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Florida International University School of Hospitality Students Honored by
Barilla and Buckhead Beef of Florida at 2010 South Beach Wine & Food Festival

Barilla Best FIU Student Chef Award, 2010 Presented to Rachel Reppert

March 2010 - “Rachel has a great attitude, and is always willing to help where she can,” said FIU School of Hospitality Associate Dean Mohammad Qureshi of Barilla’s 2010 Student Chef of the Year Rachel Reppert. “We are very proud of her community involvement in Common Threads, as a Teaching Assistant and as a student leader at both the 2009 and 2010 FIU School of Hospitality’s annual fundraiser, Food Network South Beach Wine  & Food Festival.” Along with the award, Rachel received $1500.

Originally, from Virginia, Culinary Institute of America graduate Rachel Reppert will graduate this May with Bachelors in Science from FIU School of Hospitality.

From a young age, Rachel has had a passion for cooking. Growing up, some of her fondest memories include cooking with her father, particularly his New York- style Cheesecake. In high school, she took introductory cooking classes.

She enjoyed it so much that upon graduation, she and her teacher decided to start a catering company and to open up a restaurant for the teachers. She participated in “Career to a Culinary Arts”, a scholarship-based program, which further solidified her passion for cooking.
After graduating high school, she attended the Culinary Institute of America (CIA) where she earned a Bachelors of Professional Studies. While attending the CIA, she completed a wine and food seminar in Italy.
Said Dean Qureshi, “Rachel has have a great love for the culture and values of Italy and her people, as well as intense passion for Italian cuisine. The culture has inspired her to educate individuals about sustainable agriculture.” Rachel dreams of starting her own non-profit organization connecting local growers to local restaurants.
During her tenure at FIU, Rachel has been involved in many activities, from serving as a Teaching Assistant for Chef Roger Probst, to acting as the lead culinary coordinator at the Food Network South Beach Wine & Food Festival, to volunteering with a Chicago based non-profit organization very close to her heart, Common Threads. With Chefs Michelle Bernstein and Mimi Chacin, Rachel has been during the 2009-10 school year, teaching healthy cooking to elementary school children.
Five FIU students honored by Angus Certified Beef
Alexander Lipin, Rodney Barchi, Lorraine Tejada, Ayelen Ferrer and Laura Manon,  received $500 each from Certified Angus Beef brand and Buckhead Beef of Florida.
“We are excited to support the University and encourage these future leaders in the food-service industry,” said John Stika, president of Certified Angus Beef LLC. “Today more than ever, we appreciate how hard students work to pay for their education. It is an honor for us to be able to help these promising students reach their goal, and  I am confident they will continue to make their mark on the culinary world.”

About Florida International University
Florida International University is a Miami-based, multi-campus, research university serving South Florida, the state, the nation and the international community. It fulfills its mission by imparting knowledge through excellent teaching, promoting public service, discovering new knowledge, solving problems through research, and fostering creativity.   For more information on Florida International University, visit

About Florida International University School of Hospitality
Collaborating with vibrant faculty, exploring a breathtaking array of real-lie opportunities in and outside of the classroom, and living the global experience in a one-of-a-kind metropolis -- this is the Florida International University’s School of Hospitality, home to one of the top six ranked hospitality and tourism programs in the US, as reported by the Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Education.  The school offers a Bachelor of Science degree in hospitality management. It also offers a Master of Science degree in hospitality management (available on campus and via long distance learning). In addition, the school offers an Executive Master of Science in hospitality management (available via long distance learning), as well as certificate programs in numerous specializations.   The school’s building on FIU’s Biscayne Bay Campus includes state-of-the-art laboratory facilities for product and service development, research and testing facilities, and food management instruction. The 45,000 square foot building houses the school’s administration and faculty, the Hilton Training Kitchen, the practicum dining room, the Angostura Culinary/Lecture/Demo Classroom, the Statler Foundation Distance Learning Classroom, the Herbert W. Joseph Lecture Hall, the Jay W. Weiss Wine & Spirit Lab, the Marriott Executive Seminar E-Studio, the Sheraton Auditorium, and the Carnival Resorts Conference Room. The School is also home to the state-of-the-art Southern Wine & Spirits Beverage Management Center, a 4,500 square foot facility that features the latest technology for beverage tasting and analysis.  For further information, visit

Media Contact:

Lisa B. Palley
Palley Promotes
305 642.3132

Also See: Chef-Instructor Michael Moran Leading Students in Preparation of Florida International University's 2010 South Beach Wine & Food Festival / January 2010

Culinary Convergence of Greatest Names in Industry to Benefit Florida International University’s School of Hospitality and Tourism Management at Annual Fund Raiser; 2010 South Beach Wine & Food Festival / December 2009

Burt Cabañas Appointed Chairman of the Industry Advisory Board at Florida International University’s School of Hospitality and Tourism Management / March 2009

Burt Cabañas, Chairman & CEO of Benchmark Hospitality, Honored with Two Awards from Florida International University / July 2006

The Tianjin University of Commerce Completing $30 million Complex Where Students Will Study Hospitality and Tourism Management in a Joint Program with Florida International University / October 2005


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