Alumni Newsletter

Keeping our Alumni informed of Atlantic Cape activities

Call for Work: ACCC Art Gallery Seeks Alumni Artists

The ACCC Art Gallery is searching for former studio arts majors and minors to contribute work to an alumni exhibit this spring in honor of the college’s 40th anniversary. Works for exhibition must have been created in the last six years. This is not a juried exhibit.

If you are interested in participating, e-mail Art Gallery Coordinator Buddy Jacobs at In the subject line of the e-mail, please write “Alumni Exhibit” and your name. In the body of your e-mail, include your name, address and phone number, whether your artwork is 2-D or 3-D, and your year of graduation.

The number of responses will determine the amount of work each graduate may exhibit. There is a maximum size of 42 inches for 2-D work and less than 30 pounds for 3-D work. The deadline for submissions is April 1. Information about drop-off, show dates and reception will be sent to participants after that date. For more information, contact Jacobs at or (609) 625-1111 or 463-4774, ext. 5346.

Academy Students Bring Home Gold Medals from New York Food Show

Academy of Culinary Arts teams returned from New York City’s annual “Salon of Culinary Art” with two gold medals for their entries in the centerpiece and meat categories.

Held Nov. 11-14 at the 91st International Hotel, Motel & Restaurant Show at the Jacob Javits Convention Center, the Salon featured breathtaking creations of master chefs, pastry chefs, bakers, butchers, culinarians and apprentices from around the world competing in an array of categories. Known as the world’s largest freelance culinary arts exhibit and dubbed the most prestigious competition on the East Coast, the show is organized annually by the Société Culinaire Philanthropique.

ACA Students

ACA student teams won two gold medals at the ‘Salon of Culinary Art’ in New York City in November.

The winning centerpiece team prepared an intricate salt dough centerpiece titled “An Honorable Profession,” which featured a chef standing atop pillars. Chef Klaus Muller, former ACA dean, coached the team.

The meat category included three teams that prepared a selection of hors d’oeuvres, cold and hot foods. Chef Kelly McClay, acting dean of the Academy, Chef Supervisor Bruce Johns, Chef Educator Daniel Matt, and adjunct instructors Chef Jon Davies and Chef Lynn Kolb coached the hot food teams.

ACA students

ACA students won a gold medal for this saltiage centerpiece.

The students spent hundreds of hours throughout the fall planning menus and fine-tuning their presentation in the Academy’s teaching kitchens. The ACA students competed against teams from other culinary schools including Johnson & Wales, the Culinary Institute of America, and industry professionals.

“For some of our students this is a once in a lifetime achievement,” McClay said. “When they are working in the industry, many of them will not have the time or opportunity to compete at this level.”

The ACA has a history of success at the Salon of Culinary Art, including four silver medals in 1998, four gold medals in 2000, and a gold medal in 2002, the last time the ACA entered the competition.

Taste the Thrill at March 7 Restaurant Gala

Time is running out for your chance to “taste the thrill” of the best and most innovative dishes from 40 area restaurants at the region’s premier black-tie fundraising event. Tickets are on sale now for the 24th Annual Press of Atlantic City Restaurant Gala: Live and Let’s Dine, Wednesday, March 7, at the Atlantic City Convention Center.

ACA Students

ACA students prepared thousands of hors d’oeuvres for the 2006 The Press of Atlantic City Restaurant Gala.

The annual event, with a James Bond-inspired theme, also includes music, dancing and a dessert extravaganza. The Gala has raised more than $1.4 million since 1984 for student scholarships at the Academy of Culinary Arts at ACCC. The event, presented by Commerce Bank, raised a record-breaking $223,000 in 2006.

Beginning with a sumptuous cocktail, raw bar, hot and cold hors d’oeuvres reception prepared and served by ACA students at 6:30 p.m., the evening will progress to a dining extravaganza with 40 area restaurants at 8 p.m. Live music by the Melanie Rice Orchestra and an elegant dessert reception, headed by Master Pastry Chef Eugen Ess, will complete the night’s events. Tickets for the Restaurant Gala are $190 per person. Call (609) 343-5674 for tickets or visit

New this year, Gala attendees can purchase keys giving them the chance to win one of 12 pieces of Tiffany & Co. jewelry ranging in value from $225-$2,500. Up to 250 keys will be sold for $100 each, and 12 keys will unlock a Tiffany jewelry case. Proceeds from the “Keys For A Cause” promotion benefit ACCC scholarships.

The ACCC Foundation will also bring back its 50/50 raffle, with a drawing to be held at the March 7 Gala. Tickets will cost $100, and five cash prizes will be awarded. Call (609) 343-5674 for raffle tickets or purchase them online at

Rutgers to Hold Open House at ACCC

Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, will hold several open houses at ACCC this year. ACCC alumni interested in learning how to earn a four-year or master’s degree from Rutgers should attend one of the open houses, 5-7 p.m., April 19, June 13, July 19, Sept. 25 and Nov. 15, in Cafeteria B in C-Building on ACCC’s Mays Landing Campus.

Under a new agreement with ACCC, Rutgers offers bachelor’s degree programs in liberal studies and hospitality management, and graduate programs in education and business (MBA), at ACCC’s campuses in Mays Landing and Atlantic City. Counselors will be available to answer questions.

For more information, call Rutgers at ACCC, (609) 343-4995, or visit

IRA Distributions Provide New Way to Give to ACCC

ACCCers have shown their generosity to the college in many ways—by setting up scholarship funds, establishing endowments, supporting special events and giving to the Annual Appeal. Now, under a provision of the Pension Protection Act, there is another way for alumni and friends to make a gift that can benefit the college and its students.

If you are taking mandatory distributions from a Roth or Traditional IRA, you can now make an entirely tax-free gift to the college’s Foundation. Your IRA charitable distribution will satisfy all or part of your required minimum distribution for the year.

But you need to act promptly--the incentive is temporary and is in effect for the 2007 tax year, requiring that contributions be made by Dec. 31, 2007. Some restrictions apply:

  • You must be at least 70 1/2 years of age
  • Tax benefits apply for gifts up to $100,000 per person per year
  • You can make these IRA charitable distributions in 2007 only
  • You must instruct your IRA account administrator to make the distribution directly to the charity, in this case the ACCC Foundation.
  • Only outright charitable gifts are eligible; life-income gifts such as charitable gift annuities do not qualify.

For more information on making an IRA charitable distribution to the ACCC Foundation, contact Kathy Corbalis, (609) 343-4907, associate director, ACCC Foundation.

Alumni Updates

Dave Dukehart ’00 ACA is chef at Brenner’s Steakhouse, a 70-year-old restaurant in Texas. Dukehart stands by the traditions of the restaurant while featuring new entrees nightly. “Fish features are my favorite because of the abundance of fresh local seafood and the opportunity to bring in contrasting flavors, something important I learned to do at ACCC,” Dukehart told Continental.Com Magazine.

Alumni updates

Matthew McElmoyle ’98 ACA took over Oliver, a bistro in Bordentown, in June 2006. The restaurant is mainly open for lunch, but offers dinner on the weekends. The menu includes an extensive list of soups and sandwiches and decadent desserts by Pastry Chef James Berry ’98 ACA. Both chefs previously worked together at Sails in Somers Point.

Jonathan Karp ’92 ACA and Joe Sheridan ’96 ACA served as judges at the Academy of Culinary Arts’ third Iron Student Chef competition in February. Karp, who is opening New York 151 this spring in Atlantic City, and Sheridan, executive sous chef at Showboat Casino Hotel, tasted the creations of five teams whose dishes revolved around one secret ingredient: eggplant.

ACA graduate Stephanie Steliga ’91 was featured in Gulf Coast Magazine in an article titled, The Queens and Kings of Pastry. The article featured seven top pastry chefs and their favorite recipes. After graduating from the ACA, Stephanie worked for Desserts International in Exton, Pa., Trump Castle Casino Resort, Four Seasons Ocean Grand in Palm Beach, FL; Vonaventure Resort and Spa in Weston; and Mar-a-Lago Club in Palm Beach. She now works at Café L’Europe in Palm Beach. The article mentions that she graduated from the Academy of Culinary Arts. When asked who her biggest mentors are, she said, “When I attended culinary arts college, Chef Urlich Eisele and Chef Daniel Matt challenged me to go beyond what I thought I could do and then pushed me harder.”

Patrick Feury ’89 ACA will open a new restaurant called Maia this winter in Villanova, Pa. The restaurant will feature the “Best of the Wurst,” including homemade knockwurst, bratwurst and frankfurters on poppy-seed rolls. Feury is also chef at Nectar in Berwyn, Pa.

ACCC nursing student Roxane Krivitski, an ’88 business administration graduate and nursing unit clerk at Burdette Tomlin Memorial Hospital, received the Service Excellence of the Month Award for November due to her take-charge attitude and organizational skills.

Kenny Stelmack ’88 ACA was featured in an article in the Courier-Post about his bid to retain his title at the 2007 Jersey Shore Best of the Best Chefs Cook-Off in Ocean County. Kenny won the inaugural Iron Chef-type competition last year incorporating the mystery ingredient--wild boar--into his final dish. Stelmack came in fourth at this year’s competition in February.

Nursing grad Scherri Rucker-Graves ’85 operates Atlantic City’s Mobile Health Unit, which provides free HIV testing. She was featured in an article in The Press of Atlantic City on the service.

ACCC Receives Equity Award

ACCC received the Northeast Region Charles Kennedy Equity Award for actions it took to enhance and expand opportunities for minorities and women at the school. ACCC President Peter L. Mora and Trustee Brian Lefke accepted the award at the Association of Community College Trustees Annual Leadership Congress in Orlando.

The award is presented to an institution that demonstrates evidence of board and chief executive officer leadership in setting policies and in assuring results for increased opportunities for minorities in many areas.

ACCC Dean Bobby Royal and the staff of the Community Affairs Department submitted the comprehensive application for the award last fall with support from the President’s Office and Board of Trustees. The application highlighted activities of ACCC’s Diversity and Equity Committee, Black/Latino Male Retention Program, Jump Start, continuing education and workforce development collaborations, college book program, Board Development Program, Foundation, Black History Month events, Holocaust Awareness Program, and Adopt-a-School program.

ACCC Presents Free Play for Children March 11

“New Kid,” a play presented by ACCC and the New Jersey Theatre Alliance, will offer two free performances by George Street’s Playhouse for children grades K-6 and their families on Sunday, March 11. The play will be staged at the Middle Township Performing Arts Center in Cape May Court House at noon and at the Walter Edge Theater on ACCC’s Mays Landing Campus at 4 p.m.

Cast of New Kid

Cast of George Street Playhouse’s ‘New Kid’ rehearse. (Phil Wahba/CNS)

The play is the story of a family of immigrants from a fictional country and their adjustment to new customs, a new language and a new way of life. The play promotes tolerance and compassion for new Americans’ problems in coping with the demands of immigrating to a new land. After the play, actors and audiences engage in a discussion of the problems that arise from impaired communication.

The performances are part of Family Week at the Theatre, an annual festival offering free and discounted tickets to youngsters and their families to more than 125 plays and other special events in New Jersey. The festival is also supported by the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, a partner agency of the National Endowment for the Arts.

Reservations are necessary to see this free production of “New Kid.” For tickets for the Mays Landing performance, call (609) 625-1111, ext. 5411, or visit ACCC’s Web site, For tickets for the Cape May County performance, call the Middle Township Performing Arts Center at (609) 463-1924 or visit their Web site,

Archery Alumni Tournament a Success

ACCC’s national championship archery team hosted a Double Star FITA alumni shoot in January reuniting more than 30 former archers with Coach Helen Bolnick.

One graduate, Lynn Grunow, drove four hours from Maryland and told The Press of Atlantic City, “There was so much that happened in my life recently that I wanted to tell her about it. (Bolnick) was such a motivator and inspiration in my life.”

Bolnick said she hopes to turn the event into an annual occurrence.

ACCC Offers Dozens of Continuing Education Courses in March

From computer and medical career training to art and cooking lessons, ACCC will offer more than 30 Continuing Education courses in March.

Career and health care training includes: Office Assistant and Technology Specialist, Medical Administrative Office Specialist, Parish Nursing Certificate, and Health Career Options—How to Choose a Career in the Health Care Field.

Computer courses include: Introduction to Blogs, Introduction to Access, ABCs of Accounting: Understanding Debits and Credits, QuickBooks Pro Level 1, QuickBooks Pro Level 2, Introduction to the Personal Computer for Senior Citizens, and Exploring the World Via the Internet for Senior Citizens.

Personal enrichment workshops include: Exploring Digital Photography, Pastels with Judy Antonelli, An Introduction to Voice Acting, Latin Dancing, Strictly Ballroom, Personal Watercraft and Boating Safety, Learn to Get Completely Out of Debt, Mediterranean Cooking, and Pizzas, Strombolis and Calzones.

For a complete listing of all courses, location, dates, times and fees, or to register, call (609) 343-4829 or 625-1111, ext. 4829, or 463-4774, ext. 4829, in Cape May County. Class sizes are limited, so register early. Register online or view the complete schedule of courses at

Annual Appeal Supports Access, Excellence, Stewardship

Nearly half of ACCC students require financial assistance, and ACCC alumni have the opportunity to assist current students by making a contribution to the annual alumni appeal. All donations will support ACCC’s efforts to provide access to education, offer excellence in services and stewardship. You may have received a letter asking for your contribution recently. Please consider making a donation.

You can make a gift of $30, $50, $75 or $100, or whatever you can afford. For information on how to make a donation, call (609) 463-4501 or e-mail

Benefits of Membership

Membership in the ACCC Alumni Association, which is open to all students who have received a degree or completed the culinary arts program, will provide you with meaningful discounts and benefits while keeping you informed about the people, programs and events at your alma mater.

With your membership card, you can receive a 20 percent discount at Careme’s, the student-run gourmet restaurant on ACCC’s Mays Landing Campus. The restaurant offers fine dining in an intimate setting, serving lunch and dinner Monday through Friday when classes are in session. Diners with an alumni card can receive a 20 percent discount on the cost of their meals. Reservations are required. For information or reservations, call Careme’s at (609) 343-4940.

If you’re not already an Alumni Association member, call (609) 343-5616 to join, or visit for more membership information. Annual membership dues are $15; lifetime memberships are $150.