Culinary News from The Culinary Institute of America

Trendsetting Gluten-Free Chef Speaks to CIA Graduates

Franklin Becker ’93 Owns NYC’s The Little Beet

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Jeff Levine
Communications Manager

Hyde Park, NY – Franklin Becker, chef/owner of The Little Beet in New York City, delivered the commencement address at The Culinary Institute of America (CIA) on September 26. The Little Beet is a popular gluten-free take-out spot in Manhattan, and the 1993 CIA graduate is using it to share the message of turning healthy eating into a way of life.

“The most important lesson I learned from my time here is how to change lives through food,” Chef Becker told 65 associate degree graduates at the CIA’s New York campus. “I look at my kids and think about what’s best for them and how I can teach the right lessons in food and in life.”

After developing type 2 diabetes at age 27, Chef Becker transformed his cooking style, using simple ingredients to make dishes that are both healthy and flavorful. He is expanding The Little Beet concept with both a café version and a new fine-dining restaurant. The Brooklyn native is the author of three cookbooks: Eat & Beat Diabetes, The Diabetic Chef, and Good Fat Cooking.

Becker, who was named a Rising Star Chef by in 2006, is also an advocate for autism awareness.

Photo Caption and Hi-Res Image

Franklin Becker '93 returned to The Culinary Institute of America on September 26, 2014 to deliver the commencement address at his alma mater. (Photo credit: Al Nowak/CIA)
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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, applied food studies, 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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