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May 26, 2018

JOCEF Awards $54,000 in Scholarships to Local Culinary Students


The Joe Romanowski Culinary Education Foundation (JOCEF) awarded $54,000 in scholarship funds to eight local students in a ceremony held on Monday, May 7 at the Culinary Education Center in Asbury Park. Since founding as a nonprofit in 2014, JOCEF has awarded over $150,000 in scholarships to students enrolled at the school. The Culinary Education Center is a collaboration between Brookdale Community College and the Monmouth County Vocational School District.

Proceeds from the 5th annual JOCEF “Recipe for Success” gala on March 19, 2018 funded the scholarships. The Joe Romanowski Culinary Education Foundation was established in the memory of Joseph Romanowski, who mentored and nurtured many of the Jersey Shore’s finest up-and coming chefs. Romanowski was the chef and owner of the highly acclaimed restaurants, Joe and Maggie’s Bistro in Long Branch and Bay Ave Trattoria in Highlands.

Chef Barbara Roselli at the Culinary Education Center encourages students to apply for the JOCEF scholarship in January. After submitting an essay and references, selected candidates are invited to a hands-on cooking event at Café Mumford’s in Tinton Falls. Students are provided ingredients and are timed as they cook a meal that is evaluated and scored by JOCEF board members on the scholarship committee.

Karen Farrell, JOCEF board treasurer said, “We are so pleased to support culinary students in the memory of Joe .Now in our fifth year, It is very rewarding to see students grow as they move through the program and as they progress after graduation. We are changing people’s lives with these scholarships.”

Students were presented checks by JOCEF board members including Karen Farrell, Maggie Lubcke, Chris and Debbie Mumford, Barbara Roselli, Erik Weatherspool and Rachel Weston.

Emily Reid Middletown New Jersey

Emily Reid, 24 of Middletown, New Jersey was all smiles when she was awarded $15,000.

Two students who were awarded a scholarship last year were funded again this year. Courtney Dean of Howell was given $5,000 in 2017. After excelling during her first year at Brookdale, JOCEF awarded her $15,000 to continue her studies. Alexandra Dennis of Matawan was also awarded a scholarship for her second year.

Alison Clark of Brick said, “I truly appreciate the scholarship and will do my best this fall as I work toward attaining my pastry certificate.”

2018-19 JOCEF Scholarship Winners
Courtney Dean, Howell – $15,000
Emily Reid, Middletown – $15,000
Sydney Cantor, Neptune -$5,000
Stephen Freer-Balko, Ocean Grove – $5,000
Emily Trzesinski, Manalapan – $5,000
Janet Moreno, Long Branch – $5,000
Alison Clark, Brick – $2,000
Alexandra Dennis, Matawan – $2,000