Culinary News from The Culinary Institute of America

Bowtie-and-Overalls-Clad Farmer Lee Jones Delivers Commencement Address at the CIA

Hyde Park, NY – Sustainable agriculture pioneer Farmer Lee Jones spoke to graduates at the New York campus of The Culinary Institute of America on May 6. Jones is co-owner—along with his brother and father—of The Chef’s Garden in Huron, OH. The 300-acre farm grows specialty vegetables, herbs, and microgreens that are shipped directly to restaurants around the world.

He is also the founder of the Culinary Vegetable Institute, a culinary retreat and education facility near the farm, and the creator of Veggie U, a non-profit organization that provides garden kits to classrooms and a curriculum that schools can use to teach children about healthy eating habits and sustainability.

Jones has been named one of The Daily Meal’s “60 Coolest People in Food” for each of the past four years. He was a 2011 inductee into the James Beard Foundation’s “Who’s Who in Food and Beverage” and the first farmer to serve as a judge on the Food Network’s Iron Chef America.

Wearing his distinctive bowtie and overalls, Mr. Jones spoke to 94 recipients of CIA associate degrees in culinary arts and baking & pastry arts. The entire graduation ceremony can be seen online.

Photo Caption and Hi-Res Image:

Farmer Lee Jones was commencement speaker at the New York campus of The Culinary Institute of America on May 6, 2016. (Photo credit: CIA/Phil Mansfield)
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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 49,000 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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