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.