Culinary News from The Culinary Institute of America

Hospitality Visionary Liz Neumark Speaks to CIA Graduates

Hyde Park, NY – Liz Neumark, a food activist and the founder and CEO of Great Performances, delivered the commencement address at the New York campus of The Culinary Institute of America on May 24. Ms. Neumark created Great Performances as a waitress-staffing agency for women in the arts and turned it into one of the country’s leading catering companies.

She is also the founder of The Sylvia Center, a nonprofit organization that addresses children’s health issues, especially those relating to food such as access to healthy food, anti-hunger and food rescue initiatives, and supporting local agriculture. The New York City resident created Katchkie Farm in Kinderhook, NY to supply fresh ingredients for Great Performances events. Her activism also includes involvement with the Hudson Square Business Improvement District, Grow NYC, Women.NYC, The Fund for Public Housing, West Side Campaign Against Hunger, and Food and Finance High School.

“Food is the gateway to activism. It’s another pillar of social justice—like education, healthcare, and housing,” Ms. Neumark told recipients of associate degrees in Culinary Arts and Baking & Pastry Arts. “What is on our plate matters. Eating mindfully matters. The environmental impact of our choices matters. Knowing who profits and who loses when you buy food matters....Join this universe with your eyes wide open.”

The author of the cookbook Sylvia’s Table, Ms. Neumark has earned many honors during her career, including a Silver Spoon Award from Food Arts and New York Entrepreneur of the Year from Ernst & Young. She has been named one of New York’s Most Powerful Women by Crain’s New York and to the Top 500 People in Events by BizBash.

The entire CIA commencement ceremony, including Ms. Neumark’s address, can be seen online.

Photo Caption and Hi-Res Image:

Food activist Liz Neumark speaking to graduates of The Culinary Institute of America at the college’s New York campus on May 24, 2019. (Photo credit: CIA/Phil Mansfield)
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Media Contact:

Jeff Levine
Communications Writer

About The Culinary Institute of America:

Founded in 1946, The Culinary Institute of America is the world’s premier culinary college. Dedicated to developing leaders in foodservice and hospitality, the independent, not-for-profit CIA offers master’s, bachelor’s, and associate degrees with majors in culinary arts, baking & pastry arts, food business management, hospitality management, culinary science, and applied food studies. The college also offers executive education, certificate programs, and courses for professionals and enthusiasts. Its conferences, leadership initiatives, and consulting services have made the CIA the think tank of the food industry and its worldwide network of more than 50,000 alumni includes innovators in every area of the food world. The CIA has locations in New York, California, Texas, and Singapore.

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