September 23, 2021

Alumni in the News: August 2021

CIA Alumni in the News: August 2021CIA alumni are always cooking up something interesting, and with a network more than 50,000 strong, there’s never a shortage of highlights! Here are just a few examples of CIA alumni in the news this past month.

Awards and Accolades

Two CIA alumni took home wins at the Austin CultureMap Tastemaker Awards. Damien Brockway ’03, owner of Distant Relatives, a food truck in East Austin, TX, won Rising Star Chef of the Year. Ariana Quant ’05, executive pastry chef at Uchiko and Uchi, Japanese fine dining restaurants in Austin, TX, won Pastry Chef of the Year.
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RedDot BrewHouse in Singapore, owned and operated by Ernest Ng and his daughter, Crystalla Huang ’13, was named to Asia Tatler’s list of the “21 of the Most Exciting Craft Beer Brands Brewing in Asia.” Huang’s education helped her develop many of RedDot’s innovative beers, including their signature Chrysanthemum Rum Lager and Yuzu Craze Pilsner.
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Pichaya “Pam” Utharntharm ’13, executive head chef and owner of a new restaurant, Potong, in Thailand, was featured in Prestige Magazine as one of the premier female Thai chefs on the Bangkok gourmet culinary scene right now.
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Rob Magee ’86, owner of Q39 in Kansas City, MO, was featured in NPR’s round-up of best Missouri BBQ for his competition-style barbecue plates that he developed while competing with his barbecue team, Munchin’ Hogs.
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Steven Oakley ’90, chef and owner of Oakley’s Bistro in Indianapolis, IN, was featured as one of Indianapolis’ top chefs on WISH-TV, the Indianapolis CW affiliate. During the segment, he talks about his inspirations and his TV debut on Food Network’s Beat Bobby Flay.
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Openings and Chefs on the Move

Rachel Wyman ’05 will open a new donut shop this year in New Paltz, NY called Gunkin’ Donuts. Currently, Wyman has been selling her donuts and other baked goods at the New Paltz open-air market on Sundays, and this will be her first brick-and-mortar shop.
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Matthew Kassman ’14 has been named the new executive chef of Second Story Restaurant and Liquor Bar, an upscale eatery in Scottsdale, AZ. Kassman has worked in some of Napa and NYC’s best restaurants and will drive the menu at Second Story using regional ingredients and traditional techniques.
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Lee Clements ’03 has been announced as the new chef de cuisine at Willow by Charlie Palmer ’79, located in the Mirbeau Inn & Spa in Rhinebeck, NY. Clements’ new menu will focus on products from local farms so guests can truly taste the Hudson Valley.
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Daniel Holzman ’00 opened Danny Boy’s Famous Original—a New York-style pizzeria—in Los Angeles, CA. Holzman got his start in kitchens working for Eric Ripert as a teenager, and Ripert encouraged and helped him to attend the CIA.
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Prateek Sadhu ’11, chef-owner of Masque in Mumbai, is celebrating five years of his restaurant by traveling to five cities in India to hold pop-up events. His first three-day pop-up sold out within 48 hours.
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Bryan Emperor ’03 will be the chef at the highly-anticipated Pagoda Kitchen at Delray Marketplace in Palm Beach, FL. The restaurant will offer classics like Peking duck and glazed spareribs. Emperor will draw on his knowledge from his various travels around East Asia and kitchen work.
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Megan Lamb ’19 has joined the team at Glorie Farm Winery in Marlboro, NY. She will be working alongside winemaker Kristop Brown as the property’s assistant winemaker.
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Courtney Kennedy ’14 shared her experience shifting from the world of fine dining to working in foodservice at Memorial Sloan Kettering Hospital in New York City. After losing her New York City restaurant job during the pandemic, Kennedy decided to try something new—healthcare foodservice, and shares her experience and how it’s impacted her l.
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Throwin’ Down

Samuel Garman ’14, Sodexo chef and general manager for dining at Hanover Hall retirement facility in Hanover, PA, will be competing on this season of Hell’s Kitchen: Young Guns for a chance to become a protégé at one of Gordon Ramsey’s restaurants.
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Origin Stories

Acclaimed chef and restaurateur Charlie Palmer ’79 shared his career advice in an interview with Ladders. Chef Palmer mentions that he never thought about pursuing a career in food until he took a home economics class on a dare in high school and found he enjoyed it. His natural next step was attending the CIA, but he had no clue it would lead him to the success he has today.
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Giving Back

Cup’a, a food truck in Bucks County, PA, run by four families—including partners Laura and Chris Broda ’91—is featured in the “Bucks County Spotlight” for the work the company does feeding the community and donating meals to those in need.
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Pete Blohme ’86 shared how Guy Fieri and being featured on Food Network’s Diners, Drive Ins, and Dives inspired him to start cooking for the military. Blohme worked closely with many “Triple D” alumni to create a group called The Messlords in 2012, and they are still going strong—teaching Navy sailors how to cook and prepare meals.
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On the Shelf and On the Menu

Matthew Raiford ’98, acclaimed chef and cookbook author, was featured in The New York Times for the eclectic party he hosted at his family’s farm in Georgia to celebrate the release of his cookbook Bress ‘n’ Nyam. He invited farmers, family, and friends from all around the Deep South to celebrate with a high-summer feast of Gullah Geechee cooking.
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Changing the Narrative

Michael Elégbèdé ’13, chef and founder of Ìtàn in Lagos, shares how he is using his new restaurant as a test kitchen to reclaim Nigerian food from the foreign ideas of fine dining and how he is working to get rid of the commercial stereotypes around African cuisines.
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