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MCCC Chef/Instructor Frank Benowitz and Students
Cook with Celebrity Chefs

12/13/11

West Windsor, NJ: Mercer County Community College (MCCC) Chef/Instructor Frank Benowitz of Robbinsville had the opportunity to fine tune his culinary skills this summer and fall when he assisted celebrity chefs in cooking demonstration events in the tri-state area. “You must continuously learn and improve your knowledge and skill base to be successful in the culinary world,” said Benowitz, who has taught culinary and business classes at MCCC since 2003.

A graduate of MCCC, Benowitz earned his bachelor’s degree at Thomas Edison State College and his master’s degree through Fairleigh Dickinson University.  The majority of his culinary knowledge has been a result of working with dozens of talented chefs, such as Robert Irvine, Ellie Krieger and Emeril Lagasse.  He has also co-hosted and co-produced the television show, “Dish It Out,” since 2006, along with Chef Doug Fee, who coordinates MCCC’s culinary programs.

Among the events Benowitz participated in this year was Food Network’s Atlantic City Food & Wine Festival, where he gave three cooking demonstrations to full-house crowds. About 35,000 attended the event.  At a special event held at the New Jersey Institute of Technology, he assisted Bravo’s Top Chef Masters winner Rick Bayless with authentic Mexican dishes.

At the Philadelphia Food and Wine Show in October, Benowitz had the opportunity to work with Food Network’s Next Iron Chef winner Jose Garces and Bravo’s Top Chef All Star Mike Isabella.

Pictured, from left, are MCCC students Ben dela Pena and MiSook Park, Iron Chef Jose Garces, MCCC Chef/Instructor Frank Benowitz, and MCCC students Ericka Diaz and Dave Aust.

Celebrity Chef Rick Bayless with MCCC Chef/Instructor Frank Benowitz.


A participant at the Food and Wine Show for the last five years, Chef Benowitz began inviting his students to join him at the cooking events two years ago. “It’s a great experience to bring students to learn from expert chefs in the culinary world,” he said.

This year, after working with Garces at the Food and Wine Show, one of Benowitz’s culinary students was given the opportunity to intern at Garces Trading Company, one of Garces’ seven restaurants in Philadelphia.

“Bringing students to these events creates additional opportunities outside the classroom,” said Benowitz, adding that the networking and career opportunities for his students have proven invaluable.


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