On Saturday, August 6, the Academy of Culinary Arts honored 82 culinary students at the annual
Acceptance of the Toque Ceremony.
Highlights of awards received by the students include: 45 percent received Dean’s List honors, having earned a GPA of 3.25 or higher; and 62 percent earned perfect or excellent attendance, having not missed more than two days of class.
All of the students participating in the ceremony have completed three semesters of
culinary arts coursework at the Academy. 52 students will complete the culinary program at an externship site
beginning in a couple of weeks.
The remaining 30 students will stay for an additional
two semesters, to specialize in Pastry Arts, before embarking on
Overall, the culinary students will travel to seven
different states and more than 20 externship locations. Many of the students will complete their externship
at four- and five-star or diamond locations, including:
This year's keynote speaker, Chef Mark DeMarco, is not only an IUP
alumnus (’99), but also executive chef of Cedric’s Tavern, one of the
restaurants at the Biltmore Estate in Ashville, North Carolina.
During his address, Chef DeMarco shared stories from his years
of industry experience and advised the students on what it takes to be
successful in the industry.
Chef reminded the graduates that there are no short cuts and
they will have to pay their dues. He
encouraged the students to build a resume that reflects dedication, and also
advised to “apply for promotions, even if you think you’re not ready. What you will learn during the interview
process will surprise you.” Chef also
encouraged the students to continue to study, because it is important to know
the current trends of the industry. It
is also one of the first questions Chef asks a potential demi chef or sous chef
during an interview!
DeMarco closed his address by reminding the students that this
career will give you the opportunity to travel, eat at some of the best
restaurants in the world, and build relationships with beloved colleagues and
friends that understand what it is like and the dedication it takes to become a
To the class of 2016, Bon Appetite!