Kitchen Culture Founder Speaks at CIA Commencement
Eliot Swartz '79 Advises Graduates to Represent "Noble Profession" Well
Hyde Park, NY – Eliot Swartz, a 1979 alumnus of The Culinary Institute of America (CIA) who founded a successful restaurant consulting company, challenged graduates of the college to become culinary ambassadors. Swartz returned to his alma mater on Friday, April 12 to deliver the commencement address at the CIA's Hyde Park, NY campus.
"Whatever you choose to do in your professional career, do it with integrity. Whether it's a gourmet meal or a simple hamburger, make it the best one each and every time," Swartz advised 80 recipients of associate degrees in culinary arts and baking and pastry arts. "Be an ambassador for this noble profession and challenge yourself to be innovative and creative."
Swartz, 54, is the founder and president of Kitchen Culture, Inc., a company that works with restaurant owners and manufacturers on new product development and quality assurance. Before starting his current business, he co-founded Two Chefs On A Roll with fellow CIA graduate Lori Daniel '79. Despite a business plan that banks thought would not succeed, the company grew into a multi-million-dollar supplier of custom foods—including dips, sauces, soups, dressings, and desserts—for retailers and the foodservice industry.
"Sometimes it's better not to know what you're not supposed to accomplish," Swartz told the new CIA alumni. "You have chosen a fascinating career and are well on your way to a path of exciting times."
Photo 1: Eliot Swartz '79 delivers the keynote address during commencement ceremonies at The Culinary Institute of America's Hyde Park campus on April 12, 2013. (Photo credit: CIA/Phil Mansfield)
Photo 2: Graduates of The Culinary Institute of America celebrate earning their associate degree at the conclusion of commencement ceremonies at the Hyde Park campus on April 12, 2013. (Photo credit: CIA/Phil Mansfield)
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, Roy Choi, Cat Cora, Dan Coudreaut, Steve Ells, Johnny Iuzzini, 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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