Scholarships honor Delaware North’s founding family and renowned corporate chef
BUFFALO, N.Y. (Feb. 27, 2008) – Delaware North Companies, a leading global hospitality and food service provider, is establishing two scholarships for students to attend The Culinary Institute of America (CIA).
The scholarships honor the Jacobs family, which founded and still owns and operates the company, and Delaware North Corporate Chef Roland Henin, a highly regarded former CIA faculty member and one of only 60 certified master chefs in the country.
“Delaware North is proud to offer these scholarships to future students of the CIA,” said Executive Vice President Jeremy Jacobs Jr., who delivered the commencement address at last month’s CIA graduation ceremony at its Hyde Park, N.Y., campus.
Delaware North and the CIA enjoy a strong relationship through their close ties to Henin and the company’s hosting of conferences for its chefs at CIA campuses. Delaware North also counts a number of CIA graduates among its top chefs, including Certified Executive Chef Percy Whatley of The Ahwahnee, a National Historic Landmark resort hotel in Yosemite National Park that features an acclaimed four-star dining room.
“Our company and the CIA share a passion for excellent food service and the culinary arts. We believe these scholarships will help the school continue to educate some of the world’s greatest chefs,” Jacobs said.
The Jacobs Family Delaware North Scholarship pays tribute to the family’s strong legacy and reputation in food service. In 1915, Delaware North pioneered the sports concession business when three Jacobs brothers began selling snacks at a Buffalo baseball park. Today, under the leadership of Chairman and CEO Jeremy M. Jacobs, a son of one of the brothers, Delaware North provides hospitality, food and retail services to millions of patrons at national parks, historic hotels and destinations, major airports, and sports, entertainment and gaming venues.
The company’s hundreds of chefs prepare world-class cuisine at such iconic sites as The Ahwahnee, England’s new 90,000-seat Wembley Stadium in London, and the company-owned TD Banknorth Garden in Boston. In addition, Delaware North recently began jointly operating the Grand Ballroom of the historic Plaza hotel in New York City.
The Chef Roland Henin Scholarship honors the veteran chef, who serves as chief culinary ambassador for Delaware North in mentoring culinary teams at all of the company’s sites.
Educated at the College Moderne in Nancy, France, Henin earned the coveted honor of Certified Master Chef in 1983. A decade later, he received the first National Chef Professionalism Award ever granted by the American Culinary Federation.
In 1992, he served as the coach of the first-place U.S. Culinary Olympic Team. This October, he will coach Delaware North’s team of chefs in the Culinary Olympics in Erfurt, Germany. In 2006, he was instrumental in developing Delaware North’s first cookbook, “Pathways to Plate,” celebrating recipes from locations in its Parks & Resorts subsidiary.
Prior to joining the company in 1998, Henin was the director of the Culinary Arts Department at the Art Institute of Seattle and taught at the CIA and at Johnson & Wales College in Providence, R.I. Many of his students and protégés, including noted chefs Emeril Lagasse and Thomas Keller, have advanced to the highest levels in the profession.
“It is extremely gratifying to be recognized by two organizations that have played such important roles in my culinary career,” said Henin, who received an ovation at the commencement. “I am proud of Delaware North’s support of CIA and its desire to provide opportunities for young people to pursue their passion for cooking – just as I was able to do.”
At the commencement, CIA President Tim Ryan named Jacobs an ambassador of the CIA.
"We thank Jerry and Delaware North for the endowed scholarships and appreciate your generosity and support,” Ryan said. “I also want to congratulate my old friend Chef Roland Henin for that honor from your company."
Jacobs told the 48 graduates that as a chef, each will be called upon to be an artist, a global ambassador, a technician, an inspiration, a collaborator and a teacher in the culinary field.
“At our company, chefs experience magical events at places ranging from ballparks to national parks,” he said. “They serve royalty, presidents, first ladies, celebrities and millions of ordinary people who are looking to experience great food in a memorable, extraordinary way. Our chefs and their colleagues at Delaware North have been part of some of the most important moments in our customers’ lives.”
He also spoke passionately about Henin’s being someone the graduates can emulate.
“I am not a chef, but I get a lesson in the art and technique of food preparation every time I watch him. He moves through our global kitchens as both an ambassador and a teacher. Chef Henin is an inspiration to me and to the countless young chefs who have the opportunity to learn from him,” Jacobs said.
Henin created and implemented Delaware North’s biannual chefs summit, which is held at the CIA’s Greystone campus in St. Helena, Calif. In addition, Delaware North has an externship program in which its chefs participate in certification programs at the CIA.
Besides Whatley at the Awahnee, other CIA graduates working as chefs for Delaware North include Christopher Packer of The Lodge and Conference Center at Geneva-on-the-Lake, Ohio; Ian Miller of the Delaware North-owned T.D. Banknorth Garden in Boston; and Paul Deiana-Molnar of Ralph Wilson Stadium in Buffalo.
Jacobs said the company is focused on enhancing its relationships with other culinary academic institutions to facilitate recruitment and to establish more insternship programs such as the 30-year-old culinary apprenticeship program at The Balsams Grand Resort Hotel, which Delaware North operates in Dixville Notch, N.H.
About the Culinary Institute of America
Founded in 1946, The Culinary Institute of America is an independent, not for profit college offering bachelor’s and associate degrees, as well as certificate programs, in either culinary arts or baking and pastry arts. As the world’s premier culinary college, the CIA has a network of more than 37,000 alumni that includes industry leaders such as Grant Achatz, Anthony Bourdain, Cat Cora, Harold Dieterle, Steve Ells, Todd English, Duff Goldman, Sara Moulton, Charlie Palmer, and Roy Yamaguchi. The college has campuses in New York (Hyde Park), California
(The CIA at Greystone, St. Helena), and Texas (San Antonio), as well as an additional location in New York City (Astor Center, Manhattan). In addition to its degree programs, the CIA also offers courses for professionals and food enthusiasts, as well as wine education. For more information, visit the CIA online at www.ciachef.edu.