First-Ever U.S. Medalist at Bocuse d’Or Delivers Commencement Keynote

Philip Tessier ’99 Advises CIA Graduates of the Importance of Preparation

St. Helena, CA – Philip Tessier, who led the American team to the silver medal at the 2015 Bocuse d’Or, delivered the commencement address at The Culinary Institute of America at Greystone in St. Helena, CA on September 9.

“Simply put, success is when preparation meets opportunity,” Tessier told 44 recipients of degrees in culinary arts and baking & pastry arts. “Listen, learn, taste, ask, practice. Build your confidence on the back of preparation and experience. If you don’t want opportunity to pass you by on your journey to success, be prepared.”

Chef Tessier estimates he trained 3,000 hours over two years for the single 5 ½-hour cook-off. No American had ever finished higher than sixth place in the world’s most prestigious culinary competition before Tessier’s second-place finish last year. The 1999 CIA graduate is now head coach of Bocuse d’Or Team USA, where he is preparing his successor for the biennial event, next held in Lyon, France in January.

Chef Tessier is writing a book about his Bocuse d’Or experience to be published in 2017. When not involved in Bocuse d’Or activities, he is culinary director at Hestan Smart Cooking Systems and is developing plans for a restaurant in the Napa Valley.

Photo Caption and Hi-Res Image:

Philip Tessier ’99 was commencement speaker at The Culinary Institute of America at Greystone on September 9, 2016, where he told graduates about the importance of preparation. As the American entry in the 2015 Bocuse d’Or, Chef Tessier spent two years preparing for the competition and his silver medal was the best finish ever by an American. (Photo credit: Kristen Loken/CIA)
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Media Contact:

Jeff Levine
Communications Manager

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 bachelor’s degree majors in management, culinary science, and applied food studies; associate degrees in culinary arts and baking and pastry arts; and executive education through its Food Business School. The college also offers certificate programs and courses for professionals and enthusiasts. Its conferences and consulting services have made the CIA the think tank of the food industry and its worldwide network of 49,000 alumni includes innovators in every area of the food business. The CIA has campuses in New York, California, Texas, and Singapore.

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