Landing—Certificate, Culinary Arts


Joshua Miller, Willingboro—Bronze, Culinary Arts


Matthew Bergman, Cherry Hill—Certificate, Culinary Arts

Stephen Buzzone, Cherry Hill—Certificate, Culinary Arts

Kellien Delts, Sicklerville—Certificate, Baking and Pastry Specialization

Joseph Ferraina, Laurel Springs—Bronze, Baking and Pastry

Amanda Kearns, West Berlin—Silver, Baking and Pastry

Lee Ann McGovern, Berlin—Silver, Baking and Pastry

Rebecca Meeker, Marlton—Silver, Baking and Pastry

Marissa Mele, Marlton—Silver, Baking and Pastry

Melissa Traenkner, Collingswood—Gold, Baking and Pastry


Robert Boyd-Thomas, Cape May—Bronze, Culinary Arts

Keith Bromley, Del Haven—Certificate, Hot Food Specialization

Daniel Hamilton, Ocean View—Certificate, Culinary Arts

Maris Hilferty, Ocean City—Silver, Baking and Pastry

Suzanne Haug, Villas—Certificate, Baking and Pastry Specialization

Tiffany Seaman, Bayville—Certificate, Baking and Pastry Specialization and Hot Food Specialization

Stacy Snyder, Ocean City—Certificate, Baking and Pastry Specialization

Alex St. John, Ocean City—Bronze, Culinary Arts


Marc Campana, Vineland—Bronze, Culinary Arts

Karen Couture, Vineland—Certificate, Food Service Management Specialization

Hanais Montero, Vineland—Certificate, Hot Food Specialization

Timothy Sutherland, Millville—Bronze, Culinary Arts


Brandi Accoglio, Williamstown—Certificate, Baking and Pastry Specialization

Daniel Bliss, Glassboro—Bronze, Culinary Arts

Savannah DeJesus, Malaga—Bronze, Culinary Arts

Reuben Gutierrez, Sicklerville—Gold, Baking and Pastry

Sarah Kuhn, Williamstown—Bronze, Culinary Arts

Mark Mancini, Glassboro—Gold, Culinary Arts

Jessica Van Mater, Sewell—Silver, Baking and Pastry


Barbara Edwards, Brick—Silver, Baking and Pastry

Andrea Ferrara, Brick—Certificate, Baking and Pastry

Luke Malkmus, Brick—Bronze, Culinary Arts

Steven Zaccaro, Lanoka Harbor—Silver, Culinary Arts


Joseph Devaney, Carney’s Point—Bronze, Culinary Arts


Aliesha Howell, Rahway—Bronze, Culinary Arts


Renee Asher, Orleans, MI—Silver, Baking and Pastry

The ACA opened in 1981 on Atlantic Cape’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 morning, afternoon or evening sessions from January through May and August through December. Part-time and evening classes are also available.

Academy graduates can be found in kitchens around the world in major hotel and restaurant chains, while others 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, or visit the ACA online at