Wednesday, February 4, 2009

CIA alumnus Roy Yamaguchi ('76) returns to address 2009 graduates

Roy Yamaguchi, founder of the Honolulu-based Roy's restaurants, spoke to graduates at commencement ceremonies at The Culinary Institute of America (CIA) on Tuesday, January 20, 2009.

"One would think that you are free at last, but not for long; this is only the beginning. The CIA gave you a strong foundation. Now it is up to you to build on that foundation," Chef Yamaguchi told 42 recipients of associate degrees in culinary arts and baking and pastry arts.

Roy's has 37 locations worldwide—28 in the continental U.S., seven in Hawaii, and one each in Japan and Guam. Chef Yamaguchi is considered the developer of Hawaiian fusion cuisine, which features fresh local ingredients influenced by Japanese, Korean, Chinese, Filipino, Italian, French and Thai flavors. The New York Times has called him "the Wolfgang Puck of the Pacific."

Chef Roy Yamaguchi, pictured here addressing CIA graduates in January, was born in Japan and moved to Hawaii as a teenager. He is a 1976 CIA graduate and was named to the college's Board of Trustees in 2006. (Photo Credit: CIA/Keith Ferris)