Triton College faculty member named Master of Pasta

• Triton College Culinary Department faculty member Carolina Diaz loves to share her passion for cooking, especially pasta. Her skills and passion helped her earn the title of 2018 Barilla Pasta U.S. Master of Pasta, as she beat out top chefs from across the country during the World Pasta Masters U.S. competition in Chicago.

Diaz, with the assistance of fellow Culinary Department faculty member Manny Uribe, wowed judges in the U.S. competition with her winning pasta dish, which translates from Italian to "The Tuna Hideout."

Next, she'll take the show on the road as she prepares to compete against chefs from around the world for the international title this October in Milan, Italy.

Diaz, who is originally from Northlake, serves as a faculty member of Triton's Jerome J. Drosos School of Culinary Arts and is also head chef at Terzo Piano Restaurant at the Art Institute of Chicago.

• The Television Academy announced the juried animation and motion design award winners for the 70th Emmy Awards, which were presented at the 2018 Creative Arts Awards ceremonies on Saturday, Sept 8, in Los Angeles, California. This year's juried winners for outstanding individual achievement in animation included Rolling Meadows native Barbara Benas for her work on the TV show Broad City, episode: "Mushrooms."

Benas, the daughter of Dr. George Benas and Robin Davies Benas, grew up in Rolling Meadows and attended St. Colette Grade School and St. Viator High School. As a high school student, Benas took classes at the Art Institute of Chicago and was a 2010 graduate of Columbus College of Art & Design in Columbus, Ohio.

She has worked extensively in the animation field since her graduation. Benas is also an adjunct professor at the Columbus College of Art & Design.

• District 212 will induct West Leyden alumnus Brian Fruits and East Leyden alumna Laura Beatriz Porro, into the school district's Wall of Fame during a ceremony Friday, Sept. 28, at the West Leyden campus.

Fruits, Class of 1998, graduated from Concordia University in 2003 and went on to earn a Master of Fine Arts degree from the University of Memphis in 2013. He has worked as a high school English teacher at Oswego East and Dundee-Crown. While there he directed musicals, plays, speech and coached football as well.

After graduate school, he went to work for B.B. King, overseeing his operations as the head of Creative Talent and Operations on Holland American Cruise Lines. Currently, he is a professor at Concordia College.

He also runs the Saltbox Theatre Collective, a nonprofit theater company that has received much praise, including Chicago Jeff Award recognition.

Porro, Class of 1999, graduated from the University of Illinois at Chicago in 2004, and went on to earn her Ph.D. in paleobiology from the University of Cambridge, United Kingdom, in 2010.

She is currently a senior research associate in the School of Earth Sciences at the University of Bristol in the United Kingdom, where she is a part of the paleobiology research group.

She has been published in numerous scientific journals and presented results from her research at national and international scientific conferences to much acclaim.

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From left, Mike Perry, Erica Perez, Barbara Benas, Maya Edelman and Isam Prado, winners of the award for outstanding motion design for "Broad City - Mushrooms," pose in the press room during night two of the Creative Arts Emmy Awards at The Microsoft Theater on Sunday, Sept. 9, in Los Angeles. Courtesy of Robin F. Davies/Photo by Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP
Brian Fruits Courtesy of District 212
Laura Beatriz Porro Courtesy of District 212
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