Ginger Elizabeth Hahn ’03, Chocolatier and Owner, Ginger Elizabeth Chocolates

Degree: Associate in Occupational Studies Major: Baking & Pastry Arts Campus: Hyde Park, NY From an early age, Ginger Elizabeth Hahn was curious about cooking. Her interest was piqued by Julia Child’s cooking shows and the Great Chefs series. But it was a culinary summer camp at The Culinary Institute of America at Greystone that really struck a cord. “I was 16 and it was a week-long … [Read more...]

Jonathan Pidgeon ’07 and Megan Mulhern Pidgeon ’07, Chef/Owners, Glazed Donuts

Degree: Bachelor of Professional Studies Major: Megan, Baking & Pastry Arts Management; Jonathan, Culinary Arts Management Campus: Hyde Park, NY Hometown: Megan, La Porte, TX; Jonathan, Norfolk, VA Sweet Smell of Success Megan and Jonathan Pidgeon recently celebrated the two-year anniversary of their successful donut shop, Glazed Donuts, located in Key West, FL. It’s the … [Read more...]

Cory McPherson ’96, Executive Chef/Owner, WilliamsBurger

Risking a successful career and your life’s savings to open your own burger business isn’t for everyone. But then, not everyone has Cory McPherson’s drive and confidence. After working for 20 years in restaurants and hotels, Cory had a vision, a business plan, and a location picked out on a quiet corner in the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn, NY—but no investors. At that time, his building in … [Read more...]

Bryan Voltaggio ’99 Chef and Restaurateur

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 includes a charcuterie station, raw bar, rotisserie, bakery, wood fired hearth, candy counter, coffee bar, … [Read more...]

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

Texas native Chad Robertson didn’t set out to be a maverick of the baking world when he enrolled in The Culinary Institute of America at Hyde Park. “I figured if I learned how to cook, I’d always be able to find a job,” he recalls. It was there he met his future wife, Elizabeth Prueitt. Initially both were interested in the culinary arts but once they experienced the baking and pastry course … [Read more...]

Melissa Kelly ’88, 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 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 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

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

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...]