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ACA Lick Hunger Ice Cream Challenge Names Winners

March 6, 2008

Spring is nearly here, and students at the Academy of Culinary Arts are thinking about their favorite warm-weather treat-ice cream. Nine students competed in the first Lick Hunger Ice Cream Challenge, creating 11 original flavors in two categories. The winner in the adult flavor category was Lemon Meringue by Randi Wallace of Cherry Hill. The winning children's flavor was Where's the Beach, a concoction of Creamsicle swirl, salt water taffy bits and orange jelly candies created by Nancy West of Frenchtowm.

The winning Lick Hunger flavors will be identified as Academy of Culinary Arts original flavors and sold this spring at Lindy Hops Ice Cream locations in South Jersey, including 401 Pitney Road, Galloway; 900 12th St., Hammonton; and 88 Hartford Road, Delran. Net proceeds from the sale of these flavors will go to the Community FoodBank of New Jersey-Southern Branch.

Students were encouraged to create exotic and unique flavors and had more than a month to perfect their creations. The partnership with Lindy Hops allowed students to apply what they learned in the classroom to a real-world challenge. Finalists included Hot Apple Pie by Candy Franza of Medford, Jewish Apple Cake by Martin Connors of Egg Harbor Township, Wasabi Pignoli by Stephanie Jakel of Woodbine, Chocolate Covered Strawberry by Sara Hutchinson of Ocean City, Pick-Me-up (Tiramisu) by Ryan Budd of Seaville, So-CO and Key Lime Pie by Robert Mustardo of Ventnor, Apple Caramel Ripple by Karen Tharp of Millville, Bodacious Blueberry by West, and Fluffer Nutter Surprise by Mustardo.

"This was a great learning experience for the students. They had to conduct research and development to create their final products and factor in marketability of the flavors," said Kelly McClay, dean of the Academy.

"The whole process was fantastic. I have excitement with ice cream, and to see that reflected in the students and the judges was great," said Linda L'Erario, owner of Lindy Hops.

Judges for the event included: Evelyn Benton '89 ACA, director, Community Food Bank of New Jersey-Southern Branch; Ed Jones of Lindy Hops Ice Cream; L'Erario of Lindy Hops Ice Cream; Deborah Pellegrino '91 ACA, executive pastry chef, Harrah's/Showboat; Geoffrey Pettifer, director of college marketing, ACCC; and Dan Skeldon, meteorologist, NBC 40. Child judges included Carigan Kerley of Linwood, Matthew McClay of Mays Landing, and Aneecia Morales of Seaville.

"We were thrilled to be considered the beneficiary of this event," Benton said. "Ice cream is an indulgence for most of us, and some people don't have the benefit of that luxury. So we're grateful this event will provide support for those people."

To learn more about the Lick Hunger Ice Cream Challenge, visit The ACA, part of Atlantic Cape Community College, has been training future chefs and food service professionals since 1981. For more information on the Academy, call 1-800-645‑CHEF or e-mail