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Guests Treated to Gourmet Excellence As Students, Celebrity Chefs, and Faculty Shine During “Chefs for Success”

Guest Chef Aneesa Waheed with alumni and students in front of table with food

Guest Chef Aneesa Waheed with alumni and students


The School of Hotel, Culinary Arts and Tourism and its Advisory Committee hosted the 13th Annual Chefs for Success on Oct. 25 from 6 to 9 p.m. in the Van Curler Room in Elston Hall. Due to the pandemic, this was the first time the College has held the event since November 2019 when it was part of the Foundation’s Royal Gala. Guests, seven celebrity chefs, and faculty gathered to enjoy a festive evening featuring gourmet food stations with delicacies prepared by students under the guidance of the guest chefs and chef instructor Rain O’Donnell.

Guest Chefs Sue Hatalsky and Vanessa Traver standing in front of table of desserts
Guest Chef Sue Hatalsky and Guest Chef Vanessa Traver, who are both SUNY Schenectady alumni

Miniature Raspberry Bavarian Tarts on tray on table
Miniature Raspberry Bavarian Tarts - Guest Chef Sue Hatalsky and Guest Chef Vanessa Traver

Assorted Bonbons on table on table
Assorted Bonbons - Guest Chef Sue Hatalsky and Guest Chef Vanessa Traver

Guest chefs for the evening and the dishes they prepared, were:

  • Chef Adam Foti, PDT Market: Spaghetti Amatriciana with Parmigiana Frico, Chicken Francese with Robuchon Potatoes
  • Chef Cody Nguyen, Sea Smoke Grill - JO Restaurant Group: Cheeseburger Sliders, Beet and Apple Tartare
  • Chef Sue Hatalsky and Chef Vanessa Traver, SUNY Schenectady: Assorted Bonbons, Salted Caramel Sweet Potato Cake, Hazelnut Chouquette, Miniature Raspberry Bavarian Tart
  • Chef Justin Tran, The Nest - Ziemann Hospitality: Pork Belly Burnt Ends, Pimento Creamed Corn, Pickled Pepper Relish, Sesame Chicharrons, Pecan Salmon, Ginger Butter Sweet Potato, Citrus-Soy Molasses Glaze
  • Chef Aneesa Waheed, Tara Kitchen: Moroccan Cigars with Lamb, Couscous with Vegetable Tagine and Onion Jam
  • Chef David Zuckerman, Prime at Saratoga National Golf Course - Mazzone Hospitality: Barolo Braised Short Rib, Castelvetrano Olive Relish, Risotto Alla Norma, Ricotta Salata, Butternut Squash Whole Wheat Gnudi, Porcini Mushroom Ragu, Maple Sugar Pepitas, EVOO, Shaved Pecorino Romano

Guest Chef Cody Nguyen and Culinary Arts major Michael Keenan preparing cuisine
Guest Chef Cody Nguyen, of Sea Smoke Grill - JO Restaurant Group who is a SUNY Schenectady alumnus, assisted by Culinary Arts major Michael Keenan

Dishes of Beet and Apple Tartare on table
Beet and Apple Tartare - Guest Chef Cody Nguyen

“The 13th Annual Chefs for Success event was a huge success and a magical evening, as we have not had the opportunity to host this event since Fall 2019 due to the pandemic,” said Dr. David Brough, Dean of the School of Hotel, Culinary Arts and Tourism. “Our students worked hand in hand with the seven guest chefs. This event gives our students the opportunity to work with successful local chefs and realize that with some hard work and perseverance, they can indeed accomplish their dreams, and they can be just as successful our guest chefs someday.”

Guest Chef David Zuckerman preparing cuisine
Guest Chef David Zuckerman, Corporate Executive Chef for Mazzone Hospitality, Prime at Saratoga National Golf Course

Gourmet cuisine on table, prepared by David Zuckerman
Left: Barolo Braised Short Rib Castelvetrano Olive Relish/ Risotto Alla Norma/Ricotta Salata 
Right: Butternut Squash Whole Wheat Gnudi Porcini Mushroom Ragu/Maple Sugar Pepitas/ EVOO/Shaved Pecorino Romano 
David Zuckerman

Moroccan Cigars with Lamb Couscous on display on table
Moroccan Cigars with Lamb Couscous with Vegetable Tagine and Onion Jam - Guest Chef Aneesa Waheed 

Associate Professor Kim Otis with students
Service was performed by students under the direction of banquet instructors Kimberly Otis and Jamie Binkley.

College faculty and guests enjoying the evening
Guest Chef Sue Hatalsky with Joan Dembinski '10, Dr. David Brough, Dr. Cheryl Renée Gooch, Yono Purnomo, Ann Shattuck, and Kimberly Otis

Rain O’Donnell, Instructor, was the Event Menu Coordinator. The evening also featured a silent auction and music by Hamilton Street Jazz.

All of the proceeds from the evening will go toward: student scholarships; the James G. Westervelt Guest Chef Series; and the Leadership Education Action Program (LEAP) for graduates to gain leadership skills as teaching assistants while they are pursuing their bachelor’s degree on campus through SUNY Delhi.
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