Hyde Park's Culinary Institute Devotes Day to Danny Meyer

HYDE PARK, N.Y. -- Instead of attending their usual cooking, baking and pastry, management, science, and liberal arts courses on Monday, April 11, students at The Culinary Institute of America experienced a one-of-a-kind day devoted to famed New York City restaurateur Danny Meyer. 

Danny Meyer chatting with a select group of 20 top CIA students over lunch at The Culinary Institute of America.
Danny Meyer chatting with a select group of 20 top CIA students over lunch at The Culinary Institute of America. Photo Credit: CIA/Phil Mansfield

In addition, many CIA graduates who work for Meyer's Union Square Hospitality Group were on campus, recruiting students to work for their restaurants after graduation. 

"The Culinary Institute of America is one of our primary sources for talent at Union Square Hospitality Group," said USHG Talent Acquisition Manager Jeff Turok, class of 2011. 

"CIA students develop a culture of excellence that closely reflects our own, which has resulted in many graduates becoming rising stars within our family of restaurants, bars, and catering company," he added. "We currently employ more than 40 managers who have a CIA degree, and even more cooks and servers in our kitchens and dining rooms." 

The James Beard Foundation has given USHG 26 awards for excellent service and hospitality at restaurants like Gramercy Tavern, The Modern, and Maialino. Ever evolving and innovating, Meyer launched the casual Shake Shack in 2004. He has recently taken the lead in changing the culture of the American restaurant industry by eliminating tipping, thus creating more opportunities for professional and financial growth for employees. 

"Danny Meyer has become one of the most influential restaurateurs in the country and the world," CIA President Tim Ryan told students. "He's won every award you can possibly imagine in our industry. His restaurants are highly rated and popular. You have to start to wonder why. A big reason is that his entire organization focuses on making people feel better when they leave his restaurant than when they came in." 

CIA students filled the 800-seat auditorium in the college's Marriott Pavilion for sessions with Meyer and his team about career opportunities at USHG, his hospitality philosophy, ending tipping in the restaurant industry, careers in wine, and a cooking demonstration with Carmen Quagliata, class of 1988, executive chef of Union Square Café. 

The day's sessions are archived at and can be viewed online HERE for free.

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