Monroe College 10th Annual "Chef's Legacy" Fundraising Event on September 21 Raised Scholarship Funds For Culinary Study Abroad Program

September 22, 2015

The School of Hospitality Management and the Culinary Arts in conjunction with the Monroe Foundation hosted its annual "Chef's Legacy" event on Monday, September 21. The event, which each year raises funds for the Monroe Foundation that supports student scholarships, was held at Monroe's Culinary Arts Center at 434 Main Street in New Rochelle, from 6:00 pm onwards.

The annual Chef's Legacy fundraiser honors the memory of the first director of the college's Culinary Arts Program, Chef Craig Rutman, who unexpectedly passed away shortly after launching the culinary study abroad program in 2005. Donations made to the Monroe Foundation that evening will go to the Rutman Memorial Scholarship Fund, which provides tuition assistance to Monroe College culinary and hospitality students selected to study in Italy for a semester. More than $70,000 was raised at last year's event.

This year's evening cocktail reception showcased local, seasonal ingredients in representative selections from the fall menu for The Dining Lab, Monroe's student-run gourmet restaurant that last year received accolades from the New York Times' dining critic. Chef Frank Costantino, Dean of Monroe's School of Hospitality Management and the Culinary Arts, led students from the culinary arts program in preparing the dishes. Approximately 225 guests attended, including government officials, business partners, local residents, and the regional culinary community, as well as Monroe College faculty and staff.

"Chef Craig Rutman was a world-class chef and a passionate educator, and our annual Chef's Legacy event honors him by supporting his dream to help deserving culinary students participate in the study abroad program he created and cared so deeply for," said Stephen Jerome, president of Monroe College. "Studying in Italy is an opportunity of a lifetime for chefs in training, and the Rutman Memorial Scholarship Fund is what makes the dream a reality for so many of these talented students."

Prior to joining Monroe in 2003, Chef Craig Rutman taught baking courses at the New York City Technical College in Brooklyn. In 1997, he opened his own restaurant, Bissaleh, a Mediterranean eatery in Brooklyn. Previously, he worked as a pastry chef at An American Place, as well as NYC's renowned Sarabeth's restaurant. He began his career as a line cook at the River Café in Brooklyn, where he was soon promoted to pastry chef. He studied culinary arts at Sullivan County Community College in New York.

To make a donation to the scholarship fund or learn more about the event, please contact Kathy Murphy at kmurphy(at)monroecollege(dot)edu or call 646-393-8254.

Founded in 2003, Monroe College's Culinary Arts program prepares students for professional culinary careers. Taught by a faculty of experienced industry professionals, many of whom are certified by the American Culinary Federation, students gain valuable instruction and mentoring in a real-world culinary environment. Since 2009, the program has earned more than 580 competitive culinary awards, including being named state champions last year at the American Culinary Federation New York State Championship. The team has won the coveted Marc Sarrazin trophy at the International Hotel, Motel and Restaurant Show in NYC three times in the last four years (in 2011, 2013 and 2014). For more information, please visit here.