|CHEF DENNIS MELIA IS CITED FOR SUCCESS
BRICK – Dennis Melia, of Brick, has been selected as the “Successful Graduate”
by the Ocean County Vocational Technical School (OCVTS). He will be recognized at a dinner sponsored by the New Jersey Council of County Vocational and Technical Schools at the East Brunswick Chateau on April 24.
Melia is the baking instructor at the OCVTS Brick Center and has served as a chef at several shore area restaurants including the former Warren Hotel, Spring Lake, the Old Mill, Spring Lake Heights and most recently, Branches, in Long Branch.
A native of Cincinnati, Ohio, Melia graduated from the culinary program at OCVTS in 1976. He was a student of the late instructor Paul Gertner and Phil Cohen, a retired instructor.
He later completed the American Culinary Federation’s apprenticeship program and studied under several European chefs. He continues to arrange apprenticeships for culinary graduates at area hotels.
In 1990, Melia returned to the vocational technical school as a baking instructor under Norman Gertner.
When Gertner retired in 1999, Melia took over the baking program.
As a teacher, Melia trained many state and national winners in the Vocational Clubs of America (VICA) Skills USA competitions. He also hosted the American Culinary Federation’s Winterfest Culinary competition at the historic Warren Hotel which was torn down last year.
“Chef Melia earns high praise from his colleagues,” said Principal Dr. Jeanne Andrews of the Brick Center, who nominated Melia.
“His professionalism combined with his relaxed, supportive interpersonal style, encourages productivity, teamwork and high achievement from his students,” Dr. Andrews added.
The council will also honor successful graduates from the state’s other 20 county vocational and technical schools. In addition, Maud Dahme, of Allendale, president of the New Jersey Board of Education, will be honored at the dinner for her strong support of vocational education over many years.