Carnegie Hall Commencement

Chef Thomas Keller to Present Keynote Address and Founder Dorothy Cann Hamilton to Present the “Outstanding Alumni Awards” on April 28.

The International Culinary Center to Hold Inaugural “Alumni Weekend” in Celebration of Alumni Entrepreneurship, April 27-28

The International Culinary Center, the world’s leading culinary center for education founded as The French Culinary Institute, today announced that it is hosting its first-ever commencement ceremony at Carnegie Hall in New York City on Sunday, April 28, 2013. Career students, who started their culinary education in 2012 at either the New York City or Campbell, California campus, will be walking across the stage of one of the most prestigious venues in the world to celebrate their graduation.

“I am thrilled to announce that this year, The International Culinary Center will host its commencement ceremony for all of its career students at none other than the world-famous Carnegie Hall,” said Dorothy Cann Hamilton, CEO and Founder of The International Culinary Center. “We work very hard to provide our students with the very best culinary education, from the authentic curriculum, to our expert teaching faculty and career services department, in order to help our students on their way to success in the culinary industry. The move to Carnegie Hall symbolizes our continued commitment and support of our students and their hard-earned work and success in the classroom. It?s a way for our students to celebrate with teachers, fellow classmates, family, friends and alumni, and what better place than at Carnegie Hall.”

“This truly is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for aspiring chefs and culinary graduates to stand on a stage where so many luminaries from around the world have stood before,” said Thomas Keller, the American, three Michelin-starred and James Beard Award-winning chef, restaurateur and cookbook author, best known for his restaurants The French Laundry in Yountville, CA and Per Se in New York City. “For many students, this is the start of their careers and to attend their commencement ceremony at such an impressive and historical venue is a very special honor. It signifies their hard work, dedication and achievement, and hopefully will inspire them to do even greater things beyond the classroom.” Chef Keller will be presenting the keynote address at the inaugural ceremony.

Prior to 2012, The International Culinary Center held ceremonies at its New York and California campuses at the end of each graduating career program, which includes Classic Culinary Arts, Classic Pastry Arts, Italian Culinary Experience, The Art of International Bread Baking, Cake Techniques and Design and Intensive Sommelier Training. Students will continue to graduate officially at the end of their programs, however, this year will be first time one commencement ceremony will be held. Deans of The International Culinary Center, a group of esteemed master chefs, master sommeliers and industry experts, will attend this year?s celebration, including Jacques Pépin, André Soltner, José Andrés, Jacques Torres, Alan Richman, Alain Sailhac, Cesare Casella, Emily Luchetti and Scott Carney.

Additionally, Ms. Hamilton will be presenting this year?s prestigious “Outstanding Alumni Awards,” which will be given to seven professionals, who have demonstrated excellence and achievement in their respective categories: culinary, pastry, bread, professional achievement and restaurant management. And this year, for the first time, The International Culinary Center has added the “Outstanding Entrepreneur” award category.

Listed below are the winners of the 2012 “Outstanding Alumni Awards”:

Outstanding Culinary Award:
Hooni Kim, Culinary Arts, 2005
Chef-owner, Danji (1 Michelin star) and Hanjan, New York City

Outstanding Pastry Award:
Kierin Baldwin, Pastry Arts, 2005
Pastry Chef, The Dutch, New York City

Outstanding Bread Award:
Mark Welker, Art of International Bread Baking, 2007
Pastry Chef, NoMad and former Pastry Sous Chef, Eleven Madison Park, New York City

Outstanding Professional Achievement:
Irene Hamburger, Culinary Arts, 1998
Vice President, Blue Hill Stone Barns, New York

Outstanding Restaurant Management:
Michael Chernow, Restaurant Management, 2008
Co-Owner of The Meatball Shop restaurants in Manhattan and Brooklyn, New York

Outstanding Entrepreneur Award:
Liz Gutman and Jennifer King, Pastry Arts, 2008
Co-owners, Liddabit Sweets, New York

Past winners of the annual awards include: David Chang „01, chef-owner of momofuku restaurant group, New York; Dan Barber ’94, executive chef and co-owner of Blue Hill Stone Barns, New York; Zak Pelaccio ’98, executive chef-partner of Fatty Crab and Fatty ‘Cue, New York; Christina Tosi ’04, chef-owner of momofuku milk bar, New York; Robert Bleifer ’94, executive chef of culinary productions at Food Network, New York City.

The International Culinary Center will also hold its first-ever “Alumni Weekend” on April 27-28, 2013, focusing on alumni entrepreneurship. Events have been planned around New York City to bring together new and past graduates in an effort to continue to support alumni businesses.

“Entrepreneur of the Year”

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.”