The leading premium chocolate manufacturer, Lindt & Sprϋngli USA, recently joined forces with The Culinary Institute of America in order to create an exclusive limited edition chocolate bar based on Lindt’s EXCELLENCE collection. In the form of a contest, a lucky student from The Culinary Institute of America was selected as the winner with the best chocolate creation. To celebrate this partnership, The Culinary Institute of America and Lindt & Sprϋngli USA threw a New York City bash in SoHo at the Jimmy at the James Hotel on November 17, 2012.
Tapping into The Culinary Institute of America’s celebrity alumni database, restaurateur and chef, Michael Symon was invited to give remarks and help announce the contests winner. Posing for pictures on the red carpet, sampling the delicious food, delivering remarks, and giving interviews, Symon was in great spirits and happily mingled with the events guests. Other attendees included the student finalists from The Culinary Institute of America, press, and the executives and professionals from The Culinary Institute of America and Lindt & Sprϋngli USA.
Before the opening remarks, invited guests were treated to decadent food offerings such as sliders and other small lunch menu items, fruit and cheese to dip into the fondue fountain, as well as complimentary mimosas.
Once the speeches began, the runner-up student finalists were invited up to the front of the crowd to have their photos taken. Finally, the winner of the competition, Meredith Walter, was announced as having the 1st place Lindt Mocha Coconut chocolate bar creation. Unable to attend the event, Walter’s mother was present to accept the honor on her daughter’s behalf. Walter’s Mocha Coconut creation was then brought out on platters for the guests to enjoy.
Marking the end of the event, guests were then encouraged to take home complimentary Lindt & Sprϋngli USA dark chocolate bars. A sunny gorgeous New York City day accentuated the event’s positive atmosphere of celebrating young culinary stars in the making.
Q: I want to know what this event means to you, as this was your school?
Michael Symon: For me an event like this is fantastic, being a graduate of the Culinary Institute twenty-five years ago when these things didn’t exist for students. To see the way that Lindt is really kind of giving back and showing these young Culinary Institute students there is so much out there in the world, that they can experience things, that if they take risks with some flavors and stuff, they’re moving in the right direction for a career. So to see how far the culinary world has grown in twenty-five years, to see companies like Lindt growing with them and working with the students to further their careers, is really special.
Q: It’s such a nice moment for these students to shine.
Michael Symon: Absolutely, that’s what I said, there are no losers today, there are ten winners, so its very cool.
Q: What are you currently working on?
Michael Symon: I’m busy as always. The Chew is rolling along, we’re in second season, we’ll be starting third season in about six more months. I just put out my new cookbook Carnivore which was a NY Times best seller, so that’s super exciting. I’m working on another cookbook now. And then we’re kicking a** in thirteen restaurants and continuing to grow there. Life is good, no complaints. I’m very fortunate.
Additional reporting by Moshe Alpert-Eschbach