Saturday, March 31, 2012

Monroe College School of Hospitality Management and the Culinary Arts Names America’s Best High School Chef and Pastry Chef

On March 3, 31 high-school students from throughout the New York metro area competed for the distinguished titles of America’s Best High School Chef and Pastry Chef in the fourth-annual competition sponsored by the Monroe College School of Hospitality Management and the Culinary Arts in the Bronx.

The prizes were academic scholarships to attend Monroe College. First-place prize was a full academic scholarship to the Monroe College School of Hospitality Management; second- and third-place prizes were partial academic scholarships worth $3,500 and $2,500, respectively, and prizes for all competitors were partial academic scholarships worth $1,500. Monroe awarded more than $200,000 in scholarships to the contestants.

Yocary Luna of Food and Finance High School in Manhattan was crowned America’s Best High School Chef for her Stuffed Chicken—Teriyaki Style with sauté of fingerling potatoes and string beans.

Laura Sanchez of Passaic County Technical High School, Passaic, N.J., was named America’s Best High School Pastry Chef with her White Coating Chocolate Raspberry Tower, consisting of double-chocolate-chip brownies filled with cannoli cream and sided with French vanilla ice cream.

“I was impressed with all of the entrants, not just the winners,” said Dr. Frank Costantino, CCE, CEC, AAC, dean of the School of Hospitality Management and the Culinary Arts. “They have bright futures in culinary. It’s interesting to note that the students who are currently among the leaders on the Monroe College Culinary teams are former winners of this competition.”

Here’s a list of the winners:

America’s Best High School Chef
First place—Yocary Luna, Food & Finance High School, New York City
Second place—Nashali Rivera, Food & Finance High School, New York City
Third place (tie)—Rossella Cangialosi, East Meadow High School, Long Island, N.Y., and Rondy Mendoza, Truman High School, Bronx, N.Y.

America’s Best High School Pastry Chef
First place—Laura Sanchez, Passaic County Technical High School, Passaic, N.J. 
Second place—Chelsea Taylor, Frankford High School, Philadelphia 
Third place (tie)—Mikea Rivers, Frankford High School, Philadelphia, and Laura Szanto, Paul D. Schreiber High School, Port Washington, N.Y.

For more information on Monroe College, visit

Thursday, March 29, 2012

College of DuPage's Kramer Wins 2012 Produce Excellence Award

Chef David Kramer, associate professor of culinary arts at the College of DuPage in Glen Ellyn, Ill., is one of six chefs and foodservice professionals nationwide to win a 2012 United Fresh Produce Excellence in Foodservice Award. Nominated by Chicago-based Testa Produce, Inc., Kramer won in the Business in Industry & Colleges category. The awards program, created by the United Fresh Produce Association and sponsored by PRO*ACT, honors chefs and their companies for innovative and influential use of produce in the culinary arts.  
The winners were selected from nearly 120 nominations submitted by produce companies and foodservice operations across North America. A panel of produce and foodservice-industry leaders reviewed each nominee’s demonstrated incorporation of fresh produce into menu development, use of protocols for correct storage and handling of produce, leadership in produce-related community service, and special events and recognition by their company and industry peers.

A graduate of The Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, N.Y., and
a College of DuPage instructor for the past 10 years, Kramer has previously been honored with the Presidential Medallion from the American Culinary Federation, both nationally and through his local chapter. He received the Silver Plate Award from Meals on Wheels as a result of his ongoing involvement in that organization and has worked as a consultant within the local restaurant community, helping to mentor individuals interested in opening a restaurant.

“We’re thrilled to see David receive this national recognition for his work as a culinarian, in general, and for his innovation and commitment to fresh produce, in particular,” says Peter Testa, president of Testa Produce, Inc. “He understands both the fantastic opportunities and rigorous challenges that the produce category presents and finds innovative ways to ensure that his students leave well prepared on both ends of that spectrum.”

Kramer will receive his award and appear on a Top Chefs panel at the United Fresh 2012 Produce Show in Dallas in May.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

The Culinary Institute of America at Greystone Names Scott Education Dean

Russell Scott, one of only 66 Certified Master Chefs in the United States, has been named dean of education of The Culinary Institute of America (CIA) at Greystone, effective April 2, 2012. In his new role, Scott will be responsible for the quality and effectiveness of all education programs at the CIA campus in St. Helena, Calif. He will oversee faculty and staff on the education team, direct the development and delivery of the curriculum, and lead the support of students enrolled in the campus’ degree and certificate programs.
Scott was previously an associate professor at the college’s Hyde Park, N.Y., campus from 1998 to 2005. During that time, he taught several culinary courses and served as executive chef and instructor in the American Bounty Restaurant. “It is very gratifying to rejoin the CIA family and to once again be part of the jet stream of culinary knowledge,” he says. “I am indeed privileged to be able to work directly with the finest staff and faculty in hospitality education.”

“We are excited to welcome Chef Scott back to the CIA,” says college provost and Certified Master Chef Mark Erickson. “His culinary background and experience coupled with his commitment to education will be a tremendous asset to our Greystone campus.”

Between his stints at the CIA, Scott was executive chef of the Isleworth Golf and Country Club in Windermere, Fla. Earlier in his career, he was executive chef at the Hotel Nikko in Los Angeles and the Virginia Country Club in Long Beach, Calif. He is also the proprietor of the Gore-Scott Hospitality Partnership, which consists of restaurants and wine shops in Florida, New York, California and Colorado.

The American Culinary Federation honored Russell Scott as the USA’s Chef of the Year™ for 2008 and presented him with its Chef Professionalism Award in 2011. Representing the United States in the Global Chefs Challenge in 2009, he took second place among chefs from throughout the Americas.

Scott won numerous medals as a member and captain of teams competing in the quadrennial Internationale Kochkunst Ausstellung (commonly known as the “Culinary Olympics”) and Culinary World Cup between 1996 and 2004. He holds a bachelor’s degree in alternative medicine from Everglades University in Altamonte Springs, Fla., and an associate degree in culinary arts from the Community College of Allegheny County in Pittsburgh.

With Scott’s return to the CIA, the college now has eight Certified Master Chefs on its education team and administration, more than any other organization.