Eleven Madison Park's Guidara Shares Life Lessons with Graduates
Co-Owner of World's
Fifth-Best Restaurant Delivers Keynote at CIA Commencement
Hyde Park, NY – Will Guidara, general manager and co-owner of acclaimed New York
City restaurants Eleven Madison Park and NoMad, delivered
the commencement address at The Culinary Institute of America (CIA) in Hyde
Park, NY on Friday, February 28. Guidara, named one of 40 Tastemakers to Watch
by Forbes magazine last year, told
graduates what he learned from two influential people in his life: his father, restaurateur
Frank Guidara, and his business partner, Chef Daniel Humm.
"From my father, I learned the importance of ambition. To
think big and never say, 'I can't.' From Daniel Humm,
I learned patience and to appreciate the journey as much—if not more than—the
destination," Mr. Guidara said. "Life is a balance between the two. Success is
about the combination of knowing you can do anything and knowing that to do
anything of real significance takes time."
The Hudson Valley native, from Sleepy Hollow, began his
restaurant career as a 13-year-old working at a Baskin-Robbins.
Wanting to get
experience in dining rooms, he became a busboy at Spago Beverly Hills
and server at Tribeca Grill in New York City before being hired
by Danny Meyer as maître d' at Tabla in New York by
age 21. Mr. Guidara became general manager of Eleven Madison Park in
years later, he joined with Chef Humm to buy the
restaurant from Meyer's Union Square Hospitality Group.
In 2011, it won the James Beard Foundation Award for
Outstanding Restaurant. Guidara and Humm opened NoMad a year later.
Eleven Madison Park was selected as the
fifth-best restaurant in the entire world for 2013 on the S.Pellegrino
list of the World's 50 Best Restaurants. CIA students can complete
externship field experience at Eleven Madison Park and NoMad,
and many of the college's alumni work at both restaurants.
"I'm proud of the relationship we've built with the CIA over
the years," Guidara told 48 recipients of associate degrees in culinary arts
and baking and pastry arts. "It's amazing how many people have joined our team
from behind these walls."
Photo Caption and Hi-Res Image
Will Guidara, general manager and co-owner of New York
City's Eleven Madison Park, congratulates graduates of
The Culinary Institute of America during commencement ceremonies at the college's
Hyde Park, NY campus on February 28, 2014. (Photo
credit: Photo credit: CIA/Phil Mansfield)
View hi-res image >
Founded in 1946, The Culinary Institute of America is an independent,
not-for-profit college offering associate and bachelor's degrees with majors in
culinary arts, baking and pastry arts, and culinary science, as well as certificate
programs in culinary arts and wine and beverage studies. As the world's premier
culinary college, the CIA provides thought leadership in the areas of health
& wellness, sustainability, and world cuisines & cultures through
research and conferences. The CIA has a network of 46,000 alumni that includes
industry leaders such as Grant Achatz, Anthony Bourdain, Roy Choi, Cat Cora, Dan Coudreaut,
Steve Ells, Johnny Iuzzini, Charlie Palmer, and Roy
Yamaguchi. The CIA also offers courses for professionals and enthusiasts, as
well as consulting services in support of innovation for the foodservice and
hospitality industry. The college has campuses in Hyde Park, NY; St. Helena,
CA; San Antonio, TX; and Singapore.
# # #