Wednesday, March 18, 2009

CIA to host third annual Augie Awards gala

Culinary Institute of America (CIA) will host the 2009 CIA Leadership Awards, held in honor of Auguste Escoffier, at Cipriani 42nd St. in New York City. Proceeds of the third annual "Augie Awards" will benefit the culinary students through CIA's scholarship endowment.

Ferran Adrià (photo below), self-proclaimed deconstructivist and chef/co-owner of ElBulli in Roses, Spain, on the Costa Brava, is the recipient of the 2009 Chef of the Year Award. Adrià, a native of Barcelona, has been ElBulli's head chef for 22 years. ElBulli is only open from April to October. Adrià spends the remaining six months of the year perfecting recipes in his workshop in Barcelona. Over the past six years, the restaurant has been named the World's Best Restaurant four times by England's Restaurant magazine.

(photo courtesy of

Grant Achatz (photo below), chef/owner of Alinea in Chicago, will receive the Alumnus of the Year Award. Achatz, a 1994 CIA graduate, worked at The French Laundry in Yountville, Calif., and Trio in Evanston, Ill., before opening Alinea in 2005. He has won multiple awards from the James Beard Foundation, including Rising Star Chef of 2003 and Best Chef: Great Lakes in 2007. Alinea was named the Best Restaurant in America in 2006 by Gourmet magazine.

John J. Profaci, Sr. (photo below), president and founder of Colavita USA, is being inducted into the CIA Hall of Fame. Profaci, credited with opening the North American market to genuine Italian extra-virgin olive oil, started selling Enrico Colavita's olive oil in the United States in 1978. The company later expanded to import and distribute Italian specialty foods such as pasta, sauces and balsamic vinegar. Profaci and Colavita provided the financial support to help the CIA open the Colavita Center for Italian Food and Wine in 2001.

For more information on the Augie Awards gala, visit CIA's Web site.

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