Culinary News from The Culinary Institute of America

Atlantic Sturgeon Sculpture Unveiled on Hyde Park Campus

CIA President Tim Ryan and artist John F. Sendelbach admire the Atlantic sturgeon sculpture.
Detail of “Old Diamondsides”

Unique Art Installation is Also Educational Opportunity

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Jeff Levine
Communications Manager

Hyde Park, NY – A 12-foot sculpture of an Atlantic sturgeon made of used cutlery was unveiled at The Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park on May 13. “Old Diamondsides” was created by artist John F. Sendelbach from more than 1,700 salvaged forks, spoons, and knives. The hand-blown glass eyes were made by artist Jeremy Sinkus.

The Atlantic sturgeon is considered one of the most important species of fish in the Hudson River, which borders the CIA campus, and was a major economic engine of the Hudson Valley in the 19th and early 20th centuries. The “diamondsides” nickname comes from the shape of its scales.

Joining the artists and CIA faculty for the unveiling was Stephen Stanne, estuary education coordinator at the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, who shared some history of the sturgeon in the Hudson Valley, how it neared extinction, and is now on the rebound.

“As a college, we feel it’s important to not only educate our students and the community about the history of indigenous foods of the region, but to also support programs that work to raise awareness of efforts to preserve the Hudson River and its life,” said CIA President Dr. Tim Ryan. “The sturgeon’s historical struggle for survival here echoes the endangerment of sturgeon around the globe.”

Through overfishing, pollution, and the building of dams that cut them off from their spawning grounds, the sturgeon population had reached a critical low point. Today, the fish are closely monitored and the state and federal government are working together to reestablish healthy numbers in the United States.

Photo Captions and Hi-Res Images:

Photo 1 (top photo): As President Tim Ryan of The Culinary Institute of America watches, CIA Chef Gregory Zifchak (in window) reels in the cover to unveil “Old Diamondsides” sculpture. (Photo credit: CIA/Phil Mansfield)
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Photo 2: CIA President Tim Ryan and artist John F. Sendelbach admire new art installation at The Culinary Institute of America. Made from salvaged knives, forks, and spoons, “Old Diamondsides” honors the Atlantic sturgeon, one of the Hudson River's most important fish. (Photo credit: CIA/Phil Mansfield)
View hi-res image >

Photo 3: Detail of “Old Diamondsides” art installation unveiled at The Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, NY on May 13, 2015. (Photo credit: CIA/Phil Mansfield)
View hi-res image >

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.

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