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Next Wave of New Chefs Leaves the Academy of Culinary Arts

May 13, 2005

The Academy of Culinary Arts at Atlantic Cape Community College awarded medals and certificates more than 80 new chefs and baking/pastry professionals primed with the latest culinary knowledge on May 13.

The ceremony honored 56 graduates of the two-year culinary program with gold, silver or bronze medals or certificates based on their grade point averages and criteria established by the American Culinary Federation. Approximately 25 students who completed the short-term Baking/Pastry or Hot Food specialization programs also received certificates. The ceremony, held in the Walter Edge Theater at ACCC’s Mays Landing main campus, was followed by a reception at Careme’s, the on-campus, student-run gourmet restaurant. Chef

Susanna Foo, who is credited with fusing French and Chinese cuisine, shared her extensive experience as matriarch of her namesake restaurant in Philadelphia and new restaurant Suilan at the Borgata Hotel Casino and Spa, with the graduating students.

Foo was born in Inner Mongolia, China, and grew up in Taipei, Taiwan, where she educated herself on the spices, grains and produce of the region. She came to the United States in 1967 to pursue a master’s degree in library science. However, in 1979, Foo and her husband moved to Philadelphia to join his family’s restaurant business. In 1987, they opened their own restaurant in Philadelphia, Susanna Foo Chinese Cuisines, and Foo has since earned a reputation for reinterpreting Chinese classical dishes with French techniques.

The awards ceremony also honored Deborah Chang of Mt. Laurel and Andrew Etherton of Somers Point, who were named co-valedictorians and winners of the Nathan Schwartz Award for earning the highest grade point average.

Culinary Arts honorees, their awards and hometowns (by county) are:

ATLANTIC COUNTY
Daniel Burga LaRosa, Bronze, Mays Landing; Monica Burga LaRosa, Silver, Mays Landing; Rodolfo A. Correa, Gold, Dorothy; Andrew Etherton, Gold, Somers Point; Tiffany T. Felder, Bronze, Hammonton; Benjamin L. Gordon III, Silver, Ventnor; Harold Harris, Gold, Somers Point; Bilal Khabir, Certificate, Galloway; Michelle Klimczak, Certificate, Dorothy; David Kinghorn Jr., Bronze, Estell Manor; Joseph M. Pacula III, Bronze, Somers Point; and Kelli A. Ringgold, Bronze, Absecon.

BERGEN COUNTY
Jennifer A. Trass, Gold, Oradell.

BURLINGTON COUNTY
Deborah B. Chang, Gold, Mt. Laurel; Angela G. Duva, Silver, Medford; Lev Kreymer, Bronze, Marlton; Michael J. Merski, Silver, Marlton; Kevin O’Brien, Bronze, Tabernacle; and Matt O’Neill-Moon, Silver, Medford.

CAMDEN COUNTY
Taneesha N. Boggans, Bronze, Pennsauken; Mike A. Bruton, Certificate, Haddonfield; Rhianna Castner, Certificate, Somerdale; Lisa M. Daniels, Silver, Barrington; Derrick M. Holland, Bronze, Pennsauken; Joseph J. McGinty Jr., Bronze, Haddon Heights; Joseph Messina, Bronze, Haddon Heights; Johnnie Reynolds, Certificate, Erial; Rafael R. Taylor, Certificate, Pennsauken; Pamela Valentino, Silver, Bellmawr; and Joshua Waldorf, Silver, Cherry Hill.

CAPE MAY COUNTY
David B. Borek, Bronze, Cape May Court House; Ashley Doenlen, Bronze, North Cape May; Matthew L. McPartland, Silver, Ocean City; Gabriel L. Perez, Bronze, North Cape May; and Leeann Tozer, Silver, Petersburg.

ESSEX COUNTY
Amanda G. Lazaro, Certificate, Belleville.

GLOUCESTER COUNTY
Christopher M. Babbin, Bronze, Williamstown; John A. Beatty III, Certificate, Deptford; Lindsey C. Burlew, Silver, Woodbury; Jaclyn M. Lobro, Bronze, Sewell; Steven J. Manall, Silver, Wenonah; Marco C. Muzzupappa, Silver, Williamstown; Erin E. Moore, Silver, Sewell; Alicia M. Ruggeri, Silver, Franklinville; Elaine R. Seagrave, Bronze, Mickleton; Amanda M. Toscano, Silver, Williamstown; and Douglas F. Zimorowicz, Silver, Clarksboro.

MONMOUTH COUNTY
Charles M. Connelly, Bronze, Hazlet; and Sean Holmes, Bronze, Ocean.

MORRIS COUNTY
John R. Dalby, Bronze, Morris Township.

OCEAN COUNTY
Gloria Pantermarakis, Silver, Barnegat; David A. Syminiuk, Bronze, Manahawkin; and Robert L. Turk, Silver, Little Egg Harbor Township.

SALEM COUNTY
Alicia C. Justice, Bronze, Carney’s Point; and Andrea M. Smith, Silver, Salem.

SUSSEX COUNTY
Nicole J. Chiapperino, Bronze, Sussex.

Those earning Baking and Pastry Specialization certificates include:
Christina M. Alderman, Collingswood, Camden County; Tammy Beckett, Tabernacle, Burlington County; Teresa A. Bradley, Atlantic City, Atlantic County; Toni Carney, Bridgeton, Cumberland County; Christina Castagno, Sicklerville, Camden County; Katelyn M. Cooper, Williamstown, Gloucester County; Louis Favieri, Franklinville, Gloucester County; Jessica Fonash, Woodbine; Cape May County; Guinevere E. Garro, Medford, Burlington County; Megan E. Habicht, Thorofare, Gloucester County; Mary McGoog, Egg Harbor Township, Atlantic County; Megan Morrissey, Galloway, Atlantic County; Kristine E. Schmid, Mays Landing, Atlantic County; Lynnette A. Scott, Forked River, Ocean County; Stanley Serremelis, Brigantine, Atlantic County; Melissa Szymanski, Mantua, Gloucester County; Joseph Trifiletti, Atlantic City, Atlantic County; Christina Vollmar, Laurel Springs, Camden County; Alexandra Vrettos, Columbus, Burlington County; and Jamie M. Wine, Sewell, Gloucester County.

Those earning Hot Food Specialization certificates include:
Monica Burga LaRosa, Mays Landing, Atlantic County; Matthew Dunn, Absecon, Atlantic County; Joseph Koenig, Philadelphia, Pa.; Steven J. Manall, Wenonah, Gloucester County; and Joseph Mora; Palm Coast, Fla.

The ACA, New Jersey’s largest cooking school, opened in 1981 on ACCC’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 a morning or afternoon session from January through May and August through December. Part-time and evening classes are also available. As part of their training, students operate Careme’s, a gourmet restaurant on the college’s campus.

Academy graduates can be found in kitchens around the world in major hotel and restaurant chains, while many 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 accadmit@atlantic.edu, or visit the ACA online at www.atlantic.edu/aca/.