March 1, 2024

Alumni in the News January 2024

Alumni in the News January 2024

Events

According to The Local Palate: Food Culture of the South, Austin Sumrall ’12 was one of the chefs invited to Nashville for the Music City Chef Jam. Sumrall is the chef and co-owner of White Pillars Restaurant and Lounge in Biloxi, MS. The event took place on January 24 and brought chefs from Mississippi to Nashville for one evening of delicious dishes.
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Interviews and Appearances

Dan Souza ’10 taught Drew Barrymore how to make hush puppies on The Drew Barrymore Show. Souza, from America’s Test Kitchen returned to the Drew Barrymore Show in a segment cheekily called “Souza & Drewza.”
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Deb Paquette ’78, chef and owner of Etch, was interviewed by Eater Nashville. Paquette spoke about her favorite places to eat in Nashville, TN, her favorite ingredients, and what keeps her motivated.
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Myrra Jihunjhunwala ’17 is one of four pastry chefs interviewed by Hello! India. Jihunjhunwala, named a “Delicious and Delightful Pastry Queen” by Hello! India, spoke about her biggest challenges, greatest creation, and more.
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Chef Edgar Rico ’10, James Beard Award Winner and co-owner of Nixta Taqueria, spoke with Texas Highways Magazine. Rico shares his impression of nixtamalization explored in his taqueria based in Austin, TX, and the inspiration behind Nixta’s menu.
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Sohla El-Waylly ’10 shared her favorite East Village eats with Edible Brooklyn. The article also gives a brief overview of El-Waylly’s career and promotes her new cookbook, Start Here.
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Alumni Derek and Tati Polay ’18 were featured on WPBS’s Culinary Connections. The couple, who met at CIA as freshman and got engaged at graduation, own The Cakeshop by Tati in Pleasant Gap, PA.
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Alon Shaya ’99 shared his recipes for two middle eastern favorites on the Today Show. Shaya joined Hoda and Jenna to share two recipes: hazelnut pomegranate muhammara and bright green falafel with tahini.
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Honors and Accolades

Forbes named Dean Vivolo’s ’99 Trattoria Vivolo “One of the Best Italian Restaurants in the ’Burbs.” The magazine highlighted the Harrison, NY, restaurant’s focus on regionality and charming 1940’s diner aesthetic.
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Nina Compton ’01 was honored by being named godmother of a Luxury Cruise Ship. Compton, who was a 2023 CIA Leadership Award honoree, was chosen for her values that align with the fleet’s S.A.L.T. culinary program. She attended the intimate naming ceremony for Silver Nova, a new member of the Silversea fleet.
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Multiple CIA alumni and a board of trustee’s member were named to Observer Nightlife and Dining Power’s list of the most important people in hospitality. Awardees include: Mario Carbone ’00 and Rich Torrisi ’01, Enrique Olvera ’99, Kwame Onwuachi ’13, and Elizabeth Blau BOT. Fariyal Abdullahi ’14 made the Social Impact Power List.
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Colin Bebbington’s ’16 Tribute was named a “new buzzworthy restaurant” by The Coast for Halifax, NS. Tribute is among three new restaurants opening in Nova Scotia featured. Bebbington plans a menu that is “definitely not going to be traditional.”
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The Duke student newspaper, The Chronicle, called sandwiches from Paul Chirico ’14 and Ian Bracken ’13 “Durham’s Best.” Chirico and Bracken met 12 years ago at CIA. They opened Durham, NC, favorite, Ideal’s Sandwich and Grocery, in 2020.
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James Beard

Sal Fernandez ’15, executive chef of Bridges Craft Pizza & Wine Bar in Greencastle, IN, was named as a James Beard Award Semifinalist. Fernandez was nominated in the Best Chef: Great Lakes category for the pizza and wine bar in small-town Indiana. The restaurant was previously invited to the James Beard House.
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Lord Maynard Llera ’06 is one of the ’Fil-Am chefs among the 2024 James Beard Awards semifinalists. Llera owns Los Angeles restaurant, Kuya Lord, where he combines authentic Filipino flavors with his classic French training.
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Kelsey Barnard Clark ’11 was celebrated by YellowHammer for being one of Alabama’s 2024 James Beard semifinalists. Clark is among the 20 semifinalists for Best Chef: South.
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Kelsey Barnard Clark ’11 was named one of the Alabama James Beard Award semifinalists. Clark was nominated in the Best Chef: South category for her eponymous KBC in Dothan, AL.
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Ochi Latjuba Vongerichten ’04 was named one of James Beard’s 2024 Winter Women’s Entrepreneurial Leadership Cohort. Vongerichten and her husband, Cedric Vongerichten ’04, have established two successful restaurants in New York City and two more in Jakarta.
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The Heat of Competition

The Warwick Advertiser celebrated when Hudson Valley local, Ciarán McGoldrick ’18 won Chopped. McGoldrick, who operates Glenmere Farm in Warwick, NY, participated in the Food Network show on December 26, winning the grand prize of $10,000.
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Recent Chopped champion, Ciaran McGoldrick ’18, was featured on Westchester News 12 cooking with Warwick Valley High School students. McGoldrick, from Warwick, NY, cooked with students as part of their Home & Careers class.
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Kayla Pfeiffer ’16 was named Chopped Champion. Pfeiffer, executive chef and co-owner of Bicyclette Cookshop in Naples, FL, won the season finale of Chopped on the Food Network.
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Profiles and Exciting New Tomorrows

John C. Metz Jr.’s ’92 Sterling Hospitality announced two promotions, including Ben Krawiecki ’00. Krawiecki has been promoted to director of culinary purchasing. Sterling Hospitality announced the promotions in a press release that quoted both Metz Jr. and Krawiecki.
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Oregon Live previewed Joel Stocks’s ’07 upcoming tasting menu. Stocks is executive chef at L’Orange, which was named one of Oregon Live’s favorite new Portland area restaurants of 2023.
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What Now Atlanta covered Hector Santiago’s ’93 new concept opening this summer. The concept, La Metro, will bring the energy of Spanish cities to Ponce City Market in Atlanta, GA.
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In a press release, Marriott Marquis Houston named Joseph Graffeo ’11 as its new executive chef. Graffeo will manage the hotel’s eateries, which serve guests a range of food from gourmet breakfasts to sports bar cuisine.
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The Long Island Press told the story of Lou Rey ’95 who turned a cooking hobby into a career. Rey initially majored in psychology before coming to CIA and pursuing his passion in the kitchen. He is now the owner of West End Cafe in Long Island.
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The Santa Barbara Independent sang the praises of Brass Bird Coffee by Sarah Dandona ’07. The Parisian-style café in Carpinteria boasts delicious food and a relaxed atmosphere. Having recently acquired a beer and wine license, Dandona has big dreams for continued growth and success.
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Food & Wine featured the partnership of Cornelius Gallagher ’94 and Daniel Boulud to create sophisticated restaurants for Celebrity Cruises. Boulud and Gallagher worked together to open the full-service restaurant Le Voyage, which opened on its second ship, Celebrity Ascent.
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Burlington Country Times shared the big plans of Sweet Eats Bakery, a family-owned Business co-founded by Marge Davidowich ’76 and her late husband Doug. The popular South Jersey bakery plans to expand to better accommodate the number of customers they serve.
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Feast shared the story of Bistro La Floraison’s executive chef, Patrick Fallwell ’12. After having opportunities cut short in San Francisco due to the pandemic, Fallwell moved back to his hometown of St. Louis. He was later approached to be the lead at Michael and Tara Gallina’s newest concept, Bistro La Floraison.
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CT Bites declares Chelsea Tripp’s ’13 Kouign bakery has just the right amount of sweet. The Wallingford, CT, bakery takes an innovative approach to the classical patisserie.
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Eater Las Vegas told the story of how Roy Choi ’98 and Jon Favreau brought the Chef food truck to life. Choi was Favreau’s consultant on the film. The two joined forces to open a real version of the El Jefe food truck just off Park MGM’s casino floor where Choi’s Best Friend is also located.
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The Washington Post shares that Kwame Onwuachi ’13 will honor Benjamin Banneker in a new DC restaurant. Onwuachi’s new Afro-Caribbean restaurant, Dogon, will open this Spring at Salamander Washington, DC. Onwuachi has a longstanding relationship with Salamander. It’s Middleburg, VA location hosts his annual Family Reunion event.
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Making a Difference

Hour Detroit shared the story of Aaron Cozadd’s ’02 Vigilante Kitchen. Cozadd opened Vigilante Kitchen in Detroit, MI, to support hospitality workers in recovery from addiction while serving creative versions of midwestern classics.
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