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Academy of Culinary Arts Awards Medals to New Chefs at Dec. 19 Graduation Ceremony

December 19, 2012

The Academy of Culinary Arts at Atlantic Cape Community College awarded culinary medals and certificates to more than 40 new chefs and baking and pastry professionals prepared with the latest culinary knowledge on Wednesday, Dec. 19.

Thirty-two graduates honed their skills in the Academy’s Culinary Arts program, and 15 completed the Baking and Pastry program. Two short-term specialization certificates in Hot Food and Food Service Management were awarded.

The awards ceremony was held in the 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.

Devin Plenderleith of Somers Point, 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 ACA graduate Chef Bob Marshall Jr., senior vice president of operations, ARAMARK Parks and Destinations. Chef Marshall is responsible for delivering consistent operational excellence, service innovation and performance results for 40 locations, some of which include: Denali National Park, Togwotee Mountain Resort (Jackson Hole) and Lake Powell Resort.

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


Peter Almonte, Galloway—Bronze, Culinary Arts

Michael Buckley, Galloway—Silver, Culinary Arts

Bryan Farmer, Absecon—Bronze, Culinary Arts

Bridgette Fox, Galloway—Silver, Baking and Pastry

Christian Godoy, Egg Harbor Township—Bronze, Culinary Arts

Dominic Handy, Atlantic City—Certificate, Culinary Arts

Christiaan Junne, Pleasantville—Certificate, Culinary Arts

Jamie Lapinta, Absecon—Bronze, Baking and Pastry

Jordan Limauro, Egg Harbor Township—Gold, Culinary Arts

Thomas Michelfelder, Brigantine—Bronze, Culinary Arts

Marco Pacheco, Galloway—Certificate, Culinary Arts

Sade Quince, Atlantic City—Silver, Culinary Arts

Keisha Scott, Atlantic City—Bronze, Culinary Arts

Matthew Seckinger, Mays Landing—Silver, Culinary Arts

Catharine Tarquinio, Richland—Gold, Baking and Pastry

Alexander Valletta, Brigantine—Bronze, Culinary Arts

Matthew Weber, Egg Harbor City—Gold, Baking and Pastry


Dominic Perillo, Riverside—Certificate, Culinary Arts


Taylor Carlson, Sicklerville—Bronze, Baking and Pastry

Leann Ellis, Sicklerville—Certificate, Baking and Pastry

Joseph Mikitish, Cherry Hill—Gold, Culinary Arts
Brendan Riley, Voorhees—Certificate, Culinary Arts

Dawn Simons, Camden—Certificate, Food Service Management Specialization

Ryan Steinberger, Haddonfield—Certificate, Culinary Arts

Robyn Tesch, Audobon Park—Silver, Culinary Arts and Baking and Pastry


Joseph Bispels, Cape May—Silver, Culinary Arts

Christine Caraballo, Woodbine—Silver, Baking and Pastry

Julia Harrison, Cape May Court House—Silver, Baking and Pastry

Michael Loefflad, Cape May Court House—Gold, Culinary Arts

Kristy Moore, Wildwood—Silver, Baking and Pastry

Devin Plenderleith, Somers Point—Gold, Culinary Arts

Raymond Wright, Cape May—Silver, Culinary Arts


Grace Blandino, Bridgeton—Silver, Culinary Arts

M. Jennifer Culler, Millville—Gold, Baking and Pastry

Frank Derise, Millville—Certificate, Culinary Arts and Hot Food Specialization

Geraldine Howard, Bridgeton—Silver, Culinary Arts

Ryan Macey, Bridgeton—Silver, Culinary Arts

Steven Moore, Vineland—Bronze, Culinary Arts and Baking and Pastry

Brandon Puckett, Vineland—Silver, Culinary Arts


Maria Nicastro, Belleville—Silver, Culinary Arts


Erika Burke, Williamstown—Silver, Baking and Pastry

Kaitlyn Deabler, Swedesboro—Silver, Baking and Pastry


Harli Arcieri, Bayville—Silver, Culinary Arts

Jordan Colucci, West Creek—Silver, Culinary Arts

Joseph Fisco, Toms River—Bronze, Culinary Arts


Paige Toriello, Stockholm—Bronze, Baking and Pastry

The ACA has been training future chefs for more than 30 years. 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 about the Academy of Culinary Arts, call 1-800-645‑CHEF, e-mail, or visit the ACA online at