Deborah Ellingsworth

Chef Instructor

Department: Hotel, Restaurant & Institutional Management
Campus Address: 255 Trabant University Center
Newark, DE 19716
Phone: 302-831-0501


Ms. Ellingsworth has been with the Hotel, Restaurant and Institutional Management Department since September, 1997.  She teaches in the Vita Nova Restaurant, which is an applied learning setting for all students within the major. Ms. Ellingsworth is the primary instructor for the Food Principles Laboratory, which is the students' first introduction to the restaurant. Each weekly laboratory focuses on varied foods, and utilizes differing preparations and cooking techniques to work with the various food items. She is a co-instructor in the Senior Practicum, which is the capstone course in the major.  This is the ‘last stop’ for all of the students before they enter the Hospitality industry upon graduation. This laboratory focuses on fine dining, and Ms. Ellingsworth works with the students in the kitchen, focusing on the baking and pastry components. Another major responsibility of Ms. Ellingsworth is the overseeing of all of the breads, rolls and desserts made at Vita Nova. She is the faculty advisor for the Vita Nova Baker's Dozen, which is a club for students interested in learning more advanced baking and pastry skills.

Ms. Ellingsworth received her B.A. in psychology and sociology from the University of Delaware. She worked in the mental health field, in both the public and private sectors for thirteen years, prior to making her career change into the hospitality industry. She attended Baltimore International Culinary College, graduating in 1991 with a degree in International Baking and Pastry. After graduation, she briefly worked in an upscale food shop, focusing on baking desserts and catering. She had the opportunity to assist in the opening of a local award winning restaurant, Pizza by Elizabeths, where she worked as the kitchen manager and chef for five years. During this time, she also taught baking and pastry classes in the Culinary Arts program at the Stanton campus of Delaware Technical and Community College.

Ms. Ellingsworth teaches Kids’ Cooking Camps during the summer months for children and adolescents aging from 9 to 17 years old.  Debbie has also facilitated numerous cooking demonstrations throughout the local area, including quarterly demonstrations with the UD New Castle County, DE Alumni Association, and has acted as a culinary consultant for local restaurateurs. She is very passionate about cooking and baking, and truly loves to have the opportunity to pass her knowledge onto her students. Her love is bread and she strives to learn as much as she can about the art of artisan bread baking. 

The Lerner College is home to a state-of-the-art financial trading facility, the $1.5 million student-led Blue Hen Investment Club, a student-managed restaurant and hotel, a high-technology development center of a global bank and a start-up experience for students with new business ideas.

Undergraduate scholarships, made possible through the generosity of alumni and friends, enable us to support promising scholars. Here, Delaware Gov. Jack Markell and his mother, Leni Markell, join recipients of the William Markell Scholarship (center), which benefits students in Accounting and MIS.

The Institute for Financial Services Analytics is a collaboration between the Lerner College, UD's College of Engineering and JPMorgan Chase, and hosts events for academics and the business community designed to address consumer analytics and industry applications.

All Lerner College departments offer discovery learning experiences and emphasize data-based analytics to enrich the student experience. Here, students at Vita Nova, our award-winning restaurant run through HRIM, joined professional chefs and winemakers in hosting a 2014 Mid-Atlantic Wine and Food Festival event.

Lerner College faculty - like Meryl Gardner, whose research on foods and moods was recently published in the Journal of Consumer Psychology - are thought leaders who command attention from influential business audiences, economists and policy makers.

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