The Culinary Institute of America (CIA) announced the recipients of the 2013 Augies leadership awards. This year’s honorees represent four value pillars that support the college’s vision for culinary education and the role the CIA plays in training future leaders and responsible citizens of the world. The 2013 awards will be presented at a gala dinner on April 25 at the Grand Hyatt in New York City. Funds raised at the event through ticket sales and a live auction go towards scholarships for CIA students.  

Created in honor of famed French chef Auguste Escoffier, the Augie Awards celebrate success and achievement of the foodservice industry's best chefs, visionaries, and entrepreneurs. Augie recipients exemplify a tradition of innovation and leadership.The 2013 recipients are:

·       Rick Bayless, for his contribution to the understanding of World Cuisines and Cultures. He is chef/owner of Frontera Grill and Topolobampo in Chicago, creator of Frontera gourmet foods, award-winning cookbook author, and Emmy-nominated host of the PBS series Mexico—One Plate at a Time.

·       Daniel Humm, for his dedication to Professional Excellence and Innovation. Chef Humm is a James Beard Foundation award–winning chef and owner of Michelin three-star restaurant, Eleven Madison Park, and NoMad Hotel in New York City.

·       CIA alumnus Clifford Pleau ’81, for his focus on Health and Wellness. As Culinary Director of Seasons 52, Chef Pleau uses local, seasonal flavors and natural cooking techniques throughout the casually sophisticated grill and wine bar.

·       Walter Robb, for his commitment to Sustainability and Food Ethics. Co-CEO of Whole Foods Market Inc., Robb is credited with developing a customer-centric organization with the mission of changing the way the world eats.

On all CIA campuses, these four pillars are reflected in many ways. Through the development of its curricula, study abroad programs, conferences, research, and the diversity of its student body and faculty, the college has helped transform the image and status of professionally trained chefs and expanded the depth and diversity of their knowledge. With new programs, concentrations, and award-winning, student-staffed restaurants, the CIA continues to challenge the young chef’s creative development in culinary and baking and pastry arts as well as in culinary science. CIA conferences and professional retreats foster collaboration among foodservice professionals, public health experts, scientists, and policy makers in areas that include salt reduction, childhood obesity, and school food programs. Through all of this, the bottom line is a shared conviction that food matters in all aspects of life.

Honorees this year represent very different sectors of the food world—fine dining (Chef Humm), world cuisine (Chef Bayless), a major restaurant chain (Chef Pleau), and a national retail operator (Mr. Robb). Still, they have a lot in common. They are all passionate about what they do, and to each of them, food matters.

Throughout the evening, the audience of 500 foodservice professionals, chefs, and business leaders will continue the conversation about why food matters. CIA students, Augie recipients, and Dr. Tim Ryan, president of the CIA, will contribute to the discussion. 

As Dr. Ryan says, “Food is elemental to our existence and integral to nurturing relationships and building community.”

“Food has shaped our history,” he says. “The invention of cooking and agriculture propelled human evolution and made civilization possible. The search for valued ingredients—such as spices—built trading routes and empires, and led to the discovery of new worlds.”

Menu Innovations, News