James Beard Semifinalist Restaurateur Delivers Commencement Address

Hyde Park, NY – Kevin Boehm, co-founder of the Chicago-based Boka Restaurant Group, was guest speaker at commencement ceremonies at the New York campus of The Culinary Institute of America on November 24.

In the last 13 years, Mr. Boehm and his partner Rob Katz have opened 13 restaurants, with two more on the way. Boka Restaurant Group is known as one of the great chef-driven restaurant companies in the country. Among Boka’s restaurants are The J. Parker and Perennial Virant with CIA alumnus Paul Virant ’94 at the helm and Girl & the Goat headed by celebrity chef Stephanie Izard.

Together, Boehm and Katz were named semifinalists for the 2015 James Beard Foundation Award for Best Restaurateur. They have been honored as Restaurateurs of the Year by the Chicago Tribune in 2011 and Time Out Chicago in 2010.

Mr. Boehm spoke to 52 associate degree graduates in culinary arts and baking and pastry arts at the CIA. The entire graduation ceremony can be seen online.

Photo Caption and Hi-Res Image:

Kevin Boehm, co-founder of Boka Restaurant Group, speaks to graduates of The Culinary Institute of America on November 24, 2015. (Photo credit: Al Nowak/CIA)
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Jeff Levine
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Founded in 1946, The Culinary Institute of America is the world’s premier culinary college. Dedicated to driving leadership development for the foodservice and hospitality industry, the independent, not-for-profit CIA offers associate degrees in culinary arts and baking and pastry arts; bachelor’s degree majors in management, culinary science, and applied food studies; and executive education through its Food Business School. Its conferences and consulting services have made the CIA the think tank of the food industry in the areas of health & wellness, sustainability, world cuisines & cultures, and professional excellence & innovation. The college also offers certificate programs and courses for professionals and enthusiasts. Its worldwide network of 48,000 alumni includes leaders in every area of foodservice and hospitality. The CIA has campuses in New York, California, Texas, and Singapore.

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