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MAYS LANDING — The Academy of Culinary Arts at Atlantic Cape Community College awarded culinary medals and certificates to more than 30 new chefs and baking and pastry professionals on Thursday, Dec. 19.
Twenty-four graduates honed their skills in the Academy’s Culinary Arts program, and nine completed the baking and pastry program. Five short-term specialization certificates in baking and pastry, hot food and food service management were awarded.
The awards ceremony was held in the college’s Walter Edge Theater on the Mays Landing campus, and honored the graduates with gold, silver or bronze medals or certificates based on their grade point average and criteria established by the American Culinary Federation. Specialization graduates received certificates of completion. A reception at Careme’s, the student-run gourmet restaurant, followed the ceremony.
Arielle Toronto of Marlton, was named valedictorian and winner of the Nathan Schwartz Award, which is presented to the top student of each graduating class. The keynote speaker was Tom Biglan, executive chef at Borgata Hotel Casino and Spa.
“It’s an exciting time to be a culinary professional. Try anything and everything you can to further your culinary knowledge,” Biglan said. “The real reward will be the privilege of doing what you love.”
Cape May County honorees, their hometowns and their awards are:
Vanessa Burk, Ocean City — Gold, Culinary Arts
Rachel Zarycki, Cape May Court House — Silver, Culinary Arts
Spring classes begin Tuesday, Jan. 21. Seats and a limited number of scholarships are still available. To register, call Valerie Weller at 609-343-4944.