Turkey Day Isn’t The Only Way

Turkey Day Isn't The Only Way

4 unique alternatives to using turkey for your thanksgiving feast

Thanksgiving is only days away. Are you preparing yourself for the big feast? Director of Culinary and Hospitality programs at Star Career Academy, Chef McNulty, has been prepping for his family feast all week. “I’ve been hosting Thanksgiving for as long as I can remember. I invite my whole family, friends, and friends of friends, it’s a big party. Every year there is at least one or two guest who are either on a gluten-freevegetarianvegan diet or someone has a food allergy. As a host I want them to enjoy the Thanksgiving holiday to the full extent like the rest of us, and it certainly goes a long way if you prepare something special for them.”

Here is the real question: How will you prepare some Thanksgiving dishes for guests with restricted diets? Being vegetarian, or following a strict diet, can be extremely difficult during the holidays. These guests should be able to enjoy the same abundance and tradition that meat-eaters get to experience on special holidays like Thanksgiving.

Aside from the big bird at the head of the table, the traditional Thanksgiving meal is already principally vegetarian as it is, and features the best of the fall season’s delicious seasonal ingredients, which include pumpkin, cranberry, and butternut squash. It’s certainly a great idea to serve a dish that is delicious for all guests, but would also offer a satisfying vegan or vegetarian friendly option for others.Thanksgiving 2014

Sure, there are endless recipes that you can find to help create mouthwatering meatless dishes for Thanksgiving, but making your guests’ meal a great experience might take a little bit more than just serving endless portions of veggie side dishes.

According to the “Vegetarian Times,” there are about 7.3 million Americans who follow a vegetarian diet and 22.8 million who follow a mostly vegetarian diet, so we are going to look into the best and maybe the worst ‘meatless turkey’ alternatives for your Thanksgiving dinner taking place this Thursday (without cooking a nut loaf from scratch) as the main event to your feast that you can pick up at your local grocery store today.

Field Roast Celebration Roast:Field Roast Celebration Roast

This mock meat roast comes from the Field Roast Grain Meat Company, which has a whole retail line of faux meat products. This vegan roast looks a lot like Beef Wellington, but it’s stuffed with sausage-style stuffing made of butternut squash, apples and mushrooms, which have a garlic and smoke-flavored aftertaste. The roast is moist, tasty, and well-seasoned, perfect for the holiday season.

Quorn Turk’y Roast:Quorn Turk'y Roast

This turk’y roast has probably the closest thing to a “meat” taste and texture on our list, which is great for an ex carnivore turned vegetarian. The only drawback to keep in mind with this roast is that it tends to be too much like actual turkey in the sense that it can be a little dry at times and requires extra gravy.

Tofurky Vegetarian Feast:Tofurky Vegetarian Feast

Tofurky is the most recognizable brand for most non-vegetarians. This feast pays a lot of attention to trimmings rather than just the mock turkey, as it comes with wild rice, bread crumb stuffing and mushroom gravy. This vegetarian feast serves up to 6 and looks the most like turkey on our list. The stuffing is delicious, while the “meat” has a rubbery consistency. (But hey, it also came with a vegan fudge brownie!)

Gardein Stuffed Veggie Turkey Roast:Gardein Stuffed Veggie Turkey Roast

This is our favorite non-“meat” product. (I even have meat-eater friends who enjoy this dish from time to time.) This “turkey roast” is made from soy, wheat, peas, and carrots, and has a convincing flavor and texture that may fool meat-eaters should you decide to place this dish next to your real turkey! This is a great vegetarian and vegan-friendly option to complete your Thanksgiving spread. Depending on your location, you can pick this up in the hot food section at your local Whole Foods Market.

While vegetarians and vegans don’t eat meat, these Thanksgiving dishes provide some great turkey alternatives for a filling meal (and are probably better for one’s overall health and waistline). Let us know if you’re going meat-free this Thanksgiving! 



Get Ready for the Third Annual All-Star Cook Off

Things are heating up here at Star Career Academy as we get ready for the Third Annual Greg TAll-Star Cook Off. For one day a year, Star Career Academy transforms into what is similar to the television settings of “Chopped” or “Iron Chef.” Teams that are made up of two students from the Culinary program – from the Syosset, New York City, Newark and Philadelphia campuses – will cook off against each other in hopes to win the 2014 Cook Off trophy (and bragging rights).

This year’s All-Star Cook Off will be hosted by the Newark campus on Friday, November 7th, 2014. Beginning at 9:30am, students will be presented with a mystery basket of seasonal ingredients which may include (but not limited to) meat, fish, potatoes, rice, fruits, vegetables, herbs and spices. Last year’s mystery baskets were made up of pork, zucchini, potatoes and goat cheese – all of which were required to be used as some component of the dish. Teams will have three minutes to confer with their Chef Instructors to decide on what they will cook. After that, each team is on their own, as instructors must leave the kitchen for the remainder of the competition.

Competitors have access to standard pantry and walk-in items, but no secret ingredients, specific tools or unique plates are permitted. Each team will have a total of 120 minutes to produce a minimum of 25 tasting portion plates. All plates must:

–        Utilize every item in the mystery basket.

–        Include cooking techniques specified.

–        Be identical.

–        Be plated on time.

Criteria for judging will be the same as it is for the Star Practical Cooking Evaluations for Star Career Academy Culinary students. This is a point value system for overall taste, seasoning, application of proper method and technique, presentation, timing and temperature. Points will also be calculated for the level of difficulty attempted, following of directions, sanitation practices and professionalism.

Among the judges for this year’s All-Star Cook Off is radio personality, Greg T. (The Frat 2012 Cook OffBoy) from “Elvis Duran and the Morning Show.” The score sheets of Greg and the other judges will be tallied, and the winning team will be selected numerically.

Family members and friends are all welcome to attend. Currently, the Philadelphia Campus has remained undefeated, having won the past two All-Star Cook Off competitions. Will they finally be defeated – or go for the three-peat?

5 Thing To Consider For A Career In Cosmetology

If you are reading this, you have probably thought about attending Cosmetology school at least once. A lot of people enjoy working with hair and makeup, but is a career in cosmetology for you? The current job market is very competitive, and there are plenty of reasons why you might want to choose a career in the cosmetology industry. Among other advantages, a career in cosmetology can offer many exciting opportunities in job growth, location and income.

Make Your Own Schedule: Work Around Your LifestyleSchedule

If you do choose to go to Cosmetology school, once you graduate, you’ll be prepared to become a licensed stylist in Pennsylvania. A lot of our graduates find work as stylists in salons, and some of them even go on to open their own establishments. In most cases, as a stylist, you will be able to work as much as you want and when you want. You can work a typical Monday-to-Friday schedule or any combination of days during the week. Many stylists enjoy working during regular business hours, as some tend to work when their clients are free after normal business hours and have the mornings and afternoons to themselves. While working in a salon, you can gain all the benefits of an entrepreneur, as you will build up your own schedules as well as clientele. Setting up your own schedule that fits to your personal unique lifestyle is a great perk while working as a stylist at a salon.

Control Your Income

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the average hourly wage for hairdressers, hairstylists, and cosmetologists is about $13.24 (or the annual wage of $27,530). This number can be a bit deceiving when comparing wages with other careers, because as a stylist you have more control over your income than you would in most other jobs. Your income comes directly from both the amount and quality of work you provide for your clients. There are many incentives (such as tips). If you do a good job as a stylist, your clientele are likely to give you good tips and keep coming back to you. Commissions are also another great way to add some extra cash to your paycheck. Encouraging your clients to purchase certain brands of hair products (like CHI products, which are offered at all of our salon locations), can add up quickly.

Ditch the Desk JobStar Career Academy Beauty Salon

The traditional 9-to-5 office setting isn’t for everyone. Luckily, in the cosmetology industry, you will probably not be working behind a desk and computer. You’ll most likely stay active and on your feet for most of your shift. In the cosmetology industry, every day is a new day. By working with old and new clients, motivated co-workers, and walk-in clients, you’ll never experience the same type of day twice. If you feel you can thrive on this this type of daily variety, you’re definitely cut out for a career in the beauty industry!

Keep Up With Trends

Do you find yourself constantly watching television shows like “Project Runway” or any number of red carpet events? Keeping up with trends is a huge part of being a stylist and staying ahead of the curve. The fashion and beauty industry is constantly changing with new designs, looks and outfit trends that appear nearly every week. As a stylist, you have to keep up with the newest trends, techniques and everything that’s popular. If you are naturally on top of today’s trends, you most likely enjoy learning new things. So, why not get paid for it while working in the cosmetology industry?

Work in Fashion, Movies, TV, Special Effects (and More)

Not all graduates of Star Career Academy’s Beauty program end up working in a salon. There are countless opportunities for careers in the fashion and entertainment industries. Some graduates first work as a stylist in a traditional salon (learning all the newest techniques and industry trends) and then move on to the entertainment business. Fashion shows, celebrities, music acts, theatres, and even haunted houses all have in-house make-up artists and stylists. Movies are another option, as there are job opportunities for special effects makeup artists who work with makeup and prosthetics to transform actors into characters on the sets of plays and movies.

Cosmetology at Star Career Academy Star Career Academy

With a positive attitude, customer service skills, and a drive to better your career prospects, cosmetology may be the field for you. With what seems like an endless list of opportunities in a growing industry, you’ll meet new people every day while building their confidence and making them look good.

At Star Career Academy, our goal is to prepare students through competency-based knowledge, and scientific and artistic principles, along with hands-on fundamentals related to the cosmetology industry. The combination of lectures in cosmetology theory and real-world practice in salons introduces students to the professional standards and responsibilities that are required of them in order that they may be prepared for this rewarding career after graduation.

Graduates of the Cosmetology program (at either the Philadelphia or Audubon campus) will be eligible to take examinations required for beauty salons, spas, and other related businesses as a stylist, salon manager or owner, color specialist, skin or nail specialist, platform or makeup artist, manufacturer’s representative, and cosmetic salesperson, among other positions. Apply or find out more about Star Career Academy’s Cosmetology program by clicking here. You can graduate with a Cosmetology diploma in as little as 12 months (or 18 months for the evening program).

The Second Annual Star Career Beauty Battle!

Cosmetology students – clear the runway! The second annual “Beauty Battle” is taking place next month on October 17th. The Star Career AcaBeauty Battle Trophydemy “Beauty Battle” is an interschool fashion show beauty competition. Students from both the Audubon and Philadelphia campuses will battle for the “School Trophy” and the title of “Beauty Battle Champions.” This year’s competition will be hosted by, and taking place, at the Philadelphia Campus.

The Audubon and Philadelphia campuses will hold their own competitions before the “Beauty Battle” to pick the “best of the best” of who will represent each campus. The two categories that will be judged this year will be “Evening” and “Fantasy.” Star Career Academy Cosmetology students will do everything – from hair down to the color of their toes. Judges will pay attention to how students work on hair add-ons, smoothness of hair, proper hair placement, makeup techniques, clothing, and the overall look.

Each school will send five competitors for the “Evening” category and five competitors for the “Fantasy” category. The school with the most cumulative points will win the school trophy and title of “Beauty Battle Champions.” Each category will also have a First-, Second-, and Third-Place winner.

2013 Beauty BattlesIf you think you have what it takes to represent your campus in the “Beauty Battle,” ask your instructor about how you can take advantage of this opportunity and showcase your skills among your peers. Competitors are responsible for finding their own model who is an active Star Career Academy student. Students will create their designs in advance, and style and apply makeup on the morning of the competition.

The competition preparation will begin on the morning of Friday, October 17th at the Philadelphia Campus. Presentations will begin at 1:00pm, and all are welcome to attend the show and cheer on your fellow Star Career Academy students. Visit our website for more information about the Star Career Academy Cosmetology program. Beauty Battle 2013 2

Food Trends for September 2014

You can find aspiring chefs and new restaurants in every city, trying to make their Cronutscontribution to the culinary industry and our taste buds. If you look hard enough, it seems as though new food trends and creations are popping up every day. Not all “culinary experiments” tend to work out – some don’t last while others leave a good impression. So far, we’ve experienced some food trends that show no signs of slowing and down. Then there are those that may or may not last; only time will tell.

Locally Grown Ingredients

Food is shipped around the world. Frozen foods allow us to have certain ingredients Farmer's Marketyear round. Today’s consumers, it should be noted, is more in tune than ever with what and where their food comes from. The National Restaurant Association reports that one of the hottest growing trends for 2014 is locally obtained meats and seafood, as well as locally grown produce. Locally grown foods have tremendous benefits for the consumer and community. Not only are these ingredients full of flavor, but local foods will have a shorter time between harvesting to the kitchen, resulting in more nutrients and freshness. What we may call “eating local” also means eating seasonally. This allows chefs to keep things fresh and new as the seasons change. (We are sure there are a few pumpkin fanatics jumping out of their seats for the fall season!)

Gluten-Free Cooking

The gluten-free trend doesn’t look as though it will settle down anytime soon. We Gluten Freecontinue to see expanding gluten-free sections and products in more and more stores and supermarkets. Now, we also see that restaurants have hopped on this niche bandwagon. The trend is pointing consumers away from wheat gluten products (such as pastas, sauces, and breads) and directing them towards more gluten-free option (quinoa, buckwheat, and amaranth, among others).

Hybrid Foods

Last year, we saw the half-croissant/half-doughnut hybrid known as the “cronut,” which only opened up the door to endless culinary concoctions. Some notable creations we’ve seen this year is the “Wonut” (waffle/doughnut), the “Ramen Burger” (burger served with Ramen Noodles as the bun), “Soup Dumblings,” and the “Lobster Corn Dog.” Tweet at us some interesting hybrid foods that you have tried this year @Star_Career!

If you enjoy cooking and want to start a career in the culinary field, or if you merely want to expand your recipe repertoire to impress your friends and family, Star Career Academy’s Professional Cooking Program may be for you. This program emphasizes hands-on training with special attention given to the practical side of professional food preparation. Successful graduates will have developed the skills and knowledge for an entry level position in a career in restaurants, bakeries, food service departments of corporations, and health-related institutions, as well as catering and “food to go” fields.

If you are a current Star Career Academy student enrolled in either the cooking or baking programs, ask your instructors how you can participate and show off your innovation and skills in this year’s Cook Off (10/24/14) and Bake Off (12/12/14) and represent your campus in the Star Career Academy cooking and baking contests.

For more information about our graduation rates, the median debt of students who completed the programs and other important information, please visit our website at http://www.starcareeracademy.com/consumerinfo.php.

Hybrid Foods


CHI Hair Products at Star Career Academy Beauty Salons


New York Fashion week is in full swing and what better time to announce that Star Career Academy Beauty Salons will begin using CHI hair products in our beauty salons. CHI hair products will now be offered for use for our beauty salon services. CHI hair products will also be sold at all Star Career Academy Beauty Salons. Click here for locations and more information about Star Career Academy’s full service salons.

For the latest in CHI hair products or for their coverage of the New York Fashion week, check out: https://www.facebook.com/CHIHaircare or use the hashtag #CHINYFW

For more information about Star Career Academy’s cosmetology program and salon services click here.


Calling All Those Interested in Cosmetology

It’s back to school season and you know what that means: students from all over are groaning at the fact that their summer vacations days are dwindling. That’s O.K. If you are continuing your education after high school it shouldn’t be looked at as a chore, but as learning something you love and are passionate about. If you have a passion for beauty and feel you that it is finally time for a change, you might consider cosmetology school.

Star CosmetologyGraduate in 2015: The cosmetology field is as popular as ever. Traditional four-year programs aren’t for everyone. Luckily, one of the main advantages of cosmetology school is that you save time! Usually, students will spend four years at an institution to obtain a degree, whereas in the Star Career Academy Cosmetology program, you can earn your certification in as little as 12 months and get practical work as a professional. You’ll be given the opportunity to join the work force much sooner than friends at traditional colleges, as well as avoid massive student loan debts acquired from expensive four-year schools. Star Career Academy conveniently offers financial aid (to those who qualify) to help pay for tuition, fees, books, supplies, and personal expenses.

Hands on learning: Star Career Academy’s Cosmetology Diploma program is designed to provide competency-based knowledge, scientific/art principles, and the hands-on fundamentals associated with the cosmetology industry. Star Career Academy’s program combines lecture in cosmetology theory with real-world practice in the salon. You will also learn about professional standards, aspects of personal and career development, and the legal and ethical responsibilities of workers who interact physically with clients and apply cosmetics.

Pennsylvania job outlook: The Cosmetology program at Star Career Academy is currently 222offered at both the Audubon and Philadelphia campuses in Pennsylvania. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the job outlook for hairdressers, hairstylist, and cosmetologists is expected to grow by 10% (from 2010 to 2020), which results in about over 1,000 job openings annually.

Show off your creativity: You will find that learning specifically about color theory, eye shapes, contouring different face shapes and much more, there are plenty of opportunities to show off your creative side, and you’ll be able to express yourself artistically every single day. Star Career Academy Cosmetology students also have the opportunity to part take in what is known as the “Beauty Battle” competition, where students from each campus showcase their talents for the titles of “Beauty Battle Champions.”3333

Graduates of the Cosmetology program at Star Career Academy are eligible to take examinations that are required for licensure as a Cosmetologist in Pennsylvania. Employment opportunities may include positions in beauty salons, spas, and other related businesses as a stylist, salon manager or owner, color specialist, skin or nail specialist, platform or makeup artist, manufacturer’s representative, cosmetic salesperson, and more. If you are considering cosmetology as a career, request more information by filling out this ‘Contact Us’ form or calling 1-800-659-STAR!

What the Future Looks Like for Medical Assistants

Would you want a career where you would be meeting and helping new people every day? Medical Assistant Job OutlookThen the medical assisting field may be for you. Luckily, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, jobs for medical assistants have been expected to grow by 29% from 2012 to 2022. With the number of aging citizens and the rising numbers of health-related conditions, medical assistants will be very high in demand.

Medical assistants carry out both administrative and clinical tasks in a medical setting. Should you choose to pursue this career, your duties will differ with the location, size or specialty of a practice. Graduates of the Medical Assistant Training Program here at Star Career Academy have the opportunity to obtain entry-level employment at  a physician’s office, public or private hospitals, outpatient care centers, or nursing and residential care facilities.

You can train to become a medical assistant in as little as nine months at Star Career Academy. This program allows you to earn your degree quickly, so you can enter the workforce in a timely manner. The great thing about training to become a medical assistant is that it exposes you to the many different areas in the medical field and helps you narrow down what you want to do in the future.

Star Career Academy’s Medical Assistant Training Program is a clinical curriculum which consists of patient intake, vital signs, laboratory procedures, specialty examinations, phlebotomy, diagnostic testing and electrocardiography. The course also covers the administrative aspect of the job with medical billing and coding, insurance procedures, and medical office management. If this sounds interesting and you would like to change your career path, consider becoming a medical assistant.

The Medical Assistant Program is currently offered at our New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania locations. Contact Star Career Academy or call us at 1-800-659-STAR (7827) for any questions or more information.

Medical Assistant Duties

Star Career Academy Alumni Has a Lot of “Flour Power”

Iris Rezoagli, an alumni member of the Professional Pastry and Baking Program at Star Career Academy’s Long Island Campus, has been nominated for a Martha Stewart “American Made” Award. Iris was nominated for her amazing and creative “shoe-themed” cake style. She is eligible to win a cash prize, a spot in the “American Made” market, and the opportunity to be featured in “Martha Stewart Living.”Iris Rezoagli

The Martha Stewart “American Made” Awards were set up to spotlight “the next generation of great American makers: entrepreneurs, artisans, and small-business owners who are creating beautiful, inspiring, useful products; pioneering new industries; improving local communities; and changing the way we eat, shop, work, and live.” Rezoagli has been nominated in the “Food: Sweets & Baked Good” category. The judges of the “American Made” Awards will be judging on the criteria of: creativity, workmanship, appearance, and embodiment of “American Made” Theme.

Iris Rezoagli’s specialty is baking “Shoe Cakes.” (Check out some of her work or even order a cake of your own, by visiting her Esty shop here.) “Cake decorating is my passion. I love everything about it. I also enjoy teaching others on what I love to do,” she adds. Before she attended Star Career Academy, Iris had released a DVD – “Beautiful Sugar Shoes,” and she has competed in many different baking competitions. Her work has been featured in magazines such as “American Cake Decorating,” “Ices” and “Cake Central.”

Iris has had this passion for cake decorating for a long time, but she knew that getting a formal education was very important in order to take her career and business to the next step. She recently graduated from the Professional Baking Program at Star Career Academy. She adds: “The professionalism, atmosphere in both the classroom and the kitchen really has me ready for the next step in my career.” Rezoagli is currently taking a break to finish arranging her daughter’s wedding, but she plans on opening her own cake decorating business in the near future.

Iris Rezoagli CakeThe winners of the “American Made” Awards will be announced October 17th and then featured on November 7-8 at the annual “American Made” Event in New York City. To find out more about the programs at Star Career Academy, including Baking and the Culinary Arts, visit us at http://starcareeracademy.com/.

Open Casting Call for “Hell’s Kitchen” at Star Career Academy!

If you’ve been living under a rock, “Hell’s Kitchen” is a reality television cooking competition show on the Fox network, hosted by celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay. If you think you have what it takes to win this cooking competition, head to the Newark Campus at Star Career Academy, this Sunday, August 3rd, for an open casting call for “Hell’s Kitchen.”hk1

There have been many Star Career Academy Alumni who have appeared on cooking competition shows on television – from “Rewrapped” to “Chopped!” The most recent Star Career Academy alumnus to participate on “Hell’s Kitchen” was Chef Barret Beyer, who appeared in Season 11. If you are a student or a graduate from Star Career Academy you already have an advantage, because training from Star’s Culinary Arts program has already shown that these students have what it takes to compete on nationally televised shows! Participating in these types of shows can open a world of opportunities. The winning chef of “Hell’s Kitchen” receives numerous prizes, including an opportunity to work as the Executive Chef at one of Gordon Ramsey’s restaurants.

The open call is looking for any chef or cook who thinks they have what it takes to win “Hell’s Kitchen.” Make sure to bring a recent photo of yourself (it does not have to be professional), resume, expert skills, interesting tidbits, and why you plan on winning the next season of “Hell’s Kitchen.” You will not be cooking (so don’t bring utensils), but you will have the chance to meet the senior casting producers in person.

If you are interested in enrolling in Star Career Academy’s Culinary or Baking programs, schedule a personal tour or want to learn more call 1-800-659-STAR or contact us.hk2

Location: Star Career Academy’s Newark NJ campus
550 Broad Street; 18th Floor
Newark, NJ 07102