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2012 Restaurant Gala Honors ACA Alumna and Pastry Artist Chef Deb Pellegrino

January 25, 2012

“Dine Like Royalty” at the award-winning Atlantic Cape Community College Restaurant Gala with pastry star Chef Deborah “Deb” Pellegrino, at the March 22 fundraiser.

Chef Pellegrino is a 1992 graduate of Atlantic Cape’s Academy of Culinary Arts and an executive pastry chef at Harrah’s and Showboat Atlantic City. She has garnered national recognition for her creative confections after winning Food Network Challenge: Chocolate Myths in July 2011, where she competed against three other top chefs in the country and won with a chocolate model of the Kraken—a monstrous ship-eating octopus.

 Pellegrino is a confectionery artist equipped with the culinary skills to transform chocolate into just about anything—even fashion. In November 2011, Pellegrino was invited to design edible Broadway-inspired haute couture for a fashion show at the 14th annual New York City Chocolate Show. The design was 68 percent dark chocolate and based on the character Scar from Disney’s The Lion King.

Pellegrino began her career when she landed a crew chef job on a luxurious yacht and traveled the globe for three years. She visited places from the Tahitian islands and the Galapagos to the U.S. West Coast, Bermuda and the Caribbean to Scotland, Norway, Russia and more. She traded T-shirts for black pearls, caught her own fish to clean and serve for dinner, and bought shrimp fresh from a trawler that crossed paths with her vessel.

Since 1984, the Gala has raised more than $2.5 million for scholarships at the Academy of Culinary Arts and Atlantic Cape Foundation operations.

The 29th annual Gala begins at 6:30 p.m., Thursday, March 22, at Bally’s. It will feature thousands of hors d’oeuvres prepared by the students at the Academy, original dishes from more than 40 of the area’s best restaurants, and a dessert extravaganza. Tickets are $200 per person.

For more information about the Gala, visit or contact Lauren Canzanese at (609) 463-4672 or