HANCEVILLE, Ala. – Wallace State Community College’s Academy of Culinary Arts program was a big winner recently at the Alabama Chapter of the American Culinary Federation (ACF) banquet.
Trent Nairemore was named the ACF Postsecondary Student of the Year, and Chef John Wilson was named the ACF Postsecondary Teacher of the Year.
Nairemore, 47, is enrolled in his final semester in the program. He’s pursuing a culinary career after spending 17 years in the telecommunications field.
“I about lost it when I realized I was winning the award. I’m sure I had big alligator tears. It means a lot and makes me feel good. I try to attend every event the program is a part of, but not for the recognition. I think it’s a great opportunity to meet new people and showcase what our program is about,” Nairemore said.
Nairemore, a Fayette native, initially became interested in the program during a visit with his wife to campus when she was enrolled in Business Education courses.
“I came with her to get her books and the entire college piqued my interest. I’ve always loved to cook and I was ready for a new challenge,” Nairemore said.
Wilson believes Nairemore serves as a father figure to his fellow students.
“That’s exactly why I nominated him. He’s a great example for all. He’s the first student to arrive and the last one to leave. He’s willing to go the extra mile and doesn’t have ‘no’ in his vocabulary,” Wilson said. “Every program could use someone like Trent.”
Nairemore is the second Wallace State student in three years to earn ACF Student of the Year recognition.
Meanwhile, Wilson is the ACF’s Postsecondary Teacher of the Year, a year after being named the ACF Chef of the Year in Alabama.
Wilson has worked in the culinary industry for 36 years, serving as the program head of Wallace State’s Academy of Culinary Arts program for the past six.
“It’s very humbling and exciting to be voted on as the top instructor by your fellow peers. I was shocked to hear my name called. I couldn’t have been recognized if it wasn’t for our fantastic students. They inspire me to be here,” Wilson said.
Wilson, a Boston native, has worked as a chef in Alabama for 16 years, including his time at Wallace State. Under his direction, the Wallace State program serves lunch to the public and campus each Wednesday during the fall and spring semesters and provides meals for special occasions on campus and throughout the community.
For more information about Wallace State’s Academy of Culinary Arts program, visit www.wallacestate.edu/programs/technical-division/culinary-arts.
For more information about Wallace State, visit www.wallacestate.edu.