Students Serve Delicious Dishes, Healthy Competition at NJ Hospitality and Tourism Culinary Showcase

Press Releases,

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                               Contact: Dana Lancellotti, NJRHA President & CEO
June 1, 2022


Students Serve Delicious Dishes, Healthy Competition at New Jersey Hospitality and Tourism Culinary Student Showcase

NEWARK, NJ – Friendly competition, delicious dishes and networking made the perfect recipe for success for high school students participating in the New Jersey Hospitality and Tourism Culinary Student Showcase. Culinary students from eight school districts attended the event, hosted by the New Jersey Restaurant and Hospitality Association (NJRHA) and the New Jersey Restaurant Educational Foundation (NJREF), at the Essex County Donald M. Payne School of Technology on May 18.

Each school district that entered the culinary competition was asked to select a country of their choice to represent through several dishes, including appetizers, entrees, and desserts. After cooking the meals on-site, the dishes were presented to judges comprised of representatives from the culinary industry throughout the State.

The Showcase also featured networking opportunities for students both attending and participating in the event. Students were able to speak with representatives from post-secondary educational institutions and culinary schools, as well as hiring managers from numerous restaurants and hotels in New Jersey.

“The New Jersey Restaurant and Hospitality Association is proud to host an event that not only connects distinguished members of the culinary industry with students who will become future industry leaders, but also showcases the dedication, drive and talent these students have at such a young age,” NJRHA President Dana Lancellotti said.

Students representing Marion P. Thomas Charter School, located in Newark, came out on top at the New Jersey Hospitality and Tourism Culinary Student Showcase, taking home the award for Best Overall.

Marion P. Thomas Charter School Superintendent Angela Mincy said she was elated to learn her students took home the big award.

“The entire Marion P. Thomas Charter School Village is incredibly proud of our culinary team's win for Best Overall. We must also congratulate the remaining participants for their professionalism and hard work! All of the students were outstanding and represented their school communities well,” Superintendent Mincy said.

Employers attending the Showcase also found the event to be a great way to network directly with potential future employees at their businesses.

“Having the ability to not only talk with, but see firsthand, how dedicated these young culinary students are and their passion for the industry, was truly an amazing experience. We are excited to hire the next generation of leaders in our industry,” said Dania Zapata, Employee Relations Manager for Turning Point Restaurants.

In addition to Best Overall, several other awards were presented, including: Best Appetizer – Randolph High School, Best Entrée – Newark Vocational High School, and Best Dessert – Bergen County Technical School.

School districts competing in the Showcase included: Bergen County Technical School, Marion P. Thomas Charter School, Newark Vocational High School, Ocean County Vocational Technical School, Passaic County Technical Institute, Essex County Donald M. Payne School of Technology, Perth Amboy Technical High School and Randolph High School.

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