Chef April Bloomfield Addresses CIA Associate Degree Recipients

Chef April Bloomfield
Michael Hickey

Two Commencements at College; Ecolab Exec Speaks to Bachelor's Graduates

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Hyde Park, NY – April Bloomfield, executive chef and co-owner of The Spotted Pig and several other popular New York restaurants, told graduates of The Culinary Institute of America (CIA) that hard work can lead to great opportunities during their careers. Chef Bloomfield was keynote speaker at commencement for 54 associate degree candidates at the CIA's Hyde Park, NY campus on Friday, January 17. The previous day, Michael Hickey, executive vice president of Ecolab, delivered the address at the college's baccalaureate commencement.

"A life in food is not an easy life. It takes stamina," said Bloomfield, a native of England who was named one of America's Best New Chefs by Food & Wine magazine in 2007. "But if you pay attention, keep your head down, and push hard every day, it will be the most rewarding career. You'll eat amazing food. You might get to meet your heroes and even work with them."

Bloomfield is one of 10 female chefs in the United States to hold a Michelin Guide star.

In a ceremony at the Mid-Hudson Civic Center in Poughkeepsie on January 16, Mr. Hickey spoke to 153 CIA graduates earning management degrees in culinary arts and baking and pastry arts. Hickey has been with St. Paul, MN-based Ecolab for 28 years. The company provides water, hygiene, and energy technologies for restaurants, industrial settings, and institutions such as colleges and hospitals.

"Globalization and the pace of change are happening faster than ever before," Hickey advised graduates. "No matter what happens in the industry, the fundamentals you learned at the CIA will be with you forever. The fundamentals of hard work will never change, and those who are most successful never forget that customers are the reason we're here."

With construction of the college's Marriott Pavilion nearing completion, the next baccalaureate commencement, on May 1, will be held on campus in the building's 800-seat theater.

Photo Captions and Hi-Res Images

Photo 1: Chef April Bloomfield speaks to graduates of The Culinary Institute of America during associate degree commencement at the college's Hyde Park, NY campus on January 17, 2014. (Photo credit: CIA/Phil Mansfield)
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Photo 2: Michael Hickey, executive vice president of Ecolab, delivers the keynote address at The Culinary Institute of America's baccalaureate commencement on January 16, 2014. (Photo credit: CIA/Phil Mansfield)
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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 46,000 alumni that includes industry leaders such as Grant Achatz, Anthony Bourdain, Roy Choi, Cat Cora, Dan Coudreaut, Steve Ells, Charlie Palmer, and Roy Yamaguchi. The CIA also offers courses for professionals and enthusiasts, as well as consulting services in support of innovation for the foodservice and hospitality industry. The college has campuses in Hyde Park, NY; St. Helena, CA; San Antonio, TX; and Singapore.

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