Jonathan Benno ’93, Executive Chef Lincoln

Jonathan Benno '93

Jonathan Benno spent 15 years in some of the nation's finest kitchens before working for renowned Chef Thomas Keller at Per Se. As chef de cuisine, Jonathan oversaw all aspects of the kitchen, and Food & Wine magazine recognized his talents by naming him one of its Best New Chefs of 2006. Also, the Mobil Travel Guide lauded Per Se as one of only 15 restaurants with a five-star rating, and the … [Read more...]

Bryan Voltaggio ’99 Chef and Restaurateur

Brian Voltaggio '99 Chef and Owner of VOLT

Bryan Voltaggio is the chef/owner of VOLT, a three-star restaurant located in his hometown of Frederick, MD and Range, the 14,000 foot market-style restaurant and retail spot located in the newly renovated Chevy Chase Pavilion in Washington DC. Range opened in December 2012 with 300 seats and the ambitious project includes a charcuterie station, raw bar, rotisserie, bakery, wood fired hearth, … [Read more...]

Chad Robertson ’93 and Elisabeth Prueitt, Owners of Tartine Bakery

Elisabeth Prueitt '93 and Chad Robertson '93 Owners of Tartine Bakery

Where can you find creative openness, a Zen-like attention to detail, and practical business sense all in one place? At Tartine Bakery in San Francisco, CA. That's where the husband and wife team of Chad Robertson ’93 and Elisabeth Prueitt spend their days setting a standard of excellence that is hard to match. Their work received national recognition when the couple shared the 2008 James Beard … [Read more...]

Clifford Pleau ’81, Vice President of Research & Development at Bloomin Brands, Inc.

Clifford Pleau '81 Executive chef of Seasons 52

Clifford Pleau is the vice president of research and development at Bloomin Brands, Inc., which operates and franchises more than 1,500 restaurants under five casual-dining brands including Outback Steakhouse, Carrabba’s Italian Grill, Bonefish Grill, Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar, and Roy’s. Pleau’s focus will be on Bonefish Grill’s menu and the overall healthy menu infusion … [Read more...]

Melissa Kelly ’88, Executive Chef of Primo Restaurant

Melissa Kelly ’88 Co-owner and Executive Chef of Primo Restaurant

Melissa Kelly is the executive chef and proprietor of Primo located in Rockland, Maine. She is the 1999 James Beard Foundation Awards winner for Best Chef, Northeast. Chef Kelly grew up on Long Island. Her earliest cooking lessons took place in her Italian grandmother’s kitchen. In fact, she still favors Mediterranean accented foods. Melissa attended the Culinary Institute of America, Hyde Park, … [Read more...]

Ivan Orkin ’93 Chef/Owner of Ivan Ramen

Ivan Orkan ’93 Chef/Owner of Ivan Ramen

Ivan has always been obsessed with the language and culture of Japan. At the University of Boulder he majored in it. But his passion for food brought him to the CIA and, for a time, Japan faded into the background. He worked at Lutèce, Mesa Grill, and for Restaurant Associates, but there was always something missing. After he married a Japanese woman, the choice became clear. Tokyo became home to … [Read more...]

Scott Fredel ’93, Executive Chef/Owner Pilar

Scott Fredel ’93, Executive Chef/Owner Pilar

Scott Fredel is the Executive Chef/Owner of Pilar, a Aventura, FL restaurant venture. Selected as one of the 10 Top Chefs in South Florida by Ocean Drive Magazine, Scott, like so many other successful foodservice professionals, got his start at The Culinary Institute of America. After graduating from the CIA in 1993, Scott honed his skills with culinary masters and successful restaurateurs such … [Read more...]

Dennis Chan ’00, Owner and Executive Chef of Blue Bamboo

Dennis Chan '00, Owner and Executive Chef of Blue Bamboo

Florida is Dennis Chan's home, but to hear him talk about it, the CIA in Hyde Park still holds a big piece of his heart. "I really value the experience I had at the CIA," he says. "I try to be as much of an ambassador for the school as I can." Dennis currently has three employees whom he is encouraging to attend. And he does a lot of cooking demos for culinary students at the local community … [Read more...]

William Wilo Benet ’85 Owner and Chef of Pikayo

Chef William Wilo Benet '85

When Wilo Benet first began his career, he played the drums to relax, enjoyed a round of golf on a sunny day, and took photographs of nature just for fun. But now that he is the head of a growing culinary empire, those three pastimes have become part of his work. A golf outing almost always includes talk of business ventures. His photos of wildlife have been commissioned by a local resort to … [Read more...]

John Besh ’92, Owner and Executive Chef of John Besh Restaurants

John Besh '92, Owner and Executive Chef of John Besh Restaurants

Acclaimed chef John grew up hunting and fishing in Southern Louisiana, learning at an early age the essentials of Louisiana's rich culinary traditions. After graduating from The Culinary Institute of America, his talent and drive have earned John critical kudos from the outset of his career: in 1999, Food & Wine named him one of the "Top 10 Best New Chefs in America." In 2003, Gourmet magazine … [Read more...]