Past Galas

  • 1984: Atlantic City Magazine establishes annual Restaurant Gala to raise scholarship funds for students at the Academy of Culinary Arts.
  • 1985: Rolling Chair/Salute to Atlantic City

    Invitations include a boxed strand of pearls with a black bow-tie.

  • 1986: A Taste of the World

    Gala patrons sample dishes from around the world at Trump Plaza.

  • 1987: Diving Horse/Steel Pier

    The Gala celebrates Atlantic City's history.

  • 1988: Black Tie Beach Party

    The Gala moves to Showboat Hotel Casino.

  • 1989: A Carousel Fantasy

    This year's Gala at TropWorld Casino is complete with a replica carousel.

  • 1990: Mardi Gras

    The Gala gets in the spirit of Mardi Gras with masks, feathers and beads.

  • 1991: Jungle
  • 1992: April in Paris
  • 1993: 10th Anniversary Celebration

    Bally's Park Place again plays host to the Gala during this anniversary year.

  • 1994: Camelot - Magic by the Bay
  • 1995: A Trip to Galactica

    The Trump Taj Mahal is the setting for this gastronomical journey.

  • 1996: Salute to Miss America/The Atlantic City Experience

    The authentic Miss America crown and scepter are on display as the Gala pays tribute to the world's most famous beauty pageant.

  • 1997: Salute to Tinseltown

    The Gala celebrates the magic of Hollywood.

  • 1998: Arabian Nights
  • 1999: All That Jazz

    Held at the Trump Taj Mahal

  • 2000: Dancin' in the Streets

    The Gala moves to the new Atlantic City Convention Center.

  • 2001: Paint the Town Red

    A trip for two to France is raffled off, adding a new component to the Gala. Georges Perrier of Philadelphia's Le Bec Fin is honorary chair.

  • 2002: Spice up the Night.for education

    Bill McCarrick, '84 ACA and former executive pastry chef at Harrods of London, and Chef Jim Coleman are honorary chairs.

  • 2003: 20th Anniversary Celebration - Celebrate, Educate, Commemorate

    The Gala adds a 50/50 raffle.

    Chefs Susanna Foo, Terence Feury '88 ACA and Patrick Feury '89 ACA are honorary chairs.

  • 2004: Enchanted Garden

    The Gala reaches a milestone--$1 million raised for student scholarships.

  • 2005: The Art of Food

    Chef Michael Schlow, '87 ACA, owner of several Boston-area restaurants, is honorary chairman.

  • 2006: Feast Your Eyes

    The Gala committee awards an honorary Gold Medal from the Academy to long-time Gala sponsor Vernon Hill, founder of Commerce Bank.

  • 2007: Live and Let's Dine

    Pastry Chef Eugene Ess, Trump Taj Majal, coordinates the construction of an elaborate 6-foot-tall sugar sculpture during the dessert reception.

  • 2008: Reflections: The Gala Turns 25

    The Gala celebrates its 25th anniversary and approaches $2 million scholarships raised for Academy students.

  • 2009: A Taste of Paradise

    With its vacation cruise theme, the Restaurant Gala traveled to Bally's Atlantic City Hotel and Casino and honored Cape Bank for its long term commitment to supporting the college and the Restaurant Gala.

  • 2010: Mo'Rockin Night: An Oasis of Culinary Delight

    Imagine a beautiful oasis somewhere in Morocco with fabulous food, drinks, music...and belly dancers! Guests were rockin' all night and were joined by Honorees Joe Domenico Sr. VP & GM of Bally's Atlantic City Hotel and Casino and Aaron McCargo, Jr. former ACA student and host of Food Network's Big Daddy's House.

  • 2011: Putting on the Glitz: Eat, Drink and Be Dazzled

    The 28th Annual Restaurant Gala featured a Roaring Twenties theme. Chef Marvin Woods, ACA'85 was honored for his work as an author, TV Host and Network Chef, and his work with First Lady Michelle Obama's Let's Move cooking series. Former Atlantic Cape Board Trustee Lynn Baumgardner, President of Guthrie Glass & Mirror Corporation, was the Gala's Honoree. Flappers and gangsters spiced up the night for nearly 1,000 participants!

  • 2012: Dine Like Royalty

    "Dine Like Royalty" leveraged the wedding of British Royals' William and Kate to bring a sumptuous feast to Southern New Jersey. Chef Deborah Pellegrino, ACA'92, Executive Pastry Chef for Harrah's Resort and Showboat Atlantic City, was the party's honoree. Well known for her winning creations on the Food Network Challenge, Chef Pellegrino and her chef friends provided a dessert extravaganza fit for nobility!

  • 2013: Celebrate the 30 Knights

    The 30th Anniversary Restaurant Gala guests encountered a royal feast from the middle ages and had the chance to enjoy the samplings of thousands of sumptuous hors d’oeuvres prepared by world-class chefs and students of the Academy of Culinary Arts. Honorees included the Donio & Crescenzo families and Kevin Scull of Golden Nugget, ACA '85 graduate.

  • 2014: The Greatest Gala on Earth
  • Guests were welcomed to the 31st Annual Restaurant Gala with a vibrant circus theme. Food samplings from the area's finest restaurants, all prepared by first-class chefs and amazing students of the Academy of Culinary Arts. Honorees included Anthony Catanoso of Steel Pier Associates and Peter Slavin of Fear No Ice.

For more information contact Maria Kellett at 609-463-3670 or