The Atlantic Cape Community College Restaurant Gala will mark its 35th annual event by honoring Georgeann Leaming, formerly of Suppa and Samwich in Philadelphia and Academy of Culinary Arts graduate, at the March 28 event at Harrah’s Waterfront Conference Center in Atlantic City. Kevin Ortzman, regional president for Caesars Entertainment (Bally’s, Caesars and Harrah’s Resort in Atlantic City) will also be honored.
Chef Georgeann, who graudated from Academy of Culinary Arts in 1999, is currently the executive chef of Gordon Ramsay Pub & Kitchen located in Caesars Atlantic City Hotel and Casino. Despite wide regard as a fan favorite and Season 19 champion of The Food Network’s Chopped! series, and a diverse background that spans from popular Philadelphia eateries to upscale Italian cuisine, Leaming is undoubtedly considered a “late bloomer” by traditional culinary standards. It wasn’t until the age of 23, while working as a preschool teacher and pregnant with her daughter Kirsten that Leaming decided to take a risk by enrolling at the Academy of Culinary Arts to pursue her childhood fascination of cooking and food.
This year’s theme is “Culinary Magic,” showcasing the extraordinary talent and cooking expertise of the students and alumni of the Academy of Culinary Arts.
This year, the Atlantic Cape Community College Restaurant Gala will recognize the 2017 passing of James L. Cooper, a visionary and driving force behind the Atlantic Cape Community College Foundation. Cooper was a long-standing champion of the college’s mission and a strong supporter of the Gala.
The event has raised $3 million for scholarships since 1984. All Gala proceeds benefit student scholarships at the Academy of Culinary Arts at Atlantic Cape Community College and Atlantic Cape Foundation operations.
The annual event celebrates food with hors d’oeuvres prepared by students at the Academy of Culinary Arts beginning at 6 p.m., and original dishes from 40 of the area’s best restaurants. An elegant dessert reception and live entertainment will complete the evening’s festivities.