CIA Grads at the Helm of Supercool Restaurant Companies

John Besh '92, founder and executive chef of the Besh Restaurant Group Restaurant Hospitality magazine recently released its list of the Top 25 Multiconcept Companies in America. Five of the companies honored by the magazine were founded by a CIA graduate and two more have alumni in the top culinary job.

The editors of Restaurant Hospitality referred to these 25 organizations as "supercool multiconcept restaurant companies that are changing the face of dining in America."

Those with CIA alumni in top positions:

  • Charlie Palmer Group—Charlie Palmer ’79, founder
  • Besh Restaurant Group—John Besh ’92, founder and executive chef
  • Richard Sandoval Restaurants—Richard Sandoval ’91, chef, founder, and CEO
  • David Burke Restaurants—David Burke ’82, founder and executive chef
  • Bonanno Concepts—Frank Bonanno ’96, chef and proprietor
  • Capital Restaurant Concepts—Bryan Yealy ’88, corporate chef
  • Sage Restaurant Group—Michael Carr-Turnbough ’82, senior vice president of culinary

"Inclusion of so many CIA graduates on this list further illustrates that, not only are the college’s alumni successful and celebrated chefs, they are also well-prepared to take on roles as leaders, businesspeople, and entrepreneurs in the food world," said CIA President Dr. Tim Ryan. "The entire CIA community joins in congratulating these culinary innovators."

"Everyone knows how difficult it is to run a restaurant. Imagine how taxing it must be to run multiple restaurants, each with its own personality," wrote the editors of Restaurant Hospitality, in explaining why they chose to recognize those who create not just one successful concept, but several. "This breed of entrepreneur has piqued our interest...so we set out to spotlight the coolest, most influential multiconcept companies in the country."

In addition to being a CIA graduate and the founder of the Charlie Palmer Group, Chef Palmer is the chairman of the Board of Trustees of The Culinary Institute of America.

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