College Honors Cunningham, Guidara, Meyer, Nieporent, and O’Connell
Hyde Park, NY – Five legends of the hospitality industry were honored by The Culinary Institute of America at the CIA Leadership Awards ceremony at the Ziegfeld Ballroom in New York City on April 18. The 2019 Augie Award™ recipients are Laura Cunningham, Will Guidara, Danny Meyer, Drew Nieporent, and Patrick O’Connell. The event is the college’s largest annual fundraising program. Through sponsorships, donations, ticket sales, and an online auction, this year’s gala raised more than $1 million. Proceeds benefit CIA student scholarships.
Hundreds of foodservice and hospitality industry leaders, celebrity chefs, and other luminaries from business and entertainment joined to celebrate the contributions of these Masters of Hospitality. The honorees were recognized for helping to raise the status of the food and hospitality industry by providing every one of their guests with an exceptional experience.
“This year’s honorees have had enormous impact not only on the restaurant industry but also on every guest who has ever crossed their thresholds,” said CIA President Dr. Tim Ryan. “They have deeply held philosophies of hospitality that serve as benchmarks of excellence for all of us, and their determination to provide each guest with an exceptional experience makes their restaurants destinations for travelers and locals alike.”
Named for famed 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 leaders in the food and foodservice industry who exemplify these traits.
More than 30 current CIA students were on hand to assist guest chefs—including CIA graduates Andy Nusser ’95, Ben Pollinger ’97, Alon Shaya ’99, and Sarah Wallace ’13, as well as Christina Tosi, Erin Kanagy-Loux, and Taku Sato. The students also took time to thank the evening’s attendees for helping them pursue their dreams by raising vital funds in support of CIA scholarships. More than 90 percent of the CIA student body depends on some type of financial aid.
The CIA Leadership Awards are made possible, in part, by the generous support of gold sponsors Ecolab and PepsiCo; silver sponsors Breakthru Beverage Group, Buckley’s Tavern, Chipotle Cultivate Foundation, ColavitaUSA, KitchenAid Commercial, MillerCoors®, and The Wonderful Company; and dozens of other suppliers to the food and hospitality industries, plus many individual friends of the CIA.
Photo Captions and Hi-Res Images:
Top Photo: Dr. Tim Ryan (2nd from left), president of The Culinary Institute of America, enjoys a moment with the college’s 2019 Leadership Awards honorees on April 18 in New York City. These “Masters of Hospitality” are (from left) Patrick O'Connell, Laura Cunningham, Drew Nieporent, Will Guidara, and Danny Meyer. The event raised $1 million to benefit CIA student scholarships. (Photo credit: CIA/Phil Mansfield)
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Photo 2: Dr. Tim Ryan (right), president of The Culinary Institute of America, presents the college’s Augie Award to Patrick O’Connell, chef/proprietor of the Michelin three-star Inn at Little Washington. O’Connell was one of five “Masters of Hospitality” honored by the CIA at its Leadership Awards in New York City on April 18, 2019. The event, benefiting student scholarships at the college, raised more than $1 million. (Photo credit: CIA/Phil Mansfield)
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Photo 3: Three of America’s leading names in hospitality, (from left) Danny Meyer, Patrick O’Connell, and Drew Nieporent pose for a selfie at The Culinary Institute of America’s Leadership Awards in New York City on April 18. Meyer, O’Connell, and Nieporent, along with WIll Guidara (background right) and Laura Cunningham, were honored by the CIA with 2019 Augie Awards as “Masters of Hospitality.” The gala event raised funds for CIA student scholarships. (Photo credit: CIA/Phil Mansfield)
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About The Culinary Institute of America:
Founded in 1946, The Culinary Institute of America is the world’s premier culinary college. Dedicated to developing leaders in foodservice and hospitality, the independent, not-for-profit CIA offers master’s, bachelor’s, and associate degrees with majors in culinary arts, baking & pastry arts, food business management, hospitality management, culinary science, and applied food studies. The college also offers executive education, certificate programs, and courses for professionals and enthusiasts. Its conferences, leadership initiatives, and consulting services have made the CIA the think tank of the food industry and its worldwide network of more than 50,000 alumni includes innovators in every area of the food world. The CIA has locations in New York, California, Texas, and Singapore.
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