January 4, 2024

Alumni in the News November 2023

Alumni in the News November 2023

Interviews and Profiles

Juan Jose Cuevas ’95 discussed his take on Puerto Rican cuisine in an interview with Travel Weekly, sharing his passion for creating lighter versions of hearty Boricuan food. He uses fish and vegetables from locally sourced ingredients to allow a wider range of dishes that can cover various lifestyles. His involvement with local farmers in Puerto Rico has also expanded the varieties of crops within the island.
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Total Food Service profiled Gregory Gourdet ’00 on his journey to become a celebrated chef, James Beard Award winning author, and television personality. Gourdet was the first student from CIA to extern with Jean-Georges Vongerichten and returned to work with Jean-Georges after graduating. Gourdet opened his own restaurant, Kann, to pursue cuisine that highlighted his Haitian heritage and Carribean diaspora to the American palate.
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Total Food Service profiled Michael Friedman ’07 on his career including attending CIA and opening Italian restaurant All Purpose in 2016 for which he was nominated for a James Beard Award. Friedman grew up in New York City and fell in love with Italian food and the connection of food and family at the dinner table. While at CIA, he used his breaks to stage in notable restaurants to understand professionalism and ingredients.
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The Boston Globe discussed Sohla El-Waylly’s ’10 media journey and the release of her new book Start Here: Instructions for Becoming a Better Cook. Her new book goes over the basics of the kitchen and why recipes are made the way they are. It is her ode to finding creativity in failure in the kitchen.
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On an episode of YouTube show Two Ways About It developed by the channel Spring Hill, Kwame Onwuachi ’13 and Mario Carbone ’00 discussed their approaches to food while designing their own colognes. In the second episode of the series that focuses of viewpoints of two individuals with different backgrounds in the same industry, the two chefs converse about their journeys through CIA into the culinary world where they face changing times food discourse and trends.
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Community Impact profiled husband and wife Gaby Hinojosa ’14 and Charlie Gonzalez ’14 about their inspiration for their new restaurant Panfila Cantina. When Hinojosa and Gonzalez graduated from CIA, they moved to San Antonio to follow their passions. The couple decided to work together and created Panfila Cantina. The restaurant takes inspiration from Mexican street food and traditional interior Mexican cuisine.
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Three Brothers Bagels, owned by Colin Whiddon ’01 and wife Sophia, was featured in a “Where to Eat” listing of establishments in Pittsburgh. The original article published in Pittsburgh Magazine profiled how the couple sought to bring bagels to the Steel City. The couple fell in love with New York City style sourdough bagels and wanted to bring the same flavor and longevity to their customers. With nine varieties for sale, they keep up with the demand while using locally sourced ingredients.
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Meetings Today interviewed Michael Brennan ’14 on his new restaurant Cardinal, a tribute to his grandmother, Anne Brennan. The restaurant is the initial step in the Orange Loop project that hopes to redefine service, hospitality and cuisine beyond the casinos of Atlantic City, NJ. Brennan’s goal is to combine modern high-end dining with inclusivity to create memories and familiarity.
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Town and Country interviewed Andrew Carmellini ’91 on his newest restaurant Café Carmellini that is the first to host the family name. He discusses the fun of making a menu that differentiates itself from his other restaurants in both menu and design.
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On the List

Daniel Holzman’s ’00 Danny Boy was named one of the 10 best New York-style pizza restaurants in Los Angeles by LA Taco. As the pizza destination that brings the East Coast traditions to the West Coast Holzman’s use of fresh ingredients is a standout, highlighting his mushroom and ricotta toppings.
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Robb Report asked more than 100 people from across the restaurant world (Michelin-starred chefs, James Beard Award winners, prominent investors, media members, etc.) who they believed were the most influential among their peers. The result was a list of 50 individuals who were acknowledged for their actions in the kitchen and outside of it as well. Among the list were eight alumni, two trustees, three fellows, and trustee emeritus Thomas Keller. Some alumni making the list include Gregory Gourdet ’00, Kwame Onwuachi ’13, Mario Carbone ’00, and Rich Torrisi ’01.
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2023 New York City Michelin Guide includes more than 40 alumni. Highlights include 2023 Augie recipient Melissa Rodriguez ’99 of Al Coro, Brian Kim ’12 of Bōm, and Rich Torrisi ’01 and Mario Carbone ’00 of Torrisi.
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Prateek Sadhu’s ’11 Naar was named 16th Best Restaurant in India by 50 Best for showcasing Himalayan flavors and stories. Sadhu opened Naar, to the public featuring local and wood-fired, grill centric menu featuring Himalayan-forward cuisine. He built the experimental restaurant to showcase the beauty of the Himalayas while in the mountains where local ingredients are bountiful. Sadhu’s goal is to be able to build a new language for Indian cuisine.
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Into the Future

Chipotle founder Steve Ells ’90 is launching a new endeavor called Kernal, a fast-casual restaurant with a focus on vegetarian meals run by robots. Ells wants to allow customers the option to have a transaction and experience without too many interactions involved. The first location is set to open in New York City in 2024.
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Openings

Town and Country interviewed Andrew Carmellini ’91 on his newest restaurant Café Carmellini that is the first to host the family name. He shares the joy of making a menu that differentiates itself from his other restaurants in both menu and design.
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Jake Loeffler ’18, Daniel Griffiths ’13, and Sam Kalkut ’18 are moving their popular pop-Up, Paffuto, to a permanent home. The chefs of the casual Italian concept are ready to open their own café December 6 in Philadelphia, PA. They shared their passion for their business and love for their Italian heritage with The Philadelphia Inquirer.
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Phily Grub also covered Paffuto’s future opening in Bella Vista, PA, by Jake Loeffler ’18, Daniel Griffiths ’13, and Sam Kalkut ’18.
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Four Seasons Resort Palm Beach is featuring an omakase residency with a 15-course tasting menu crafted by Executive Sushi Chef Hiromi Iwakiri, paired with specialty beers by Moody Tongue’s Founder and Brewmaster Jared Rouben ’06.
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D’Amico & Partners have brought Chef Sam Gilman ’10 as executive chef at Café & Bar Lurcat in Minneapolis, MN to oversee menu development and lead the kitchen. Gilman seeks to bring bold seasonal ingredients to limited weekly dishes as well as update the menu to match the seasons.
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James Wescoe ’99 was appointed executive chef at Washington Hilton. He brings over 20 years of culinary expertise to the role at the Washington Hilton in Washington, DC, overseeing the hotel’s four on-site dining outlets.
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Showcase

Sohla El-Waylly ’12 and Michael Chernoff shared their twists on GMA hosts’ Thanksgiving favorites in the lead up to the holiday.
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Mario Carbone ’00 appeared on The Tonight Show to promote his line of jarred sauces and share the secret to his popular spicy vodka sauce with Jimmy Fallon.
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Kwame Onwuachi ’13 was among the chefs who shared their love of Quintin Middleton, a South Carolina bladesmith’s chef’s knives on CBS Sunday Morning in a feature celebrating Middleton’s handcrafted, high-quality knives.
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Thanks to their innovative approach to creating macarons, Lan ’12 and Jack ’12 Cheng’s Mac Lab, based out of Duluth, GA, has gained nationwide recognition, as reported by the Atlanta Business Chronicle.
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Bagels and Bakes is reinventing the previous community shop Steve’s Bagels with a larger menu and new seating. Emily King ’02 and husband Gary want to expand the bagel place into more of a bakery/cafe setting by utilizing bagels in place of bread in their dishes. Their “smash burger” is served on a sesame bagel, and they serve pizza bagels for Sunday football.
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Awards and Accolades

Tracy Malechek-Ezekiel ’08 with husband Arjav were named rising star game changer chefs by StarChefs. The couple co-own Birdie’s in Austin, TX. Birdies is a counter-service model with a stellar wine program committed to making changes in the industry starting with paying employees livable wages.
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Rich Reimbolt ’10 named rising star chef by Starchefs. Reimbolt, formerly of Better Half Coffee & Cocktails, was profiled by Starchefs for his impact on the Austin, TX dining scene.
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Nicola Blaque ’16 was named rising star restaurateur by StarChefs. Blaque, owner of The Jerk Shack and Mi Roti in San Antonio, TX, was profiled for her Jamaican classics that earned her a James Beard nomination.
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Derrick Flynn ’10 was named rising star pastry chef by Starchefs. Flynn, a Texas native, was profiled for his successful pastry career including his current work running the pastry programs at Este and Suerte in Austin, TX.
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Ed Doyle ’90, president of RealFood Hospitality, was inducted into the Massachusetts Restaurant Association Hall of Fame November 20. He was recognized for his track record of operational success and execution of the dining experience while supporting the community. He was inducted by Steve Clark, president and CEO of the MRA, and introduced by longtime friend and fellow chef, Andy Husbands.
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