The Culinary Institute of America to Host Thomas Keller Day
Students to Interact
with Iconic Chef, Protégés, and Purveyors
Hyde Park, NY – Thomas Keller, one of the world's most celebrated and influential
chefs, will be at The Culinary Institute of America (CIA) in Hyde Park, NY on
Monday, May 13 for a day of discussions with students, breakout sessions
regarding various restaurant business topics, and a culinary presentation.
"Thomas Keller is the most important chef in American
history," said CIA President Dr.
Tim Ryan. "Countless CIA students
aspire to work with him, and many more hope to be similarly accomplished one
day. The chance to learn from him in person will be an extraordinary experience
for our students—the future leaders of the food world."
Chef Keller will be bringing top staff members to the
college from his celebrated restaurants, including The French Laundry in
Yountville, CA; Bouchon Bistro in Las Vegas, NV; and
Per Se in New York City. Several Keller protégés who are prominent in their own
right will also be taking part, including CIA graduates Grant Achatz '94—whose Alinea in Chicago
has earned the maximum three stars from the Michelin
Guide and is widely considered one of the best restaurants in the world—and Jonathan Benno '93, executive chef of Lincoln Ristorante in New
York City and former chef de cuisine at Per Se.
"I'm deeply honored by Dr. Ryan's invitation," Chef Keller
said. "Education in all of its forms is the foundation for all of life's
pursuits, and it has certainly been key to my own
growth as a chef. Any time I have a chance to share some of what I learned, I
see it as an opportunity to give back in a modest way—it's a small measure of
thanks for everything that so many others have given to me."
With The French Laundry and Per Se, Thomas Keller is the
only American-born chef to hold multiple three-star Michelin Guide ratings. The French Laundry was honored as the World's Best Restaurant by the UK-based Restaurant magazine in 2003. Two
years later, the same magazine named Per Se the World's Best New Restaurant. Keller won the James Beard Award for Outstanding Chef in 1997 and was named America's Best Chef by Time magazine in 2001. Chef Keller also
serves as president of the Bocuse d'Or USA Foundation.
In 2011, French President Nicolas Sarkozy designated Chef
Keller a Chevalier of The French Legion of Honor, the highest decoration in
France, in recognition of his lifelong commitment to the traditions of French
cuisine and his role in elevating cooking in America. He is only the third
American culinary figure to be so honored. The medal designating his rank was
presented by Chef Paul Bocuse in a special ceremony at Per Se.
The day will include opening remarks to CIA students by Chef
Keller about the evolution of a chef. Breakout sessions will cover topics
ranging from service and wine pairing to working with purveyors and making the transition
from chef to restaurateur.
The schedule wraps up with a culinary presentation by Chef
Keller featuring several of his principal chefs, including Eli Kaimeh '00 of Per Se, followed by a
Q&A session for students with Chef Keller.
There are no classes on campus that day, and more than 1,000
students are expected to take part in some or all of the events. In recent
years, CIA students have also had opportunities to interact with such culinary
luminaries as Ferran Adrià, Paul
Bocuse, and Chef Achatz.
Join the conversation on twitter @CIACulinary #TKDayCIA.
Photo Captions and Hi-Res Images
Photo 1: Although
May 13, 2013 is the first time an entire day at The Culinary Institute of
America is set aside for students to learn from Thomas Keller, the chef shares
his knowledge with students whenever he comes to Hyde Park, such as this visit
in 2010. (Photo credit: CIA/Keith Ferris)
View hi-res image >
Photo 2: When
Thomas Keller comes to the CIA campus, he's treated like a rock star by students.
Several asked him to sign their chef jackets during a 2012 visit. (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 45,000
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.
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