NYC Chef Bill Telepan Returns to Alma Mater as Commencement Speaker

Bill Telepan '87

CIA Graduate Leads School Wellness Initiatives While Running Successful Restaurants

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Jeff Levine
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Hyde Park, NY – Bill Telepan, chef/owner of New York City's Telepan and Telepan Local, advised new graduates of The Culinary Institute of America (CIA) about the importance of giving back. The 1987 alumnus delivered the keynote address during commencement ceremonies at the CIA on Friday, March 21.

Telepan lives his advice. While running two successful restaurants, earning a Michelin star, and being named a semifinalist for the James Beard Award as Best Chef: New York City, he has spent the last six years as executive chef for Wellness in the Schools. His work with that organization led to him being asked to serve on First Lady Michelle Obama's Chefs Move to School task force when that initiative launched in 2009.

"Through working hard, giving back, and respecting others, I have been lucky enough to be here at this moment," Chef Telepan told 83 recipients of associate degrees in culinary arts and baking and pastry arts. "Go out there, work hard, and create your own luck. And if you have a chance to give back, do it."

This commencement was the first held in the new Marriott Pavilion on the CIA's Hyde Park, NY campus.

Photo Caption and Hi-Res Image

Bill Telepan '87 was the keynote speaker for the first commencement in the new Marriott Pavilion on The Culinary Institute of America's Hyde Park, NY campus. During the March 21, 2014 ceremony, Chef Telepan told associate degree graduates about the importance of "working hard, giving back, and respecting others." (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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