April 21, 2011
Speaking at the Commencement of the Culinary Institute of America
Last Friday, I traveled to Hyde Park, New York, to speak at the Culinary Institute of America’s graduating class of 2011. I have known Dr. Tim Ryan, the President of the CIA, for many years and he has asked me on a number of occasions to be a guest speaker at graduation. This year, my schedule finally allowed me to do so. The CIA has been setting the standard for excellence in professional culinary education for more than sixty years and I know many fine chefs who have passed through its doors. Needless to say, I was quite honored to be there.
I spoke about how there is no room in the world of food for stinginess. The greatest chefs and restaurateurs share their knowledge, passion, and enthusiasm for good food and wine every day. That generosity of spirit is absolutely imperative with what you are going to be doing. I also spoke about hard work and how a good idea is only as good as the hard work behind it. Without hard work, your passion is all for naught and you must never find time to rest on your laurels.
1 Here I am with Mrs. Lynne Ryan and Dr. Tim Ryan - President of the CIA.
2 August Cerandini - CIA Chairman Emeritus and me
3 Here I am with Jennifer Purcell - 1986 CIA graduate and now Associate Dean of Restaurant Education and Operations.
4 Breakfast was served in H. Jerome Berns Boardroom.
5 These are some of the yummy school-baked pastries served at breakfast.
6 After breakfast, I took a tour of the school. Peeking into the Savory Kitchen in the Apple Pie Bakery Café
7 The Baking Kitchen in the Apple Pie Bakery Café
8 Greeting some of the students
9 I thought these meringue-topped tartlettes were quite attractive.
10 Speaking with Mark Erickson - VP, Dean of Culinary & Baking/Pastry Arts; Thomas Vaccaro - Senior Director of Baking & Pastry Arts; and Diane Rossomando - Assistant Professor Baking & Pastry Arts
11 More students at the Apple Pie Bakery Café
12 A student practicing her pastry bag skills
13 A tin of freshly baked croissants
14 More Apple Pie Baking & Pastry products
15 And beautiful breads, too!
16 This is the Jones Dairy Farm Kitchen, where Quantity Food Production classes are taught. These students were getting ready to serve lunch.
17 The entrance to Farquharson Hall - it is the former chapel of St. Andrews on Hudson.
18 The attractive interior
19 One of the beautiful stained glass windows
20 This is the Anheuser Busch Theater, a demo classroom where students study product identification and purchasing.
21 There I am in the graduation speaker showcase!
22 We took this campus transport to the ceremony.
23 The graduation was held in the Student Recreation Center.
24 Here I am with Jonathan Petela, who completed his externship at Blue Hill at Stone Barn.
25 Posing with Liz Mulvaney - Programming Coordinator, Student Recreation Center
26 The graduating students entering the gym
27 Standing with the graduating class of 2011
28 The clever commencement program
29 A look inside
30 Another look at the graduating class
31 Student Megan Bell addressing the crowd
32 Faculty Speaker - Peter Greweling, Professor Baking & Pastry Arts
33 Faculty Speaker - Joseph DePaola, Lecturing Instructor Culinary Arts
34 Student Award Winner Casandra Becker
35 And here I am addressing the crowd.
36 After my speech, Dr. Ryan read a scroll honoring me with a Master of the Aesthetics of Gastronomy Award.
37 I was also presented with a personalized CIA Chef's Jacket.
38 I fit right in!
39 An after graduation photo op with Dr. Ryan
40 My name will be added to the Master of the Aesthetics of Gastronomy Award plaque, which is on display in the CIA main hallway.