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Atlantic Cape Foundation presents 39th annual Restaurant Gala

01/31/2022 | Media Contact: Claire Sylvester | (609) 343-4933
2022 Atlantic Cape Restaurant Gala invite

Tickets are now on sale for the Atlantic Cape Foundation’s 39th annual Atlantic Cape Restaurant Gala, “Immersion,” a scholarship fundraiser to benefit students in the Academy of Culinary Arts, now in its 40th year.

“The Foundation is thrilled to welcome guests and supporters back to Harrah’s for the 2022 Atlantic Cape Restaurant Gala. This event is so important because each year, we are able to raise thousands of dollars in scholarships for our students attending the Academy of Culinary Arts in pursuit of their career dreams,” said Maria Kellett, dean of the Cape May County campus and associate director of the Atlantic Cape Foundation.

Since it began in 1983, the Atlantic Cape Restaurant Gala has raised well over $3.5 million for scholarships for students attending the Academy of Culinary Arts (ACA) through the generous support of our community partners and corporate sponsors.

This year’s gala will be held 6-9:30 p.m. at Harrah’s Waterfront Conference Center in Atlantic City. The gala will take attendees on an immersive culinary experience.

“We are delighted to wow our guests once again as we feature many of the area's finest restaurants, tantalizing desserts from local bakeries, and exceptional wines and spirits,” said Jean McAlister, Executive Director of the Atlantic Cape Foundation. “We could not put together the event we imagined without the generosity of our community, restaurants, bakeries, wineries, and distilleries. We are most grateful for the outpouring of support from our community.”

This year’s gala celebrates the contributions of retired ACA Dean Chef Kelly McClay and the Mullock Family of Cape May to the Atlantic Cape community.

McClay, our Culinary Arts Honoree, began working at the ACA in 1994 as an adjunct professor and rose through the ranks over the years. She was promoted to dean in 2007. McClay has a passion for culinary arts and education, leading and managing several events featuring the ACA students during her tenure, including the Miss America Luncheon, Savor Borgata Food and Wine, NJ Food and Wine Festival.

McClay also instituted the study abroad programs for ACA students, traveling to Italy and France, and was instrumental in bringing the college’s greenhouse back to life.

The Mullock Family, our Community Honoree, own several popular properties including Cape May National Golf Course and the Chalfonte Hotel. Family patriarch Bob Mullock is an ardent supporter of Atlantic Cape and serves on the Foundation Board of Trustees as an honorary member. In addition to his philanthropic and business ventures, Mullock and his son Zack recently developed the Harriet Tubman Museum in Cape May.

Sample signature dishes, beverages and desserts from the area's best establishments, enjoy live entertainment from the Dirty Dance Band, and raise funds to support the Academy of Culinary Arts students as they train to become the area's next great chefs. ACA alumnus Peter Slavin, owner of Ice Sculpture Philly, will perform a special ice carving presentation.

Tickets are $225 a person or $2,100 for a table of 10.

Three lucky winners will share up to $15,000 in the 2022 Atlantic Cape Community College Restaurant Gala 50/50 Raffle. The raffle is sponsored by the Atlantic Cape Community College Foundation, and 50% of proceeds go toward emergency funds for students and student programming.

Only 300 raffle tickets will be sold at $100 each. Three cash prizes will be awarded: 30% of the total sales, 15% and 5%. The winning tickets will be drawn at the Restaurant Gala on March 31 at Harrah’s Waterfront Conference Center. Winners do not need to be present to win.

Tickets will be on sale during the gala and are also available for purchase in advance. To make an advance purchase, contact Maria Kellett at 609-463-3670 or

For more information about this year’s gala and to purchase tickets, visit