Culinary Scholarship Dinner


The 2024 Culinary Scholarship Dinner will be held on February 29th, 2024

Elegant marble background with plate and silverware5:30 p.m. Social | Red River Valley Room in the Hektner Student Center 

6:00 p.m. Dinner (multi-course meal) | Wildcat Express in the Hektner Student Center

The annual Culinary Scholarship Dinner helps raise funds to support scholarship dollars for Culinary Arts students, increasing accessibility for students to attend this program at NDSCS. This dinner is also an excellent opportunity for students to help create and serve a multi-course fine dining experience for guests, teaching important on-the-job skills and benefiting their overall Culinary education. 

This 6-course dinner with wine pairings is prepared and served by culinary students, faculty, and program alumni. Read the bios of the guest Chefs below. 

New in 2024 is a wine raffle where guests can purchase a cork for $25, and each cork matches with a bottle of wine, ranging in value up to $150!

How To Attend

Tickets are available HERE for $125 per person.
Thanks to our guest chefs and other supportive partners in the Culinary industry, much of the food and supplies are donated for the Scholarship Dinner. That means most of your ticket price goes right back to the program in the Culinary Arts Endowment Fund, and is a tax-deductible donation.

Note: This is a 21+ event. Tickets are required to be purchased in advance of the event.. 

RSVP here



Guest Chefs

Guest Chefs
Chef Joe Brunner — Mezzaluna

Joe Brunner from MezzalunaChef Joe Brunner grew up in Fargo and attended Fargo South High School, graduating in 2013. Throughout high school Joe worked at a local Mexican restaurant and discovered his love of cooking. Before attending NDSCS, Joe studied Criminal Justice at NDSU then soon realized he should follow what he loved and started studying Culinary Arts at NDSCS.

While attending NDSCS, Joe worked for Eric Watson at Mezzaluna/Rustica and continued to work for him after graduating in 2017. A year later, the opportunity to purchase the restaurant along with his business partner arose and almost 6 years later, the rest is history!


See Mezzaluna's website here. 

Mark Schmidt — Bix Produce

Mark Schmidt from Bix ProduceMark Schmidt was born and raised in a small town outside of Milwaukee where he grew up working in the restaurant industry. Mark started washing dishes at a local supper club at age 12 and worked his way up to his first Executive Chef role at Asian fusion concept, Umami Moto at 26. He apprenticed under James Award Winner, Sanford D’Amato and worked as an Executive Chef for The Bartolotta Restaurants under the owners and James Beard Award Winners, Paul Bartolotta and Adam Siegal.

In 2014, Mark became the Executive Chef at the Hotel Donaldson and soon moved to Moorhead. He now works closely with area chefs to help provide the best produce available as a sales representative for Bix Produce.


Learn more about Bix Produce here. 

Kevin Roller — NDSCS Dining Services

Kevin Roller from NDSCS Dining ServicesKevin Roller grew up in Western North Dakota in a large family who gardened and processed their own meat. That’s where his journey into Culinary Arts began, and it has turned into something he’s enjoyed over the years. Kevin worked at his hometown restaurant growing up and through high school, where he attended food classes. During that time, he competed in cooking competitions in class and with the North Dakota Beef Counsel.

Following graduation from high school, Kevin discovered NDSCS and decided to pursue a career in Culinary Arts. He participated in Chef’s Club and competed at SkillsUSA competitions during his time at the College. After obtaining his Culinary Arts degree from NDSCS, Kevin worked at hotel restaurants in Fargo, honing his skills in dining and large volume catering. Having spent many years in that sector of the Culinary industry, Kevin took a job with a hospital in Fargo to further advance his career. He was able to learn how to cook for different diets and various food allergens, along with cooking for customers in the hospital’s café. Kevin worked at the hospital for nearly a decade when he made a change to corporate dining, supporting Microsoft Dining in Fargo. After working his way up through internal promotions, Kevin worked as the Executive Chef there for 17 years.

The next adventure for Kevin has lead him back to where his Culinary Arts career started – right here at NDSCS. He would like to help advance the food experience here at the College, and give students and employees food they never thought they would get to experience while attending or working on a college campus. With his team’s support, there has been great progress, and more updates are still to come.

Kevin is married and has two sons that attend college. When he’s not at work, he enjoys spending time with family and friends. He does a lot of outdoor activities, and experiments cooking with different foods, as the Culinary industry keeps changing.


Read about the Dining options at NDSCS. 

Alyssa Berger — 84 Steakhouse (Raddison Blu)

Alyssa Berger from 84 SteakhouseAlyssa Berger, an NDSCS alumni, graduated in 2021 with an Associates Degree in Culinary Arts. Her interest in the culinary world developed in her grandma’s kitchen where she enjoyed helping her grandma prepare traditional German dishes. After college, Alyssa had the opportunity to intern at Spitfire Bar and Grill where she learned real world experience before moving onto a full-time line cook position at Porter Creek Hardwood Grill.

Currently, she fulfills the Sous Chef position at the Radisson Blu’s 84 Italian Steakhouse where she is developing kitchen leadership skills while also preparing gourmet steaks and pastas.


See the 84 Steakhouse website here. 

Summer Peterson — BernBaum's

Summer PetersonSummer Peterson is a culinary entrepreneur from Fargo, North Dakota who has been in the industry for 12 years and still has a boundless appetite for learning. Summer has honed her skills through experience, genuine passion for food, and with the help of her fellow mentors. With her years of experience, Summer specializes in comfort food, focusing on simple, yet flavorful dishes like chicken pot pie, mac and cheese, and meatloaf. She believes that food should be delicious and satisfying, but also comforting, providing a sense of warmth and comfort to those who eat it. She remains eager to learn and grow as a chef, never settling for routine and always pushing herself to try new things.


See the BernBaum's website here. 

Grace Lamberson — Toasted Frog

Grace Lamberson from Toasted FrogGrace Lamberson, commonly referred to as OGG hails from Grand Forks, North Dakota, but has roots in Hallock, Minnesota. According to her parents, Ken and Lisa Lamberson, she has been cooking since she was old enough to talk. She started by making small snacks and later was making whole meals for her family of 7.

Grace has a passion not only for cooking, but also for learning more about what makes food great and teaching others how to be great cooks too. Grace graduated from the Culinary Arts program at North Dakota State College of Science in the Spring of 2022. She then double-majored in Restaurant Management and Meat Processing the following Fall. Grace achieved her Meat Processing Certificate at the end of that fall and is expected to receive her associates degree for Restaurant Management at the end of Fall 2023.

Along with being a full-time online student, she is also working full time as a Prep Chef at the Toasted Frog in Grand Forks. 


Check out the Toasted Frog here.