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Borgata’s Travis Lunn and Tropicana’s Chef Demetrios Haronis to be honored at 41st Annual Atlantic Cape Restaurant Gala

03/06/2024 | Media Contact: David Zuba, Public Relations Manager and Copywriter | (609) 343-4933
41st Annual Atlantic Cape Restaurant Gala

MAYS LANDING — The 41st Annual Atlantic Cape Community College Restaurant Gala will recognize Travis Lunn, president and chief operating officer, Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa, as its community honoree and Chef Demetrios Haronis, 1990 Academy of Culinary Arts (ACA) alumnus and current executive chef at Tropicana Atlantic City, as its ACA honoree on Thursday, March 21 at the Harrah’s Waterfront Conference Center.

Haronis is a Jersey Shore native, who began working in his parents’ Wildwood restaurant at the age of 10. There, he learned the art of cooking from many of his family members before attending the ACA, where he honed his craft and established his food philosophy.

Chef Demetrios Haronia“The Academy of Culinary Arts was the cornerstone of what I built and continue to build my career upon,” said Haronis, who joined Tropicana as a sous-chef in 1994 and was ultimately promoted over the years to his current position. “It is great to be recognized and acknowledged for the hard work that we all do because we are mostly behind the scenes.”

Haronis is a firm believer in the value of higher education and the endless pursuit of it. “Never stop learning. What you put in is what you get out of it,” said Haronis. “Invest in learning and growing because the opportunities are endless. And, along the way, do not forget to give back to others and the community.”

Lunn, in his role at the Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa, oversees the resort’s daily operations and provides strategic leadership. He has more than 20 years of high-level management experience in the gaming and hospitality industry at properties throughout the country. Lunn recognizes that being named this year’s community honoree is not just a personal achievement, but rather it is a reflection of the dedication to community relationships shown by the entire team at Borgata.

“Being recognized for the contributions made to Atlantic Cape and the Culinary Arts program is unexpected and it fills me with tremendous gratitude for the connectivity and collaboration of the Borgata team and our wonderful partners at Atlantic Cape,” said Lunn.

Travis-Lunn-official-photo.jpgLunn is dedicated to “paying it forward” within the communities where he has worked, particularly seeking out ways to support local students via nonprofits, such as the Epicurean Charitable Foundation and the Atlantic Cape Foundation.

“Paying it forward is a core value that resonates deeply with me, especially in the context of supporting the Atlantic Cape Foundation. I would personally not be here today if not for others who provided an open door, guidance, or a helping hand in some form,” admitted Lunn. “For me, it is not an obligation, but rather a joy to invest in education and assist financially, if necessary. It is vital to provide opportunities for individuals to invest in themselves for growth and a healthy future of the hospitality industry.”

Lunn, who stated he has been fortunate over the years to have gained invaluable advice, wisdom and support from exceptional leaders and mentors, spoke highly of the hospitality industry and the benefits that Atlantic Cape students can obtain from it.

“Hospitality has the potential to be a wonderful and fulfilling career. It is diverse and comprised of multiple business pillars ranging from direct guest service roles to marketing roles to financial roles- there are many paths to success,” said Lunn. “My advice for those taking the first steps towards a new career is to embrace the adventure, and to treat both your guests and teammates with kindness and a servant/leadership attitude.”

This year’s Gala theme of Springtime in Paris will feature a deliciously-eclectic mix of some of the region’s most delectable fine foods, desserts and various beverages. The festivities will begin at 6 p.m. with a lavish cocktail reception featuring hors d’oeuvres prepared by the students of the ACA. A formal dinner will follow at 7 p.m. in the Wildwood Ballroom complete with sample signature dishes, desserts and some of the finest libations from more than 50 South Jersey establishments. An open bar, photo booth and live musical entertainment from the “GrooveHeart Band” will be provided as well.

Year after year, the Restaurant Gala attracts more than 1,000 community and business leaders, government officials, food enthusiasts and friends of the college. Since its inception in 1984, the Atlantic Cape Restaurant Gala has raised more than $4 million for scholarships for students attending the Academy of Culinary Arts and Hospitality Management program, an emergency fund, special projects and Atlantic Cape Foundation operations. In 2023, $284,575 was raised to provide much-needed funds for culinary students and emergency relief.

For attendees interested in staying overnight at Harrah’s Resort Atlantic City following the Gala, they may take advantage of the discounted rate of $69 by providing the group code SH03RG4 when making reservations by telephone by calling 1-888-516-2215.

A very limited number of tickets are still available, so visit today. For more information, please contact Kristin Jackson at or (609) 463-3621.



About Atlantic Cape Community College

Atlantic Cape Community College is a Middle States accredited, 2022 Achieving the Dream Leader College and Hispanic Serving Institution proudly serving the residents of Atlantic and Cape May counties. As a comprehensive, two-year community college, Atlantic Cape offers 47 undergraduate degree programs, and 33 certificate and workforce development professional series programs at its Mays Landing, Atlantic City and Cape May campuses. Atlantic Cape is home to the renowned Academy of Culinary Arts, rated the top culinary school in New Jersey, and for more than 50 years, our highly-acclaimed Nursing program. Atlantic Cape also partners with more than 30 colleges and four-year universities to offer students the opportunity to seamlessly earn a bachelor’s degree upon graduation.