Monroe College Culinary Graduate James Daversa Awarded Full-Tuition Scholarship to France's Renowned Institut Paul Bocuse

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$15,000 Scholarship for Extensive Five-Week Advanced Training Program Won at Culinary Competition Created by Celebrated French Chef Daniel Boulud

Monroe College, a national leader in urban and international education, today announced that James Daversa, a 2010 Monroe College graduate, won a full-tuition scholarship to France's Institut Paul Bocuse through a culinary competition recently hosted by world-renowned chef Daniel Boulud.

Boulud, an award-winning chef and owner of several restaurants in New York and throughout the United States, hosted the annual C-CAP Culinary Competition at his critically acclaimed restaurant, Daniel, in Manhattan on April 1 and 2. C-CAP – the Careers through Culinary Arts Program – is a non-profit organization that partners with public schools to prepare underserved high school students for college and career opportunities in the restaurant and hospitality industry. The competition was designed to provide invited C-CAP alumni, such as Daversa, with the opportunity to compete for advanced training at one of the world's pre-eminent culinary education institutions.

Participants were challenged to create “real cooking, no nouvelle cuisine and no sous vide, but rather something that meant something great to the competitor and also tasted fantastic.” More specifically, each had three hours to present a casserole-style dish involving no more than eight ingredients, including at least one vegetable and a starch.

Daversa, a sous-chef at Lure Fishbar in Miami, turned to his former instructors at Monroe College for coaching once notified he was selected to compete. Working with Frank Costantino EdD CEC CCE AAC, Dean of Monroe College’s School of Hospitality Management and the Culinary Arts, and Chef Instructor Eric Pellizzari CEC CCE, he was inspired to create his winning dish, named simply “Chicken and Vegetables,” which was a tribute to childhood family meals in his native Virginia. It featured a braised chicken thigh with a rich reduction sauce including ham, cognac and wild mushrooms, paired in a duo with an herb-roasted chicken breast, garnished with roasted Brussels sprouts, glazed carrots and a potato purée flavored with caramelized onions and a soured cream.

The Institut Paul Bocuse is a world-renowned, highly competitive culinary arts and hospitality management school in Écully, France. Daversa's $15,000 scholarship will enable him to participate in an exclusive, five-week advanced training program for culinary professionals to be held in May. As part of his experience there, he will receive hands-on training working in the kitchens of some of Europe’s most famous restaurants. He was honored at C-CAP’s NY Awards Breakfast last week on April 11.

“Seeing one of our graduates win such a prestigious scholarship from one of Manhattan’s most distinguished chefs is a wonderful testament to the inspiring creativity and professional drive that we see among Monroe culinary students and grads every day,” said Dean Constantino. “We warmly congratulate James on this latest success and wish him the very best as he continues to hone his craft at the Institut Paul Bocuse."

Daversa's enrollment at Institut Paul Bocuse will not be his first time training overseas. A former member of Monroe’s culinary competition team, Daversa studied abroad in Italy while pursuing his degree at Monroe. Upon graduating in 2010, he worked as a sous-chef at Polpette, was a line cook at The Mark Restaurant by Jean-Georges in New York City, and was a sous-chef at Catch Miami.

Monroe College's Culinary Arts program is a world-class practical training program that prepares students for professional careers in the culinary field. Taught by a faculty of experienced industry professionals, students gain valuable instruction and mentoring in a real-world culinary environment. Its student-run restaurant, The Dining Lab, is currently open four days a week, Monday through Thursday, with three seatings at 6:30pm, 7pm, and 7:30pm. The cost of a three-course dinner is $18.95. For more information, and to view their seasonally adjusted menu, please visit


Founded in 1933, New York-based Monroe College is a nationally ranked private institution of higher learning with a real world learning approach that prioritizes hands-on academic experiences, practical and relevant academic programs, flexible learning schedules, best-in-class instructional technologies, and committed and engaged faculty to ensure that students are well positioned for career success upon graduation. Monroe College graduates more minority students than any other college in New York State.

Monroe College offers Certificate, Associate, Bachelor's, and Master's degree programs. It has campuses in the Bronx, New Rochelle, as well as in the Caribbean nation of St. Lucia, with programs offered through its Schools of Criminal Justice, Information Technology, Nursing, Education, Business & Accounting, Hospitality Management and Culinary Arts, and Allied Health Professions, as well as through its liberal arts and continuing education programs, and its King Graduate School. For more information and admissions criteria, please visit

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