Culinary Chairperson

Chef Gehnrich is a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America and has over 25 years experience in the restaurant and food service industry. Chef Gehnrich began his career in Boston and then traveled cross-country to work as an executive chef in Alaska for five years. He has worked as a general manager for Sodexho/Marriott Services at such facilities as Ogilvy & Mather and ABC Studios in New York City, and Northrop-Grumman and Cablevision on Long Island. Chef Gehnrich has competed in many cooking competitions.

Chef Gehnrich's Philosophy:
"Next to cooking, teaching is my passion. My goal is to pass my enthusiasm and knowledge on to the students, thereby encouraging them to excel. Enjoying what you do is the key to long term success."

Baking and Pastry Arts

Chef Messina is a certified Executive Pastry Chef, currently with 16 years experience as an Executive Pastry Chef at Lehman Brothers Corporate Dining Services. He also has an additional seven years previous experience as a Pastry Cook and Baker at the Garden City Hotel.

Chef Messina attended the New York City Technical College and received an Associates Degree in Hotel and Restaurant Management. In addition, Chef Messina has taken continuing education classes at the Culinary Institute of America. Chef Messina also enhanced his skills with a week-long chocolate decorating class with the master Ewald Notter in Maryland. He also has a background as a Consulting Pastry Chef at the United Nations Plaza Hotel in New York City and is presently a consultant to the Nassau County Tech/BOCES in the Culinary Education Department.

Chef Messina’s awards include Pastry Chef of the Year at the American Culinary Federation, Long Island Chapter and three ribbons representing the 4-star Garden City Hotel at the Societe Culinaire Philanthropique Food Show in New York City. Chef Messina is a member of the Chefs de Cuisine Association of America and a board of director of the American Culinary Federation, Long Island Chapter. Chef Messina has also served as a Pastry Judge at” The Evening of Good Taste “competition for the past 11 years.

Chef Messina ’s Philosophy:
Chef Messina really enjoys passing on his knowledge and skills along with his “passion” for pastry, and feels ongoing education is the key and an asset to anyone seeking a career in the culinary field.

Culinary Arts

Chef Schrimp is ranked #26 out of the Top 100 Instructors listed in Chef 2 Chef Culinary Portal. He is a graduate of New York Institute of Technology, with a degree in Culinary Arts with honors. Chef Schrimp has worked as banquet and pantry chef, garde manger and executive chef at places such as Three Village Inn, Fox Hollow Country Club the Hamlet Golf and Country Club. Chef Schrimp is currently employed as Dining Services Coordinator at Sunrise Assisted Living. He has been responsible for the cooking and service for the tennis players, VIP Corporate sponsors and the news media for the Hamlet Cup, a world-class tennis event in Commack, Long Island.

Chef Schrimp also is chef/owner of “A Toast to the Palate” catering company serving all of Long Island, and owner of Bella Skye Culinary Consultants, which distributes Diabetic sugar free desserts. He has also been privileged to work for Carol and Alec Baldwin, Patrick Rafter, Andre Agassi, Murphy and Luke Jansen, Ken Grimbal (News 12), and Felix Mantilla.Chef Schrimp also volunteers his time to Island Harvest, The Ritt Foundation, Cerebal Palsy, Evening of Good Taste for South Nassau Hospital, and Long Island Breast Cancer Foundation.

Chef Schrimp is Technical advisor for Culinary and Baking instructional DVD’s for Terra multi media in NYC. And Thomson/ Delmar learning publishers in Clifton Park, NY.

Chef Schrimp’s Philosophy:
“Imagination, organization and being focused are key aspects to success. And remember, there is no 'I' in team.”

Click here for the Chef's recipe!

Baking and Pastry Arts

Chef Mary T. Sydor is a former student of the Culinary Academy. She has owned several restaurants in both Florida and NYC.

Chef Sydor has furthered her studies at the Ewald Notter School of International Confectionary and at The Chocolate Loft owned by Andrew Shotts. In 2003, 2004, 2005 and 2006 she has continued her studies at the World Pastry Forum taught by the world’s top Pastry Chefs.

Chef Sydor began her career as a volunteer assistant and in 2001 started her teaching career in the field of Pastry Arts. She continues to share both her knowledge and enthusiasm in the Baking and Pastry Arts program.

From 2001 thru 2006 she has worked for both the National and World Cup Pastry Championship Competition. At the 2004 and 2006 National Bread and Pastry Competition, Chef Sydor was appointed Assistant Coordinator of the Wedding Cake Competition and Assistant Server Coordinator.

She is a board member of The New York Guild of Chefs, and in October 2003 received the prestigious Member of the Year Award. In October 2006, she received The NY Guild of Chefs Presidents Award. She is a committee member of The NY Guild of Chefs Scholarship Program and is also a member of the ACF Long Island Chapter.

Chef Sydor has been extensively involved with the Evening of Good Taste Competition. During this time her teams won a total of six first place Gold Metals- four for plated desserts and two for sugar work, winning best table design. In 2003 she lead the Culinary Academy Professional Baking Team to a 2nd place award in the wedding cake division at the NYC Javitz Food Show and in 2004 a first place medal at the Salon Culinare Philanthropique, for her sugar work. In 2005 the Culinary Academy’s baking team joined forces with the NY Guild of Chefs and won second place for dessert against Long Island's top Restaurants and Country Clubs. Chef Sydor has been seen numerous times on Food TV and has been a guest for a half hour interview on the Dr. Passes Show.

She hopes to compete in a National Competition and would like to be recognized as one of America’s most outstanding and exceptional teachers.

Chef Sydor ’s Philosophy:
Chef Sydor feels that passion & perseverance are key elements for success in the baking field.

Culinary Arts

Chef McKinney’s Philosophy:
“The importance of the fundamentals of cooking and cooking methods must be stressed to the students rather than trying to memorize recipes, and to develop the thinking skills necessary to be able to think and make decisions on their own. The learning process must also include a development of responsibility for all duties and tasks placed upon the student and the realization that they will be held accountable for the results.”

Click here for the Chef's recipe!

Culinary Arts

Chef DeMarfio is a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America and continued his education in Basel, Switzerland. Chef DeMarfio has over 20 years experience in the culinary arts field and has worked for many years in French and Italian restaurants throughout New York, Florida and Colorado, as well as Marriott Corporate in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Chef DeMarfio ’s Philosophy of Teaching:
“It is nice to see smiles on the students’ faces when their plates are a success. To know that these students will become future chefs and continue that kind of pride in our industry is comforting.”

Click here for the Chef's recipe!

Culinary Arts

Chef McNulty graduated top of his class from The French Culinary Institute in 1988. While in school he did an apprenticeship at the exclusive New York Athletic Club, studying under Master Chef Isokazu Mizuno. Since graduation he has been nominated as outstanding alumni several times. Even with those credentials, Chef McNulty still continues his education, attending master classes at the Culinary Institute of America, such as Advanced Bread Baking & Advanced Ice Carving.

The summer of '05 will mark Chef McNulty’s 25th year in the restaurant business. A span that began right here in Long Island, at The Southampton Inn, at the age of 13. Over those years he has held various Executive & Pastry positions in such locations as N.Y.C, The Hamptons, Shelter Island, L.A., Massachusetts & Florida. Most recently he opened two of his own restaurants in Westchester Co., N.Y. The Cornerstone Grill & The Yellow Tomato. Both to much success.

During his career Chef McNulty has received much media attention. Some of the highlights include Bon Appetit, Boston Magazine, Newsday, Dan’s Paper, The Journal News, several television appearances and consistent high ratings from The New York Times & Zagat’s.

Chef McNulty’s philosophy of cooking:
“Always have respect for the food.”… Meaning, no matter what you are cooking, weather it be Truffle Scented Rack of New Zealand Lamb for the President at a 4 star restaurant, or a burger for your five year old at a backyard BBQ, you should approach them the same way, like a professional, because it is all food you are creating.

Culinary Arts

Chef Robert Ehrlich is a career Restaurant Chef spanning thirty years having begun his culinary journey at the age of sixteen. After his first ten years in the field, he moved to Stockholm, Sweden where he studied at the Kristina Berg Culinary Academy where the training was classic European.

Chef Ehrlich has owned and operated restaurants in New York and Atlanta while simultaneously enjoying a career in private/personal catering.

Chef Ehrlich's philosophy is:
“Within all of us lies an artist waiting to emerge. As an instructor of culinary arts it is my intention to draw out the creative nature of one’s heart and mind. In the final analysis, if you are to read, read great books … if you are to eat, eat great food!”

Baking and Pastry Arts

After attending Hofstra University, Chef Kate Martino graduated the French Culinary Institute in 1997 with a certificate in Classic Pastry Baking and Arts. She has worked in some of the best fine dining establishments on Long Island as well as country clubs and hotels. Chef Martino began her career at the Garden City Hotel, working first as a pastry cook and moving up to Pastry Sous Chef. She has been the Executive Pastry Chef of the Muttontown Country Club under Long Island culinary great Blake Verity and has worked for famed Certified master Pastry Chef Robert Ellinger, whom she cites as a professional and personal career mentor. Chef Martino comes to the Culinary Academy as restaurant opening Executive Pastry Chef for Blackstone Steakhouse in Melville, where her original dessert menu received high accolades from The New York Times, Great Restaurants of Long Island and Zagat’s Review.

Chef Martino has won awards representing the Garden City Hotel from the Societe Culinaire Philanthropique and for her “Blackstone Cake” at An Evening of Good Taste. She has had a spot on Taste This TV and participated in the “Women Chefs of Long Island” benefit. She is thrilled to fulfill her career goal as a pastry instructor and hopes to continue as a teacher for the duration of her career.

Chef Martino's philosophy is:
“Not many people are lucky enough to say they love what they do for a living, but chef’s can. Enjoy this incredible career. But more importantly, life is short, so eat dessert first.!”

Hotel Management

Barbara Seelin has a Bachelor of Science degree in teaching and has been involved in the hotel industry for over 30 years. She started as a manager in a small hotel in Aspen, Colorado. After spending four years working in a resort she returned to the northeast and worked as a manager at the Sheraton Andover in Massachusetts. During her tenure there she gained experiences in running a Housekeeping Department and as Convention Services Manager, Beverage Manager and Night Manager. She was hired by Inn America in 1980 and opened the Sheraton Long Island Hotel as Personnel Manager, hiring the original staff at that property. After marrying in 1983 she transferred to the Holiday Inn Long Island-Islip Airport and worked as Administrative Assistant to the General Manager. During her tenure at the Holiday Inn Long Island she also held the position of Executive Housekeeper.  She most recently left the Sheraton Long Island Hotel after ten years. While at the Sheraton Long Island she held the positions of Administrative Assistant to the General Manager and  Human Resources, Executive Housekeeper and most recently Director of Human Resources.

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