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Atlantic Cape’s Academy of Culinary Arts Awards Pair of Vincent DeFinis Scholarships to Culinary and Baking & Pastry Students

10/17/2023 | Media Contact: David Zuba, Public Relations Manager and Copywriter | (609) 343-4933
The DeFinis Scholarship winners congratulate each other

MAYS LANDING — Atlantic Cape Community College’s Academy of Culinary Arts program awarded two scholarships to freshmen Baking & Pastry major Isabella Burke and Culinary Arts major Saudly Delphin during the Vincent DeFinis Restaurant Gala Scholarship cooking competition on October 13 at the Mays Landing campus.

DeFinis Scholarship winners Saudly Delphin and Isabella BurkeThis annual competition pitted six student finalists in the culinary and baking & pastry categories. The six finalists were required to submit an application and were selected by faculty members from the Academy of Culinary Arts program. The culinary finalists were Anthony Spero, Tiarah Williams and Delphin while the baking & pastry finalists were Grace Carpenter, Nicole Taylor and Burke.

This year’s recipe called for the creation of a hot chowder by the hot food students and a quick bread product from the baking & pastry students.

Burke, a freshman from Ocean City, created an elote street corn-inspired cornbread complete with fresh ingredients that wowed the judges.

Burke's elote street corn inspired cornbread“I wanted to create something simple. This is a testament to what I can do so far even though we are only a few weeks into this program,” Burke said. “The money is a relief. I stepped way out of my comfort zone and it really did pay off.”

Delphin, a freshman from Ventnor, created a Haitian-inspired joumou pumpkin chowder served on a Caribbean harvest board and garnished with fried mango, hibiscus, thyme, rosemary and bone marrow butter.

Haitian-inspired joumou pumpkin chowder“This scholarship means the world to me and it will definitely give me a head start in my future. It will take off so much pressure that I have been putting on myself to, not only, succeed, but to be better,” Delphin said. “I believe that thanks to this opportunity today that I will be a better person and a better cook.”

The scholarships awarded will cover the winning students’ tuition and fees for their sophomore year of studies within the Academy of Culinary Arts program.

The finalists were judged on taste, texture, portion size, presentation, sanitation, utilization of the ingredients, organization and culinary technique. Chef Educator Ruth LaTorre judged the hot food kitchen finalists while Chef Educator Linda Wohlman judged the baking & pastry kitchen. The task of discerning whose creations and techniques were the best of the best fell to tasting judges Chef Bruce Johns, retired ACA director; Chef Jon Davies, former ACA adjunct instructor; and Chef Michael Brennan, owner of Cardinal Restaurant in Atlantic City.

Culinary student preparing his ingredientsEach year, nearly a quarter of a million dollars is raised for culinary and hospitality scholarships, such as the Vincent DeFinis scholarship, at the Annual Atlantic Cape Community College Restaurant Gala, the culinary program’s largest fundraising event. DeFinis began in the hotel industry in 1932 and worked in many food and beverage departments of service under various Ritz-Carlton Hotel System European chefs. DeFinis also served in the Air Force as food supervisor with the Eighth Air Force Service Command during World War II. DeFinis passed away in 2007.

Visit for more information on the Academy of Culinary Arts program.


About Atlantic Cape Community College

Atlantic Cape is a comprehensive two-year community college serving the residents of Atlantic and Cape May counties. The college offers over 40 career, transfer and workforce development programs to more than 8,000 students annually at three campuses in New Jersey: Atlantic City, Cape May Court House and Mays Landing.