Culinary Academy Celebrates Class of 2016

Posted on 8/15/2016 3:38:31 PM

Chef Mark DeMarcoOn 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 externship. 

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:

  • Nemacolin Woodlands Resort, Farmington, Pa.
  • The Broadmoor Resort, Colorado Springs, Colo.
  • The American Club, Kohler, Wis.
  • Pinehurst Resort, Pinehurst, N.C.
  • Omni Bedford Springs, Bedford, Pa.
  • The Ocean Reef Club, Key Largo, Fla.
  • The Boca Raton Resort, Boca Raton, Fla.
  • The Biltmore Estate, Ashville, N.C.

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 chef. 

To the class of 2016, Bon Appetite!