Chefs Howard "Corky" Clark and Alain Levy taught their final classes at The Culinary Institute of America (CIA) on September 6. Clark, a 1971 CIA graduate, retired after 31 years on the faculty of his alma mater and Levy retired after 27 years at the CIA. Chef Clark taught culinary arts, focusing on seafood fabrication and preparation for most of his tenure. Chef Levy was in the baking and pastry department, teaching pâtisserie and other pastry courses.
Passionate about both teaching and cooking, Clark says he feels bad for people who consider a job as getting up in the morning to do work they really don't enjoy: "By those standards, I've never had a job and have never worked a day in my life."
CIA provost Mark Erickson notes that successful graduates who return to campus invariably ask to visit Chef Clark. "They appreciate how much they learned from him and how much he prepared them for their future success, although they might not have recognized it while they were students," Erickson says.
Fellow faculty members presented Levy with a signed hockey jersey, and Clark, a motorcycle enthusiast, with a chef jacket festooned with fringe and a Harley-Davidson logo. "Each cord of the fringe represents hundreds of students whose lives you've touched and on whom you've had an effect," says Erickson, adding that, over the years, Clark and Levy each taught thousands of CIA students who rotated through their kitchen and bakeshop classrooms every three weeks.