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Restaurant Gala Raises $160,000 for ACCC Scholarships

May 17, 2005

From the culinary works of art served by the 37 participating restaurants to the paintings displayed by several local artists, the 22nd Annual Press of Atlantic City Restaurant Gala showcased “The Art of Food.” The annual event raised approximately $160,000 for student scholarships at the Academy of Culinary Arts and Atlantic Cape Community College.

Nearly 900 people attended the black-tie affair held April 20 at the Atlantic City Convention Center. The event included the signature dishes of 37 of the finest restaurants in Atlantic and Cape May counties and showcased the talents of the culinary students at the Academy of Culinary Arts, who prepared thousands of sumptuous hot and cold hors d’oeuvres served during cocktail hour. The ACA students and chef educators received a standing ovation from the attendees during the dinner reception. A dessert extravaganza capped off the evening.

Guest Chef Michael Schlow, a 1987 ACA graduate and chef-owner of three Boston restaurants, conducted a cooking demonstration and autographed copies of his new cookbook, “It’s About Time: Great Recipes for Everyday Life.”

Also, in keeping with this year’s theme “The Art of Food,” six local artists displayed their work. A portion of the proceeds from the sale of artwork will support art scholarships at ACCC.

“This year’s Restaurant Gala was a spectacular affair, and the ACCC Foundation is pleased it can continue to award scholarships that will impact the lives of hundreds of students furthering their education at the Academy of Culinary Arts and Atlantic Cape Community College,” said Lynda Pagliughi, ACCC Foundation president.

A 50/50 raffle brought in nearly $25,000 for college scholarships. John Varalli of Atlantic City won the $15,270 grand prize. Second prize winner Eric Reynolds of Egg Harbor Township received $5,090.

Third, fourth, and fifth prizes, each totaling $1,926, went to Eleanor Perrone of Hammonton, Sam Buscaglia of Mays Landing, and Lou Scarlata of Northfield, who shared the prize with Jerry Deaver of Brigantine, Lou DeFeo of Egg Harbor Township and Glenn Lewkowitz of Absecon. Planned as an additional way to generate supplementary scholarship dollars for ACCC students, the winning amounts were based on more than 500 tickets sold.

Held annually in the spring, the Gala has served as the premier black-tie fund-raising event in South Jersey for more than 20 years, providing the venue for area restaurants to showcase their house specialties while helping to raise scholarship dollars for ACA students. Remaining Gala foods were donated in the name of the restaurants to the Friends of Jean Webster organization, which is dedicated to putting an end to hunger in Atlantic City.