Culinary News from The Culinary Institute of America

Four CIA Grads Named Rock Star Chefs by Rolling Stone

Hyde Park, NY – According to a classic rock song, you know you’ve made it when you get your picture in “the Rolling Stone.” Four graduates of The Culinary Institute of America have definitely made it, being named Rolling Stone magazine’s Breakthrough Rock Star Chefs of 2016.

The CIA alumni who have achieved what Dr. Hook and the Medicine Show only dreamed about in their 1972 hit song are Kwame Onwuachi ’13, Abraham Conlon ’01, Roy Choi ’98, and JJ Johnson ’07 (Management).

After a successful run on Top Chef, Onwuachi opened his first restaurant in 2016. The article calls his Shaw Bijou in Washington, DC “the most hotly anticipated restaurant of the decade in the District.”

Conlon has brought the Portuguese/Chinese cuisine of Macau to Chicago at Fat Rice, “the most delicious argument for culinary diversity.” Conlon also recently wrote his first cookbook, The Adventures of Fat Rice.

Choi made a name for himself as a food truck pioneer. He now has a brick-and-mortar restaurant, LocoL, bringing both jobs and high-quality food at affordable prices to underserved urban communities in California. “LocoL is making a long-term impact that goes beyond lunchtime.”

Johnson, a graduate of the CIA’s bachelor’s degree program in management, has brought the cuisines of the African Diaspora to New York City’s Harlem neighborhood at The Cecil. The restaurant’s sign is “a beacon, letting passerby know that inside is the incarnation of what American cuisine should be.”

Rolling Stone’s Regan Hoffman concludes that, “it’s chefs like these…who are using their notoriety to make big changes in the way we eat, think, and even understand one another.”

Photo Caption and Hi-Res Image:

CIA graduates (from left) Kwame Onwuachi ’13, Abraham Conlon ’01, Roy Choi ’98, and JJ Johnson ’07 (Management) were recently named among Rolling Stone magazine’s Breakthrough Rock Star Chefs for 2016. (Photo credits: CIA/Phil Mansfield; Nick Murway; Laylah Amatullah Barrayn)
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Media Contact:

Jeff Levine
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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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