A Sold-out Gathering Celebrates New York Dining Legends at the 2016 CIA Leadership Awards


Hyde Park, NY – The Culinary Institute of America held its annual Leadership Awards event at the Milstein Hall of Ocean Life at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City on April 28. Celebrity chefs from around the country joined CEOs, culinary entrepreneurs, and food industry leaders who were part of a capacity crowd of more than 600. They were all there to support four icons of New York dining who helped make New York world-class restaurant scene that it is today, and watch them receive their Augie Awards™.

Named for French Chef Auguste Escoffier in recognition of his unwavering pursuit of excellence, creativity, and professionalism, the Augie Awards were created by the CIA in 2007 to honor members of the food and foodservice business who exemplify those traits. The four individuals who received the Augie statuettes this year were escorted to the stage through standing ovations. They each spent their long careers as trailblazers, entrepreneurs, and mentors:

  • Albert Kumin, pastry chef and educator
  • Egidiana Maccioni, who, with her son Marco, accepted the award on behalf of her husband restaurateur Sirio Maccioni
  • Mimi Sheraton, writer and food critic
  • André Soltner, master chef

Dr. Tim Ryan, president of the CIA, opened the evening with a look at how New York’s dining scene has changed since these legends began their careers. “I have tremendous personal admiration and affection for each of our honorees. They have inspired me—and thousands of others—in their own unique ways, and I am grateful for their example.” He spoke about how New York became the culinary capital of the world during the heyday of our honorees, then lead the crowd in a chorus of “New York, New York.”

The Leadership Awards dinner is a major fund raiser for the CIA, with proceeds from sponsorships, donations, ticket sales, and an online auction all contributing to student scholarships. This year, a record amount topping $1 million was raised. “This was one of the most dramatic and successful of all of our fund-raising events,” said Dr. Victor Gielisse, vice president of advancement and business development at the CIA, “Mimi, Albert, Sirio, and André helped shape our industry during a time of huge change and growth. Not only are we honored to celebrate each of them, but we are excited to share their inspirational stories with our students.”

Thirty current CIA students were on hand to assist the guest chefs—including CIA graduates JJ Johnson ’04, Bill Telepan ’87, and Alfred Portale ’81—who prepared hors d’oeuvre for the opening reception. The students gained inspiration and perspective from the four honorees, and they also took the stage to thank everyone for supporting the scholarship fund.

The CIA Leadership Awards are made possible, in part, by the generous support of platinum sponsor Avocados From Mexico, gold sponsors Ecolab and The Wonderful Companies, and dozens of other suppliers to the food and hospitality industries, plus many individual friends of the CIA.

Photo Captions and Hi-Res Images:

Photo 1 (top photo): A capacity crowd attended The Culinary Institute of America’s annual Augie Awards dinner, held April 28 at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City. The event raises funds for scholarships and celebrates visionaries of the food and restaurant industry. This year, the awards were given to New York dining legends Albert Kumin, Sirio Maccioni, Mimi Sheraton, and André Soltner. (Photo credit: CIA/Phil Mansfield)
View hi-res image >

Photo 2: Thirty students from The Culinary Institute of America attended this year’s Leadership Awards at the American Museum of Natural History. The event raises scholarship funds, and the students found many ways to show their gratitude to the 600 industry leaders in attendance. (Photo credit: CIA/Phil Mansfield)
View hi-res image >

Photo 3: The theme for this year’s Augie Awards—a fundraising event for scholarships at The Culinary Institute of America—was Legends of New York Dining. The awards, named for legendary French chef Auguste Escoffier, were presented to four individuals who shaped the restaurant industry in New York City and helped make it what it is today: Albert Kumin, Sirio Maccioni, Mimi Sheraton, and André Soltner. (Photo credit: CIA)
View hi-res image >

Media Contact:

Jan Smyth
Marketing Manager

Founded in 1946, The Culinary Institute of America is the world’s premier culinary college. Dedicated to driving leadership development for the foodservice and hospitality industry, the independent, not-for-profit CIA offers associate degrees in culinary arts and baking and pastry arts; bachelor’s degree majors in management, culinary science, and applied food studies; and executive education through its Food Business School. Its conferences and consulting services have made the CIA the think tank of the food industry in the areas of health & wellness, sustainability, world cuisines & cultures, and professional excellence & innovation. The college also offers certificate programs and courses for professionals and enthusiasts. Its worldwide network of 48,000 alumni includes leaders in every area of foodservice and hospitality. The CIA has campuses in New York, California, Texas, and Singapore.

# # #

Media Relations

1946 Campus Drive
Hyde Park, NY 12538-1499


Contact Us

Media Relations
1946 Campus Drive
Hyde Park, NY 12538-1499
Phone: 845-451-1372