A Tribute to Dorothy Cann Hamilton of ICC

1.jpgMany of you have already learned of Dorothy's untimely and tragic death this month and that she was the founder of the French Culinary Institute in 1984 which gave birth to a litany of renowned chefs and restaurateurs such as Dan Barber, Bobby Flay, and David Chang. Dorothy was an extraordinarily valuable, influential, and cherished member of the food community and will be missed greatly. As a neighbor (I lived a 10 minute walk from the school) the French Culinary made me feel like I had a second home. If I needed an emergency ingredient, they welcomed me to run over to the store room. I audited chef Amy Quazza's bread and Dieter Schorner's Danish courses and frequently judged final exams of the graduating pastry classes. And if I needed a venue for a demo, French Culinary was always my first choice. When my Pie and Pastry Bible was published, Dorothy generously offered to host a book party in the pastry kitchen suggesting that I do a small demo. I don't remember exactly what I made but what I will never forget is how she introduced me. Inspired by the press material which played upon the theme of "bible," Dorothy opened with: Rose is a worshipped woman--something I wish someone would say about me! If only she could have seen the standing room only turnout of worshippers--students, friends, and family--that filled Saint Malachy's--The Actor's Chapel Roman Catholic Church, on Tuesday October 25th. A celebration of Dorothy's life followed the service and was held at the school which is now called the International Culinary Center. In the crowd there were so many familiar faces--Deans Jacque Pépin and Alain Sailhac and his wife Arlene Feltman (who started DeGustabus at Macy's) Marion Nestle, Drew Nierporent, Jenifer Lang and her daughter Georgina, Mitchell Davis of the Beard House, Danny Myers--an endless stream. Matthew Septimus, who is the photographer of our upcoming book, also did several books for the French Culinary Institute and showed us photographs on each floor which he had taken of the Deans and other food celebrities--in fact--he designed this wall of photos. 3.jpg In every kitchen on every floor there were samples of delicious food such as shredded duck confit tacos, boeuf bourguignon, cassolet, rabbit paella....and video memories of Dorothy, all accompanied by Abba's "Dancing Queen" playing in the background. Here are a few of the photos Woody managed to capture of me with some of my all time favorite people. 2.jpg

Matthew Septimus, Me, Dean Jacques Torres, and chef Mark Bauer

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Dean Cesare Casella

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Chef Kir Rodriquez

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Pastry Chef Tony Lynn Dickson, Chef Daisy Martinez and Me, delighting in a photo of her first grandson

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François and Patrice Dionot of the famed L'Academie de Cuisine

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The bread baking kitchen with an array of bread and charcuterie

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A fabulous rabbit paella

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Enjoying it!