Culinary News from The Culinary Institute of America

Women Lead the Way at 2018 James Beard Foundation Awards

Four CIA Graduates Honored, Including Three Women

Hyde Park, NY – In a year when women and people of color took center stage at the James Beard Foundation Awards, three female CIA graduates were big winners. At the Beard Foundation’s Chef and Restaurant Awards ceremony in Chicago on May 7, CIA alumnae Camille Cogswell and Nina Compton were among the honorees, along with fellow CIA graduate Abraham Conlon. Ten days earlier, at the organization’s Media Awards night, Stella Parks won a James Beard Award for her first cookbook.

Cogswell, pastry chef at Zahav in Philadelphia, was awarded the Rising Star Chef of the Year. Compton, a native of St. Lucia and chef and owner of Compère Lapin in New Orleans, won for Best Chef: South. Conlon, chef at Fat Rice in Chicago, was named Best Chef: Great Lakes. And Parks, author of BraveTart: Iconic American Desserts, won in the Baking & Desserts cookbook category.

According to The New York Times, “In this year’s culinary categories (excluding service, design, wine and so forth), 11 of 15 awards went to chefs who are women, or people of color, or both.” About 40 percent of the nominees this year were women.

In addition to the CIA graduates who took home James Beard Awards this year, former CIA faculty member Francisco Migoya was co-author of Modernist Bread, a winner in the Restaurant & Professional cookbook category. And, there was a connection to the winner for Best Television Program, on Location. PBS NewsHour won for its segment from the CIA’s Healthy Kitchens, Healthy Lives conference at the college’s California campus in 2017.

Photo Caption and Hi-Res Image:

Nina Compton, winner of the 2018 James Beard Foundation Award for Best Chef: South. Compton was one of four CIA graduates—three of whom are women—to take home Beard Awards this year. (Photo credit: Galdones Photography/James Beard Foundation)
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Media Contact:

Jeff Levine
Communications Writer

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 bachelor’s degrees in management, culinary arts, culinary science, and applied food studies, and associate degrees in either culinary arts or baking and pastry arts. The college also offers executive education through its Food Business School along with 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 nearly 50,000 alumni includes innovators in every area of the food business. The CIA has locations in New York, California, Texas, and Singapore.

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