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Niagara Falls Culinary Institute

Gingerbread Wonderland

Life-Sized Gingerbread Wonderland Returns to NFCI In December 2023

By News Archive

November 17, 2023

Gingerbread Wonderland will return to the Niagara Falls Culinary Institute (NFCI) from November 25 through December 17. Events will run Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Sundays from 12 to 4 p.m. The public is welcome to check out the colorful, giant gingerbread masterpiece, constructed by the talented students and chefs of the Baking and Pastry Arts program.

Gingerbread Wonderland also offers a variety of holiday themed activities for the whole family to enjoy. Visitors can experience live music, face painting, cookie decorating, crafts, children’s story times, and even visits with Santa Claus himself! Admission is free and festive activity sets are available to purchase for $10. Each set includes two delicious cookies with supplies to decorate them, two crafts, two coloring sheets with crayons, and two letters to Santa.

The annual gingerbread competition will also return to this year’s schedule of events. All are welcome to enter as we offer professional, amateur, high school, college, and children’s categories. Entry forms are due by November 27 and all physical entries must be brought to NFCI, located at 28 Old Falls Street, Niagara Falls, on Thursday, November 30 between 9:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.

In addition to the holiday fun inside NFCI, Jingle Falls USA will also provide activities on Old Falls Street outside of the building on November 24 through November 26. Gingerbread Wonderland and Jingle Falls events are free and open to the public.  For more information about the Gingerbread Wonderland or to sign up for the gingerbread competition, please visit our website at: https://www.niagaracc.suny.edu/nfci/gingerbread/.

Gingerbread Wonderland will return to the Niagara Falls Culinary Institute (NFCI) from November 25 through December 17. Events will run Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Sundays from 12 to 4 p.m. The public is welcome to check out the colorful, giant gingerbread masterpiece, constructed by the talented students and chefs of the Baking and Pastry Arts program.

Gingerbread Wonderland also offers a variety of holiday themed activities for the whole family to enjoy. Visitors can experience live music, face painting, cookie decorating, crafts, children’s story times, and even visits with Santa Claus himself! Admission is free and festive activity sets are available to purchase for $10. Each set includes two delicious cookies with supplies to decorate them, two crafts, two coloring sheets with crayons, and two letters to Santa.

The annual gingerbread competition will also return to this year’s schedule of events. All are welcome to enter as we offer professional, amateur, high school, college, and children’s categories. Entry forms are due by November 27 and all physical entries must be brought to NFCI, located at 28 Old Falls Street, Niagara Falls, on Thursday, November 30 between 9:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.

In addition to the holiday fun inside NFCI, Jingle Falls USA will also provide activities on Old Falls Street outside of the building on November 24 through November 26. Gingerbread Wonderland and Jingle Falls events are free and open to the public.  For more information about the Gingerbread Wonderland or to sign up for the gingerbread competition, please visit our website at: https://www.niagaracc.suny.edu/nfci/gingerbread/.

 

 


Media Contact Information

Barbara M. DeSimone
AVP of Institutional Advancement
Phone: 716-614-5904
Email: deSimone@niagaracc.suny.edu

American Culinary Federations Judges examine entry in 2019 culinary competition.

NFCI Hosts Culinary Competition to Honor Monte Dolce

By News Archive

April 12, 2022

American Culinary Federations Judges examine entry in 2019 culinary competition.

American Culinary Federations Judges examine entry in 2019 culinary competition.

The Niagara Falls Culinary Institute (NFCI) will host the American Culinary Federation (ACF) Monte Dolce Spring Classic Competition on Saturday, April 23 – Sunday, April 24 from 8:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. each day.  While most competitors are from NFCI, there are also participants from California, the Patterson Club in Connecticut, the Duquesne Club in Pittsburgh, and one competitor from Guatemala.

The faculty at NFCI are eager to host the event after it has been postponed for 2 years due to COVID.  “The professionalism and talent that surrounds this event is so very inspiring,” says Chef Scott Steiner, Coordinator of Culinary Arts at NFCI.   Saturday features cold platter displays, specialty cakes, pastry tables and bread displays, and live ice carving on Old Falls Street in front of NFCI.  Sunday will consist of live contemporary cooking for student and professional chefs and pastry chefs.  Competitors will have a 1-hour time slot with a 10 minute window for plating to create and exhibit their best live-action skills as they are being closely watched by ACF-certified judges.

The competition has been named after Monte Dolce, who was a chef, educator, adjunct instructor at NFCI, and founding member of the ACF of Greater Buffalo.  Following his death from cancer in 2021, the ACF of Greater Buffalo wanted to honor Chef Dolce for the dedication he showed to the organization since 1968.  “Chef Monte was a very close friend of mine, and I want to keep his legacy alive,” says Steiner.

The competition coincides with the Spring Open House at the Niagara Falls Culinary Institute on Saturday, April 23, allowing the public to an opportunity to view the state-of-the-art culinary labs in action, as well as explore college programs and career opportunities.  Both events are free to attend, and more information can be found at https://www.niagaracc.suny.edu/nfci/

The Niagara Falls Culinary Institute (NFCI) will host the American Culinary Federation (ACF) Monte Dolce Spring Classic Competition on Saturday, April 23 – Sunday, April 24 from 8:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. each day.  While most competitors are from NFCI, there are also participants from California, the Patterson Club in Connecticut, the Duquesne Club in Pittsburgh, and one competitor from Guatemala.

The faculty at NFCI are eager to host the event after it has been postponed for 2 years due to COVID.  “The professionalism and talent that surrounds this event is so very inspiring,” says Chef Scott Steiner, Coordinator of Culinary Arts at NFCI.   Saturday features cold platter displays, specialty cakes, pastry tables and bread displays, and live ice carving on Old Falls Street in front of NFCI.  Sunday will consist of live contemporary cooking for student and professional chefs and pastry chefs.  Competitors will have a 1-hour time slot with a 10 minute window for plating to create and exhibit their best live-action skills as they are being closely watched by ACF-certified judges.

The competition has been named after Monte Dolce, who was a chef, educator, adjunct instructor at NFCI, and founding member of the ACF of Greater Buffalo.  Following his death from cancer in 2021, the ACF of Greater Buffalo wanted to honor Chef Dolce for the dedication he showed to the organization since 1968.  “Chef Monte was a very close friend of mine, and I want to keep his legacy alive,” says Steiner.

The competition coincides with the Spring Open House at the Niagara Falls Culinary Institute on Saturday, April 23, allowing the public to an opportunity to view the state-of-the-art culinary labs in action, as well as explore college programs and career opportunities.  Both events are free to attend, and more information can be found at https://www.niagaracc.suny.edu/nfci/

American Culinary Federations Judges examine entry in 2019 culinary competition.

American Culinary Federations Judges examine entry in 2019 culinary competition.


Media Contact Information

Sara Harvey
Assistant Director of Public Relations
Phone: 716-614-6220
Email: sharvey@niagaracc.suny.edu

Amateur division winner from the 2019 Gingerbread Competition at NFCI

Gingerbread Wonderland Returns to NFCI

By News Archive

November 19, 2021

Amateur division winner from the 2019 Gingerbread Competition at NFCI

Amateur division winner from the 2019 Gingerbread Competition at NFCI

Gingerbread Wonderland will be returning to the Niagara Falls Culinary Institute (NFCI) this December, with both in-person and take home fun for families.  While there will not be a life-sized gingerbread village, crafty bakers of all ages are invited to take part in the gingerbread competition.  Prizes include gift cards, community education classes at NFCI, dinner at Savor Restaurant and even scholarships for eligible high school and college students!

If pastry arts isn’t your style, families can also enjoy a magic show, balloon artistry, live music, and visits with Santa.  This year, take-home kits are available to pre-order online.  These kits include festive do-it-yourself crafts, delicious gingerbread cookies with supplies to decorate, coloring sheets with crayons, and letters to Santa!

The schedule for Gingerbread Wonderland this year is:

Saturday, December 4 from 11:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Sunday, December 5 from 12:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Saturday, December 11 from 11:00 a.m. -7:00 p.m.
Sunday, December 12 from 12:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.

In addition to the holiday fun inside NFCI, Jingle Falls USA will also provide activities on Old Falls Street outside of the building on Saturdays.  Gingerbread Wonderland and Jingle Falls events are free and open to the public, with free parking provided by the City of Niagara Falls.  For more information on activities, and to purchase take-home kits, visit: https://www.niagaracc.suny.edu/nfci/gingerbread/

Gingerbread Wonderland will be returning to the Niagara Falls Culinary Institute (NFCI) this December, with both in-person and take home fun for families.  While there will not be a life-sized gingerbread village, crafty bakers of all ages are invited to take part in the gingerbread competition.  Prizes include gift cards, community education classes at NFCI, dinner at Savor Restaurant and even scholarships for eligible high school and college students!

If pastry arts isn’t your style, families can also enjoy a magic show, balloon artistry, live music, and visits with Santa.  This year, take-home kits are available to pre-order online.  These kits include festive do-it-yourself crafts, delicious gingerbread cookies with supplies to decorate, coloring sheets with crayons, and letters to Santa!

The schedule for Gingerbread Wonderland this year is:

Saturday, December 4 from 11:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Sunday, December 5 from 12:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Saturday, December 11 from 11:00 a.m. -7:00 p.m.
Sunday, December 12 from 12:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.

In addition to the holiday fun inside NFCI, Jingle Falls USA will also provide activities on Old Falls Street outside of the building on Saturdays.  Gingerbread Wonderland and Jingle Falls events are free and open to the public, with free parking provided by the City of Niagara Falls.  For more information on activities, and to purchase take-home kits, visit: https://www.niagaracc.suny.edu/nfci/gingerbread/

Amateur division winner from the 2019 Gingerbread Competition at NFCI

Amateur division winner from the 2019 Gingerbread Competition at NFCI


Media Contact Information

Sara Harvey
Assistant Director, Public Relations and Event Management
Phone: 716-614-6220
Email: sharvey@niagaracc.suny.edu

Joshua Blumberg

SUNY Niagara’s AVP Joshua Blumberg Joins Destination Niagara USA Board

By News Archive

November 17, 2021

Joshua Blumberg

Joshua Blumberg, SUNY Niagara Assistant Vice President was recently named to Destination Niagara USA’s Board of Directors.

Joshua Blumberg, Assistant Vice President of Academic Affairs at SUNY Niagara and manager of the college’s Niagara Falls Culinary Institute (NFCI), has been named to Destination Niagara USA’s Board of Directors. Blumberg brings a wealth of experience to the tourism organization, having both leadership and teaching experience in the hospitality and culinary industry for over 30 years.

Destination Niagara USA is the official Destination Marketing Organization for Niagara County, including the iconic Niagara Falls. Their mission is to expand the economic prosperity of the Niagara Falls USA communities by generating individual and group visitation.

Blumberg shares, “I am excited to serve on this board and look forward to being a part of the conversations that influence financial policies and governance in the city of Niagara Falls and beyond.”

About the Niagara Falls Culinary Institute

The Niagara Falls Culinary Institute (NFCI) is a division of SUNY Niagara. Students enrolled in Culinary Arts, Baking and Pastry Arts, and Hospitality programs gain hands-on experience at NFCI, located in the heart of one of North America’s biggest tourist destinations: Niagara Falls, New York. Our experienced faculty members teach students in state-of-the-art kitchens where they are trained in both classic and trending techniques. Our facilities are also home to Savor, an upscale restaurant where students from hospitality and culinary programs gain real-world experience serving lunch, dinner, and dessert courses. The public is also welcome to visit our culinary-themed Barnes & Noble bookstore and pastry shop, La Patisserie. Our Community Education program is also located at NFCI where the community is invited to participate in public cooking classes, youth camps, and workforce development training.

Joshua Blumberg, Assistant Vice President of Academic Affairs at SUNY Niagara and manager of the college’s Niagara Falls Culinary Institute (NFCI), has been named to Destination Niagara USA’s Board of Directors. Blumberg brings a wealth of experience to the tourism organization, having both leadership and teaching experience in the hospitality and culinary industry for over 30 years.

Destination Niagara USA is the official Destination Marketing Organization for Niagara County, including the iconic Niagara Falls. Their mission is to expand the economic prosperity of the Niagara Falls USA communities by generating individual and group visitation.

Blumberg shares, “I am excited to serve on this board and look forward to being a part of the conversations that influence financial policies and governance in the city of Niagara Falls and beyond.”

About the Niagara Falls Culinary Institute

The Niagara Falls Culinary Institute (NFCI) is a division of SUNY Niagara. Students enrolled in Culinary Arts, Baking and Pastry Arts, and Hospitality programs gain hands-on experience at NFCI, located in the heart of one of North America’s biggest tourist destinations: Niagara Falls, New York. Our experienced faculty members teach students in state-of-the-art kitchens where they are trained in both classic and trending techniques. Our facilities are also home to Savor, an upscale restaurant where students from hospitality and culinary programs gain real-world experience serving lunch, dinner, and dessert courses. The public is also welcome to visit our culinary-themed Barnes & Noble bookstore and pastry shop, La Patisserie. Our Community Education program is also located at NFCI where the community is invited to participate in public cooking classes, youth camps, and workforce development training.

Joshua Blumberg

Joshua Blumberg, SUNY Niagara Assistant Vice President was recently named to Destination Niagara USA’s Board of Directors.


Media Contact Information

Denyel Beiter
Public Relations Assistant
Phone: 716-614-5974
Email: dbeiter@niagaracc.suny.edu

NFCI Chefs prepare freshly grilled summer food at Savor on the Street.

Savor on the Street Returns in Niagara Falls

By News Archive

May 18, 2021

Just in time for the warm weather this week, Savor Restaurant at the Niagara Falls Culinary Institute (NFCI) will resume their “Savor on the Street” lunch menu featuring freshly grilled summer favorites.  Starting Wednesday, May 19th, visitors walking down Old Falls Street will smell burgers, barbecue chicken, hot dogs, Italian sausage, and lamb kafta being grilled to order.  For only $12, diners can enjoy a meal including a grilled sandwich option, salad, drink, and a cookie baked by the pastry chefs at La Patisserie for dessert. Beer and wine will also be offered for guests for an additional $6.

Savor is located at 28 Old Falls Street, just a short walk from Niagara Falls State Park. The outdoor patio is a great way to make the most of the Western New York summer days.  Savor on the Street will run Wednesday through Saturday from 11:00 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., May 19 – August 21.  For more information on the restaurant, visit: https://www.niagaracc.suny.edu/nfci/savor/

NFCI Chefs prepare freshly grilled summer food at Savor on the Street.

NFCI Chefs prepare freshly grilled summer food at Savor on the Street.


Media Contact Information

Sara Harvey
Assistant Director of Public Relations and Event Management
Phone: 716-614-6220
Email: saharvey@niagaracc.suny.edu

Nathan Koscielski

SUNY Niagara Blazing a Trail in Culinary Cannabis Industry

By News Archive

SUNY Niagara Blazing a Trail
in Culinary Cannabis Industry

February 25, 2021 

The cannabis economy is growing and SUNY Niagara has answered the call to educate those who wish to enter the field. The College began offering a cannabis-focused curriculum through their Horticulture program in 2019. Now, they plan to grow their cannabis-infused lesson plans to their accomplished culinary arts program.

During a May 2020 curriculum meeting at SUNY Niagara, Chef Nathan Koscielski, a Certified Culinary Instructor at the Niagara Falls Culinary Institute stated, “Many states are legalizing cannabis for recreational use. I want the Niagara Falls Culinary Institute and SUNY Niagara to be the gold standard when it comes to professional culinary cannabis education.” He added, “I understand that this is a controversial topic and there are stigmas, but I am approaching this from an educational perspective with a focus on safety as more chefs and culinarians enter this growing space.” His research, education, and presentation were widely accepted, and by January 2021, students were enrolled in the College’s first-ever culinary cannabis class.

Nathan Koscielski

NFCI Instructor, Chef Nathan Koscielski, poses with his Specialization Certificate in Culinary Cannabis and Edibles from the American Culinary Federation.

Speaking of firsts, Chef Koscielski was part of the inaugural Specialization Certificate in Culinary Cannabis and Edibles from the American Culinary Federation, making him one of the first 50 chefs in the United States to receive accreditation in culinary cannabis. SUNY Niagara is the only SUNY school to offer a culinary-centric cannabis course. The premier class is already a big hit; he proudly shares that class attendance has been at 100% since the beginning of the semester. His students are passionate, they share lively discussions, and are proud to be student pioneers of this fast-growing industry, state and nationwide.

The chef’s vision for cannabis-based cooking courses at NFCI is as vast as the cannabis industry is endless. “I cannot think of a single ingredient that could be used for savory and sweet dishes, beverages, and even retail,” explains Chef Koscielski. “There are so many different strains, each one with its unique flavor profile. The health benefits are bountiful and fluctuate depending on the variation. Cannabis is changing the foodservice industry. Those who have a growth mindset and can see it as an ingredient are going to thrive.”

The Culinary Cannabis and Edibles course does not yet include hands-on culinary training or sampling as New York State has not passed the legalization or regulation of recreational marijuana. Rather, this course focuses on educating student chefs about the proper handling of THC-based ingredients as well as non-THC ingredients, such as hemp and CBD (cannabinoids). The course covers terpenes, the primary reason cannabis strains smell and taste the way they do. Students learn how to determine which cannabis to choose based on the type of sweet or savory dish they would prepare. For example, Super Citrus Haze is tart, perfect for pairing with a light sugary dessert while a Sweet Pink Kush strain would complement seafood. Distinctive Sour Diesel cannabis will shine through even when paired with bold ingredients like rosemary and a variety of rich game meats.

The curriculum is also heavy in math and science covering topics such as: extraction, concentrates, dosing, plant anatomy, and the human endocannabinoid system. Business and retail topics in this course include cannabis shopping and storage. Students will also spend a considerable amount of time exploring careers in the culinary cannabis industry. This course is specifically designed to prepare students for the American Culinary Federation’s Specialization Certificate in Culinary Cannabis and Edibles exam.

The world is just at the dawning of cannabis opportunities on a grand scale. Chef Koscielski shares, “SUNY Niagara is at the forefront of it all. The future of our cannabis curriculum could attract students from across the nation.” He explains, “I would love for our students to stay in the Western New York region after they graduate, but some do move to other places. I want them to take this type of education with them if they decide to cook in states where recreational marijuana is legal.” He concluded, “The benefits of cannabis are undeniable when it comes to its medicinal properties and the effect on the economy.” This ingredient could play a major role not only in the lives of SUNY Niagara students’ but could also across our region in the horticulture, health, and culinary fields as well.


Media Contact Information

Denyel Beiter
Event Coordinator, Public Relations and Event Management
Phone: 716-614-5974
Email: dbeiter@niagaracc.suny.edu

Chef Steiner with student

Shadow Day at NFCI Gives Potential Students Hands-On Experience

By News Archive

Shadow Day at NFCI Gives Potential Students Hands-On Experience

February 22, 2021 

The Niagara Falls Culinary Institute (NFCI) is known for giving its students a hands-on learning experience that prepares them for careers in hospitality, culinary arts, and baking and pastry arts.  A new initiative will now give potential students the opportunity to connect with current students and faculty, having a hands-on experience of their own through a shadow program.   This new program is the vision of Josh Blumberg, Assistant Vice President of Academic Affairs at NFCI.  “The Niagara Falls Culinary Institute is a world-class culinary and baking and pastry arts facility, with state-of-the-art equipment and highly trained and accredited chef instructors at community college prices.  It was obvious to the staff here that if potential students spend one day with us, they would see that value and quality for themselves.”

Chef Steiner with student

Award-winning Chef Instructor Scott Steiner trains former NFCI student Antonio LaBarbera in a culinary lab.

Currently, a majority of Shadow Day participants are high school juniors and seniors, but the actual makeup of students at NFCI includes a great deal of non-traditional students as well.  A typical shadow day lasts approximately four hours, allowing participants to view the action of a culinary or baking and pastry lab firsthand, interact with current students and connect with faculty.  Participants also meet with an advisor from the college one-on-one to learn about tuition costs, job placement opportunities, housing, and scholarship opportunities.  Before the shadow experience is over, participants are treated to a delicious meal in Savor Restaurant or La Patisserie Pastry Cafe, the student-run retail operations at NFCI.  The restaurant and pastry shop operations are part of the curriculum for students attending NFCI; one of the many ways the College prepares students for real-world experiences in culinary arts, baking and pastry arts or hospitality.  According to Sabrina Faso, Student Services Advisor, “about ninety-five percent of attendees decide that the Niagara Falls Culinary Institute is a good fit for them after attending a shadow session.”

NFCI is a division of SUNY Niagara.  For more information on Shadow Day at NFCI, visit: https://www.niagaracc.suny.edu/nfci/about/


Media Contact Information

Sara Harvey
Assistant Director of Public Relations and Event Management
Phone: 716-614-6220
Email: saharvey@niagaracc.suny.edu

The patio is open for business outside of Niagara Falls Culinary Institute’s Savor Restaurant.

Savor on the Street Offers Summertime Lunch Specials

By News Archive

July 6, 2020

Niagara Falls Culinary Institute’s Savor Restaurant has the kitchen stocked and chefs ready to serve you from their patio on historic Old Falls Street. Calling this new way of operating, “Savor on the Street,” Assistant Vice President at the Niagara Falls Culinary Institute, Josh Blumberg, invites you for take-out or patio dining under the Western New York sun. Blumberg welcomes patrons to “Dine on our patio for lunch with a delicious wine or cold beer. You can also take it to go.” With so many of our favorite summertime activities canceled, one option that remains available is picnicking in our local parks. Blumberg suggests lunch to go and “Watching the roaring falls as you wonder ‘How did they make a sandwich this good?’”

Each week, Savor chefs will feature a staple barbecue item, house-made pickles, side, drink, and mouthwatering dessert from NFCI’s La Patisserie all for $10. A la carte items are also available. Savor on the Street is open on Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 11AM-3PM and Thursday through Saturday from 11AM-4PM. For weekly menu updates, please visit our website at http://nfculinary.org/savorstreet/.


Media Contact Information

Denyel Beiter
Event Coordinator
Phone: 716-614-5974
Email: dbeiter@niagaracc.suny.edu

NFCI operations employee Dave Slowik collects food for Community Missions of Niagara Frontier, Inc.

NFCI supports neighbors in need

By News Archive

April 2, 2020

Buffalo may be considered the “city of good neighbors,” but Niagara Falls certainly comes together as a community when times are tough.  This community spirit and support has been a hallmark of hope during the global Coronavirus pandemic, and the staff at the Niagara Falls Culinary Institute (NFCI) is doing their part to keep positivity flowing.

Amid what has been an uncertain time for all, institutions of higher education are scrambling to reschedule events, retool lesson plans, and develop new ways of creating effective virtual learning environments for students.  Once it became clear students would not return to the Niagara Falls Culinary Institute for in-person instruction in the near future, Dave Slowik, an essential operations employee for NFCI knew something good could come of the situation.  He reached out to his supervisor and suggested all perishable food in the culinary labs could be donated to Community Missions of Niagara Frontier, Inc., an organization that provides Crisis & Community Services, Mental Health Housing Services, Mental Health Recovery Services, and Youth Services to area individuals in need.  In 2019 Community Missions provided 112,562 meals to those in need, a crucial service to the City of Niagara Falls, a municipality with over a quarter of residents in poverty.

After surveying the faculty on what perishable food items were available in the building, Dave Slowik along with other NFCI operations personnel, Dave Huntoon and Derrick Hilson mobilized to collect the food.  Grant Babcock, Director of Operations at Community Missions arrived in a pick-up truck on Friday, March 27  and NFCI employees filled the back with fresh produce, eggs and dairy from the coolers in the building.

This is not the first time the staff and students at NFCI have come together to support the local community.  In the fall, the NFCI Student Club prepared and donated 25 Thanksgiving turkeys to Community Missions, and in January they collected more than 500 personal items to create care packages to homeless individuals served by the organization.  “The ongoing relationship between NFCI and Community Missions is mutually beneficial, with students and staff seeing firsthand how their culinary skills and the donation of time and resources can help others,” says Josh Blumberg, Interim Vice President of Academic Affairs at NFCI.  NFCI is a division of SUNY Niagara.  For more information visit nfculinary.org


Media Contact Information

Sara Harvey
Assistant Director of Public Relations and Event Management
Phone: 716-614-6220
Email: saharvey@niagaracc.suny.edu

Alexander Dispence

SUNY Niagara Alumnus to Compete in WNY’s Taste of Education Iron Chef Champions Competition

By News Archive

February 28, 2020

SUNY Niagara Alumnus Alexander Dispence will compete in this year’s WNY Taste of Education Iron Chef Champions Competition on Tuesday, March 10th at Salvatore’s Italian Gardens. Three previous winners of the Iron Chef Competition will compete to be named the best-of-the-best!

Growing up, Alex said that food has always been a big part of his life. “I loved watching Food Network and especially Iron Chef America,” he said. “It was so amazing to see what everyday food items can be transformed into!” From there, Alex began working in the food industry in 2009. “I knew that this was my passion,” he said, “and that I was willing to work hard to be successful in it.”

In order to achieve his goals, Alex recognized that he needed to receive an education. “I toured SUNY Niagara and NFCI and was so impressed with all that they had to offer their students! I was excited to be a part of it.” Alex graduated from the Niagara Falls Culinary Institute with his degree in Culinary Arts in 2013 and to this day continues to thank his instructors for the impact they had on him. “There were so many instructors from NFCI who became mentors to me that I can’t name them all; I am so thankful for all the positive influence they had on me. While I’m cooking, I think about how I want to make them proud so I try to prepare the best dish possible every time.”

Upon graduation, Alex has worked in some of America’s most prestigious clubs and resorts such as the Greenbrier in White Sulpher Springs, WV as well as The Vintage Club in Indian Wells, CA and Oak Hill Country Club in Rochester. He even worked as a live-in private chef in the Hamptons and Manhattan. Currently, Alex is the Executive Chef at Byrncliff Golf Resort & Banquets. When asked how it feels to have achieved so much success already, Alex continues to stay humble. “I am honored to have been selected to compete in this year’s competition and to make it to this point in my career. It’s important to me that I always keep growing so that I can continue to make my family, friends, peers, and mentors proud of me.”

To watch Alex compete in this year’s competition or for more information on the event, please visit https://www.eventbrite.com/e/taste-of-education-tickets-91254323137.


Media Contact Information

Sara Harvey
Assistant Director of Public Relations and Event Management
Phone: 716-614-6220
Email: saharvey@niagaracc.suny.edu