The Culinary Institute of America's Seventh Annual Augie Awards
Focuses on Thought-Leadership
Values and Why Food Matters
Jan Stuebing Smyth
Marketing Manager—Industry Leadership & Advancement
Hyde Park, NY – The seventh annual Leadership Awards—the Augies—from
The Culinary Institute of America (CIA) were presented to four individuals who
exemplify, in spirit and deed, the CIA's four core value pillars:
Honored for his
dedication to professional excellence and innovation: Daniel Humm, executive
chef, Eleven Madison Park and The NoMad Hotel, New
Honored for creating
restaurant menus that promote health and wellness: Clifford Pleau '81,
corporate executive chef, Seasons 52, Orlando, FL
Honored for his
contribution to the understanding of world cuisines and cultures: Rick Bayless, chef/owner, Frontera Grill, Topolobampo, and Xoco, Chicago, IL
Honored for his
commitment to sustainability and food ethics: Walter Robb, co-CEO, Whole Foods Market, Austin, TX
Created in honor of famed French chef Auguste Escoffier, the Augie Awards celebrate success and
achievement of the foodservice industry's best chefs, visionaries, and
entrepreneurs. Augie recipients exemplify a tradition
of innovation and leadership.
The event took place at the Grand Hyatt in New York City, where
the ballroom was filled with nearly 400 attendees—including past CIA graduates Steve
Ells, David Burke, Alex Stupak, and Charlie Palmer. Throughout the program,
videos by students and the honorees and a presentation from CIA President Dr.
Tim Ryan, EdD proclaimed the theme of the event, Food
Matters. In his opening remarks, Dr. Ryan declared, "Not only is food part of
everyone's traditions and family celebrations—it is a bridge to other cultures;
it fosters understanding among the people of the world, it nourishes the body
and the soul, and it inspires innovation, excellence, and creativity." All the
videos are available for viewing on the CIA Network on YouTube in the Special
Each honoree had advice for the 30 CIA students who were
assisting at the celebration and the entire of the student body, many of whom followed
the program on Twitter.
- Daniel Humm discussed how he
finds inspiration through the music of the great jazz innovator,
and abstract expressionist artist Willem de Kooning.
Davis pushed the envelope and charted new territory with every
album, and de Kooning said, "I have to change to stay the same," a
sentiment Chef Humm has taken to heart.
- Cliff Pleau told the audience
that his vision for a restaurant like Seasons 52 began early in his career, but
it took nearly 20 years to come true. He spent a lot of time practicing
"culinary imagineering," and over the years,
collaboration and risk-taking became as important to his success as his
commitment to helping Americans eat more mindfully.
- Rick Bayless took a different
path on the way to earning his PhD in anthropological linguistics. Food was his
passion. "With one bite of a dish," says Chef Bayless,
"and sometimes just a look at the dish, you can tell you reams of things about
a culture, its history, its agriculture, and its people."
- Walter Robb quoted author and academic Wendell Berry
several times in his remarks about sustainability. He sees 100 percent
transparency in the future of food, with stores and restaurants providing
complete information about how food is grown, made, and transported.
As Dr. Ryan noted, "Each honoree was presented his Augie in the name of just one of our thought-leadership
pillars, but they are all committed to all of the pillars. The role of today's
chefs and food professionals is not only about flavor development and pleasing
customers. Chefs must be socially responsible citizens of the world, and it is
our job and our privilege at the CIA to train them with that goal in mind."
All proceeds from the Leadership Awards dinner support CIA
student scholarships. Over $49,000 were raised through the live auction alone.
Photo Captions and Hi-Res Images
Photo 1: At a
panel discussion prior to the 2013 Leadership Awards, each of the Augie honorees offered advice to over two dozen CIA
students in the audience and hundreds more following the conversation on
Twitter. Pictured, left to right, are Daniel Humm,
Clifford Pleau, Rick Bayless,
Walter Robb, and Tim Ryan. (Photo credit:
View hi-res image >
Photo 2: The 2013 Augie Award winners pose with Tim Ryan (center). They
are, left to right, Walter Robb, Daniel Humm,
Clifford Pleau, and Rick Bayless. (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, Cat Cora, Steve Ells, Johnny Iuzzini,
Charlie Palmer, and Roy Yamaguchi. The college has campuses in Hyde Park, NY;
St. Helena, CA; San Antonio, TX; and Singapore.
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