Culinary News from The Culinary Institute of America

Northern California’s Leading French Chef Delivers CIA Commencement Address

St. Helena, CA – Roland Passot, chef and proprietor of several renowned French restaurants in Northern California, was commencement speaker at The Culinary Institute of America at Greystone in St. Helena, CA on December 20.

“The CIA has prepared you to understand not only the balance of flavors and techniques, but also the fundamentals of how to read a profit and loss statement and how to run a business,” Chef Passot told recipients of associate degrees in culinary arts and baking & pastry arts. “If you keep your focus, you will become like the chefs, pastry chefs, sommeliers, and restaurateurs who inspired you to pursue this dream in the first place.”

Growing up near Lyon, the culinary capital of France, Chef Passot began his cooking career as a 15-year-old apprentice. Coming to the United States at age 21, he spent four years in the Chicago area at Le Français—then considered the best French restaurant in America—before settling in San Francisco. Chef Passot’s restaurants include La Folie Restaurant and La Folie Lounge in San Francisco, Left Bank and LB Steak in both San Jose and Menlo Park, and Left Bank in Larkspur.

His long list of career accolades include winning the 1990 Rising Star Chef of the Year award from the James Beard Foundation and receiving the Chevalier de l’Ordre du Mèrite Agricole from the French government in 2001. La Folie was inducted into the Nation’s Restaurant News Fine Dining Hall of Fame in 1998 and, to this day, it continues to earn four-star reviews from the San Francisco Chronicle.

Photo Caption and Hi-Res Image:

Chef Roland Passot addresses graduates of The Culinary Institute of America at Greystone in St. Helena, CA on December 20, 2017. (Photo credit: Charlie Gesell/CIA)
View hi-res image >

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 degrees in management, culinary arts, culinary science, and applied food studies, and associate degrees in either culinary arts or baking and pastry arts. The college also offers executive education through its Food Business School along with 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 nearly 50,000 alumni includes innovators in every area of the food business. The CIA has locations in New York, California, Texas, and Singapore.

# # #

Contact Us

Media Relations
1946 Campus Drive
Hyde Park, NY 12538-1499
Phone: 845-451-1457