The Culinary Institute of America was an honoree at the newest, hippest awards night honoring the best of food and drink. The CIA received the Innovation Award for "Best Academic Institution or Organization" at the first Taste Talks Food & Drink Awards, held at the Brooklyn Academy of Music in Brooklyn, New York, on September 26.

Hosted by television personality Mo Rocca, the inaugural Taste Talks Food & Drink Awards celebrated "what's inspiring the new generation of eaters, drinkers, and innovators."

Other nominees in the category with the CIA were the Museum of Food and Drink, Southern Foodways Alliance, New York University's Food Studies program, and Yale University's Sustainable Food Program.

"For 70 years the CIA has been leading the way in innovative culinary and food business education," says management graduate Fletcher Tingle '16, in accepting the award on behalf of the college. "Tonight, there is no better confirmation of that leadership than the fact that—in addition to this award—so many of my fellow alumni were nominated for Taste Talks Food & Drink Awards."

Among the 17 rising star and established CIA graduates who were nominated, alumni winners were:

John Besh '92, Best New Restaurant: South (owner, Shaya)

Roy Choi '98, Innovation Award: Best Startup (chef and co-owner, LocoL)

Francis Lam '03, Media Award: Best Magazine or Newspaper Article ("Edna Lewis and the Black Roots of American Cooking," The New York Times)

Christine Langelier '12, Outstanding Restaurant: National (general manager, Blue Hill at Stone Barns)

Alon Shaya '99, Best New Chef: South and Best New Restaurant: South (partner and executive chef, Shaya)

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