Thursday, March 18, 2010

FENI Summit helps OCVTS students win first place with sugar showpiece

Students in the pastry arts program at Ocean County Vocational Technical School (OCVTS), Brick, N.J., took first place for Best Table Display at the 14th International Chefs' Night Out event on March 1. Their pastry-arts instructor and coach, Dennis Melia, attributed their win in large part to the sugar showpiece techniques he brought back after taking the "Sugar Pulling & Blowing" Master Class at the 12th annual Foodservice Educators Network International (FENI) Summit in Chicago last month.

The winning sugar showpiece from OCVTS students

"The Master Class in sugar pulling and blowing from [French Pastry School] Chef S├ębastien Cannone allowed me to bring back to my students a higher level of skills ... and paid off in a big way," said Melia in an e-mail.

Chef-instructor Dennis Melia (far right) and the winning students at International Chefs' Night Out

For more information about FENI, visit

NRAEF selects Salute to Excellence honorees

Five restaurant and foodservice industry leaders will be honored at the 23rd Annual National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation (NRAEF) Salute to Excellence on May 22 to kick off the annual NRA Restaurant, Hotel-Motel Show. The fundraising event pays tribute to the foodservice industry's extraordinary current and future leaders.

The 2010 NRAEF honorees are:
2010 Thad and Alice Eure Ambassador of Hospitality
S. Truett Cathy, founder, chairman and CEO of Chick-fil-A Inc., Atlanta, Ga.

2010 College of Diplomates inductees

Lifetime of Achievement in Education Award honoree
Ferdinand E. Metz, CMC, president emeritus of The Culinary Institute of America, Hyde Park, N.Y., and managing partner of The Master Chefs Institute, Escondido, Calif.

Salute to Excellence offers an opportunity to network with restaurant and foodservice industry leaders. The event will also feature a fashion show with Food Network star Ted Allen as host that showcases the latest trends in restaurant apparel and more. The event supports the NRAEF Scholarship program and the NRAEF ProStart program.