Rockland BOCES' culinary arts students prepared foods of the Pacific Rim for this year's Culinary Banquet, where seven students received certification by the American Culinary Federation and several others were honored with awards for their culinary excellence.
Foods of the Pacific Rim was the theme of this year's annual Culinary Banquet, celebrating the culmination of hands-on experiences for Rockland BOCES' Career and Technical Education Center culinary arts students.
The banquet, attended by more than 100 family members and staff, was held on Wednesday, May 18, at the Jesse Kaplan School in West Nyack, NY, and featured Pacific Rim appetizers, salads, entrees, desserts, and show pieces prepared and presented by a very talented group of students. Culinary arts instructor Chef Kendall Brenner was effusive in his praise of this group of students, saying that they rose to every challenge and showed the dedication required to achieve in this challenging profession.
Culinary awards and scholarship winners are announced during the banquet. Additionally, a select number of students learn that they have become certified by the American Culinary Federation (ACF). This year Marisa Ayuso (Clarkstown South), Christine Gribben (North Rockland), Justin Kohlmeier (Clarkstown South), Joe Pratt (Pearl River), Sara Rose (North Rockland), Cadmo Matos (Spring Valley), and Laurenceu Tanis (North Rockland) were awarded certification. To become ACF certified, students must successfully complete both a written test and prepare complex recipes within a limited amount of time.
Additional awards given included a $500 bond awarded to Erika Gould (Tappan Zee) from the Rockland County School Boards Association for her outstanding cuisine. The Union Restaurant in Haverstraw awarded a highly coveted knife set to Shuryon Wellons (Nyack) and Adult Education student Dennis Gilligan received a $150 gift card from Morton's Steak House. The Kaplan PTA awarded $100 each to Justin Kohlmeier (Clarkstown North) and Seedny Louis-Jean (Nyack). Alumni awards were presented to Rodney Roberts (Nyack), Joe Pratt (Pearl River) and Sara Walker (North Rockland).