Ben Pelton and Amber Rojcewicz

Ben Pelton
Glens Falls
2020 graduate of SUNY Adirondack with a degree in Culinary and Baking Arts
Air Force veteran
Currently: Garde manger at Farmacy

Amber Rojcewicz
Fort Ann
2019 graduate of SUNY Adirondack with a degree in Culinary Arts
Currently: Office manager at Rojcewicz Trucking


Sometimes a dish needs to simmer, to let the essence of the herbs diffuse and the flavor of the meat infuse the vegetables. Alone, the ingredients might not seem compatible, but once they’re left to absorb into one another, meld perfectly.

And also goes the love story of Ben Pelton and Amber Rojcewicz — a pairing perfected by time, like a good beef bourguignon, in SUNY Adirondack’s Culinary Arts Center. 

“I honestly thought he was one of the most annoying people,” said Rojcewicz, who was in her second year of the college’s Culinary Arts program when Pelton started the Culinary and Baking Arts program. “He came in, guns a blazing, very animated. I wanted nothing to do with him.”

But Pelton had his eye on Rojcewicz from the early days of his time at SUNY Adirondack. “She was very down to earth, very organized and I’ve never been really good at that, so I thought she was the perfect fit for me, because she can keep me in check,” he said.

Pelton grew up loving all things food. “When I was a kid, I’d come home from school and turn on Food Network and watch for hours,” he said. 

Pelton graduated from Glens Falls High School in 2013 and enrolled in SUNY Adirondack’s Culinary Arts degree program. “I decided the program as it was wasn’t really for me,” he said. “I didn’t like having to do biology and math and all those different classes. I wanted to cook.”

So he left college and joined the Air Force. After serving as an aircraft structural maintainer for four years, he returned to SUNY Adirondack, which was offering an Associate of Occupational Studies degree in Culinary and Baking Arts, a better fit for Pelton.

Rojcewicz also went straight to SUNY Adirondack from high school, but loved the liberal arts requirements of the Associate of Applied Science degree. “I took all the classes that Ben hated — cultural anthropology, biology, math,” she said. “I was so far into it by the time the college added the new program, I didn’t want to switch.”

She was among the first class to graduate out of SUNY Adirondack’s downtown Glens Falls Culinary Center, which features Seasoned, a student-run restaurant. “Once we moved to the new building, it was a whole new world,” Rojcewicz said, describing how having opportunity to learn front-of-house duties at Seasoned helped her discover new interests. “That’s what pushed me to the front of the house; the customers were amazing and I just really connected.”

Pelton dove into a routine at Seasoned. Since he was using benefits earned through military service, he didn’t have to work while attending college. 

“I had nothing but free time, so I spent every waking minute in the kitchen with Chef Matt [Bolton],” he recalled. “I’d show up at 9, even when I didn’t have class until 4, and say, ‘What do we have to prep?’ And he’d be looking at me like, ‘Why are you here?’ But I tell new students, ‘What you put into it is what you get out of it.’ I’ve come a long way from Day One, and I wouldn’t have that if I didn’t put the time in.”

When Pelton started in 2018, Rojcewicz had established a group of friends in the program. “I was really close to another couple, we were like the Three Amigos, then Ben started hanging out with us,” she remembered. 

Their friendship deepened as they worked special events together at Seasoned, including Collaborative Cuisine dinners, partnerships in which SUNY Adirondack’s Culinary program prepares food for a five-course meal paired with regional breweries or vineyards. 

“My favorite memories were the events,” Rojcewicz said. “I think I was required to do it, and you were just participating,” she said to Pelton.

Among those events was a Collaborative Cuisine featuring vintner Joe Carre. “In his speech, he talked about finding what you love to do and finding a person you love to do those things with,” Pelton said. “The first time I heard it, I was like, ‘I have to find something like that.’”

“I would not date him for five months. The more we started hanging out, the more my friends were like, ‘Why don’t you just give him a chance?’”

Finally, in February of 2019, the two started dating.

“The second time I heard Carre speak, I decided, ‘That’s what I’m going to do with Amber,’” Pelton said. “We have a lot of different interests, but we’ll go along with each other no matter what. And that’s what Joe Carre was getting at: Find that person who will do what you want with you.”

The couple welcomed their daughter, Charlotte, in June 2021. “I decided to propose a few months after Charlotte was born,” Pelton said. 

He texted Bolton, telling him he planned to propose to Rojcewizc at Seasoned. “Chef texted me, ‘What about the Joe Carre dinner?’”

So, sharing a table with each of their parents in a room of 70 strangers, Ben and Amber listened to Carre’s story. “It was as easy as pie,” Pelton beamed. “I talked to Chef Matt and he said, ‘We’re good for tonight, Joe knows and he’ll give you a wink.’ It was as simple as getting down on one knee.”

“I started to think when Joe gave his speech, ‘It would be so sweet if Ben proposed right now,’” Rojcewizc remembered. “Then, he stood up and I thought, ‘You’ve got to be kidding me! We’re in front of 70 people right now!’”

As Pelton asked for her hand in marriage, Rojcewizc said she heard a young woman gasp. “Everyone was super nice, complete strangers were giving me hugs and saying ‘Congratulations.’” 

The well wishes were the finishing touch.

“It’s where we met, it’s a big chunk of our life is there, with Chef Matt and Chef Meg,” Pelton said. “It’s a big part of our lives.”