The International Association of Culinary Professionals (IACP) named Dorothy Cann Hamilton, CEO and founder of the International Culinary Center, “Entrepreneur/Business Person of the Year” during its annual award ceremony on Tuesday, April 9, 2013 in San Francisco, CA. The Award of Excellence for “Entrepreneur/Business Person of the Year” is given to “the founder, CEO, or any individual who has played a key role in the development and marketing of an IACP cooking school or small business. The nominee must demonstrate the highest standards of business ethics and have established a reputation for integrity within the industry.” The International Culinary Center, the world’s leading culinary center for education, is an IACP cooking school and has been honored with the “Vocational Cooking School of the Year” Award of Excellence in both 2010 and 2012.
Ms. Hamilton is one the most influential forces shaping the culinary landscape today and has been an inspirational and entrepreneurial educator since she founded The French Culinary Institute (FCI) in 1984.
“I am very excited and moved to receive this very prestigious honor from the IACP,” said Ms. Hamilton. “I started the school with practically nothing but a passion and a dream in 1984. Over the years, I have continued to expand our offers into new fields such as culinary technology, farm-to-table, Sommelier Training and more, to keep up with the ever-evolving industry. But what makes me the happiest is the smiling students upon graduation – knowing that they are embarking on a journey to do what they love most. Our graduates go on to become chefs, sommeliers, journalists, restaurant/business owners, TV producers in the food and wine industry, and I’m so proud of every one of them as they continue to grow and learn beyond the classroom.”
The school has since expanded its programming into multiple hospitality and lifestyle disciplines and with the growth to multicultural courses, the FCI evolved into the International Culinary Center in 2005. Ms. Hamilton has been intimately involved with every business aspect of the school and has helped launch more than 15,000 careers, including many of America’s most prominent chefs such as Bobby Flay, Dan Barber and David Chang. Over the past year alone, she has expanded the schools’ offerings with industry-leading, exciting, new curriculums, including Spanish Culinary Arts, which was developed with world-renowned Spanish innovator, Chef Jose Andres; and a new Farm-to-Table intensive in New York with Dan Barber, chef and co-owner of Blue Hill and Stone Barns Center for Agriculture, and in California. She continues to build out the curriculums and extracurricular offerings that teach students how to become culinary entrepreneurs and how to open up their own culinary businesses, to help them understand the industry outside the four walls of the kitchen and to help put their education into a larger context.
World-renowned Chef and ICC Dean Jacques Pepin said this about Hamilton, “It has been my pleasure and privilege to have worked with Dorothy Cann Hamilton for the past twenty-five years. Against all odds, with great determination, enthusiasm and business sense, Dorothy made the International Culinary Center the flourishing, professional and successful school that it is today. In my opinion, no one deserves the “Entrepreneur/Business Person of the Year” award at IACP 2013 more.”