“My culinary career has been fought and tiring, but I wouldn’t change it for the world,” said Brookdale Community College alumna Mariel Inglima, owner of the private catering company, Salt In The Water, LLC. You can see this alumna in action on “Battle of the Brothers” on Food Network in August.

However, Inglima wasn’t always a chef. After completing her bachelor’s degree in business marketing from Monmouth University, she worked for a few years in the corporate world. “But, I always had a passion and desire to go to culinary school,” she said. “After looking at a few options, the Brookdale Culinary Education Center in Asbury Park was the choice for me,” Inglima explained.

“Chef Anthony Eugenio and Chef Tim Lutcza stood out and served as mentors for me,” Inglima said about her time at Brookdale. “Both teachers were heavily involved in helping their students learn as much as they could. They both gave me the tools to continue my journey into the culinary world after graduation,” she said.

After finishing Brookdale’s culinary program in May 2018, Inglima worked in a number of restaurants throughout the Jersey Shore before managing the food and beverage department at the Asbury Hotel, located in Asbury Park. “In February 2020, I founded and started my own private catering company, Salt In The Water, LLC and haven’t looked back since!”

Salt In The Water offers in-home weekly preparation of meals, on-site dinner party catering, as well as cooking classes and parties. “Being immersed in kitchens over the past few years has had a huge influence on my palette and inspired me to experiment with a wide range of flavors and ingredients,” Inglima said on her website, www.saltinthewater.com/about.

“I was able to take the business skills I learned at Monmouth University and the culinary skills I learned at Brookdale and apply them to owning my own business, which is something I always wanted,” Inglima said.

In addition to running her own business, Inglima recently completed a culinary competition with Food Network called “Battle of the Brothers” with legendary chefs Michael and Bryan Voltaggio. The show is currently on Discovery Plus and will be on Food Network in August.

For more information about Brookdale’s culinary program, please visit www.brookdalecc.edu/academic-institutes-and-departments/business-social-sciences/culinary-arts/.