Monroe College School of Hospitality Management and the Culinary Arts Hosts 9th Annual Chef's Legacy Fundraising Event on September 22

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Culinary Fundraising Event To Feature Regional Flavors of the Mediterranean

Monroe College, a national leader in urban and international education, today announced that its School of Hospitality Management and the Culinary Arts will be hosting the ninth annual “Chef’s Legacy” fundraising event to provide scholarship assistance to students participating in the culinary art’s study abroad program in Italy. The event honors the memory of Chef Craig Rutman, the first director of Monroe’s Culinary Arts Program, who launched Monroe’s Study Abroad Program in 2005. It will begin at 6:30pm on September 22 and will be held at Monroe’s state-of-the-art Culinary Arts Center in New Rochelle, located at 434 Main Street.

The event will feature a cocktail reception showcasing regional flavors of the Mediterranean from countries such as Egypt, Greece, Italy and France. Students from Monroe’s culinary arts program and Chef Frank Costantino, Dean of Monroe’s School of Hospitality Management and the Culinary Arts, will be preparing dishes. Over 250 guests are expected to attend, including business partners, local government and political figures and culinary industry professionals, in addition to students, faculty and staff. Last year, 200 guests helped raise over $70,000 for culinary students to study abroad in Italy through the Rutman Memorial Scholarship Fund.

“This event brings together an exceptionally talented group of culinary students, staff and community members for an evening of delicious food and fellowship,” said Carol Genese, who created the event in 2006 and serves as Monroe’s Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs. “It is a meaningful celebration of the life and legacy of Chef Rutman, whose dedication to creating a real-world cooking experience and culinary education for students has become readily apparent in the mounting success of our culinary arts program.”

Chef Rutman passed away unexpectedly in July 2005. Prior to joining Monroe in 2003, he was a baking instructor 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.

If you are interested in making a donation to the scholarship fund or learning more about the event, please contact Carol Genese at cgenese(at)monroecollege(dot)edu or call 646-393-8460.

Founded in 2003, Monroe College's Culinary Arts program prepares students for professional careers in the culinary field. 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 received nearly 500 awards, including 15 gold and 10 silver medals at the last three NY state championships, as well as the coveted Marc Sarrazin trophy at the International Hotel, Motel and Restaurant Show in NYC in 2011 and 2013. For more information, please visit here.


Founded in 1933, New York-based Monroe College is a nationally ranked private institution of higher learning with a student-centric 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 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. The institution was listed in the fall of 2013 by U.S. News & World Report as the most affordable ranked private college in New York State. For more information and admissions criteria, please visit

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