Mark Mistriner, chair of the Business and Hospitality Division and coordinator of Culinary Arts at Niagara County Community College, has been recognized by the American Culinary Federation as the 2012 Northeast Region Chef Educator of the Year.
Mistriner, a Grand Island resident, received the award during the 2012 ACF Northeast Regional Conference in Niagara Falls last weekend.
"I am honored to have been chosen to represent the Northeast Region as the Chef Educator of the Year," Mistriner said. "As an educator, I truly enjoy watching the students grow and develop from their first day in the kitchen until graduation and beyond. There is nothing more satisfying than knowing that I have in some way helped students to progress toward a successful career."
The 2012 ACF Northeast Region Chef Educator of the Year award pays tribute to an active culinary educator whose knowledge, skills and expertise have given culinary students leadership and guidance for the future. As this year's Northeast Region recipient, Mistriner will vie for the national title against three other candidates at the 2012 ACF National Convention in Orlando, Fla., July 14-17. Candidates will each give a lecture/demonstration before a panel of judges who will decide the winner.
Mistriner holds an associate degree in culinary arts from NCCC, where he has worked since 1994. He began working at the school as a technical assistant in the culinary arts department while attending night school to earn his B.S. in hospitality at Buffalo State College. After earning his bachelor's degree in 1995, he focused on his position at the school and operating his wholesale/retail European pastry shop, The Pastry Table, in Niagara Falls. Mistriner continued his education, earning a master's degree in foundations and teaching from Niagara University in 2002 and was then promoted to chef-instructor and assumed the role of program coordinator at NCCC. In this role, Mistriner was responsible for the department's budget and oversaw curriculum development, among other responsibilities. Since then, he has received several promotions, from assistant professor to his current role as full professor and chair of the College's Business & Hospitality Division.
Mistriner says he is proud to have streamlined all course syllabi at the school, created measurable student learning outcomes and standardized rubrics for all instructors. Enrollment has grown steadily, from 20 culinary students to 200. The school is currently in the midst of a $25 million building project, with the new Niagara Falls Culinary Institute's completion date set for August 2012.
Prior to joining the staff at NCCC, Mistriner worked as executive sous chef at Hyatt Regency Buffalo and as executive chef at Radisson Hotel, Niagara Falls. He is a member and current vice president of ACF of Greater Buffalo New York.