Chef at NYC'S Trendy Commerce Advises CIA Graduates to Keep Learning

Harold Moore '97

Harold Moore Returns to Alma Mater to Deliver Commencement Address

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Jeff Levine
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Hyde Park, NY – Harold Moore, the executive chef and co-owner of Commerce restaurant in Manhattan's West Village, delivered the keynote address at commencement ceremonies at The Culinary Institute of America's Hyde Park, NY campus on Friday, October 18, 2013.

"You have chosen a field that rewards diligence. Choose jobs that are challenging, and commit yourselves to a lifetime of learning," Moore told 57 recipients of associate degrees in culinary arts and baking and pastry arts. "If you go to a Michelin-starred restaurant, at first it will be all about cooking vegetables and family meal. Stick with it, do it well, and be patient. You should never be too fancy or too sophisticated to learn something new."

Moore, 40, began in the restaurant business as a "toast boy" in a New Jersey diner. His only job was to make toast during the breakfast rush. From that humble start, he went on to earn a nomination for the James Beard Foundation Award for Rising Star Chef in 2002.

The 1997 CIA graduate worked in some of New York City's top restaurants before opening Commerce five years ago. Commerce was recently named one of New York magazine's "Top 101 Restaurants" and was included in's list of "38 Essential Restaurants in New York City." It has also earned rave reviews from The New York Times, Time Out New York, Food & Wine, Newsweek, and the New York Post.

Photo Caption and Hi-Res Image

Harold Moore '97 returned to his alma mater to deliver the commencement address at The Culinary Institute of America's Hyde Park campus on October 18, 2013. (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 45,000 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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