A total of 11 food world luminaries were honored this month at Napa Valley College's St. Helena campus. The Napa Valley Register reports that Cecilia Chiang, Narsai David, James Beard, Julia Child, MFK Fisher, Robert Mondavi, Jacques Pepin, Paul Prudhomme, Wolfgang Puck, Jeremiah Tower, and Alice Waters now have busts in their likeness on the culinary school's campus.
The 11 larger-than-life heads were created by artist Fred Parhad; Narsai David, a one-time Bay Area restaurateur and vintner, commissioned the pieces. He gave a speech at the unveiling of the busts:
"From across the country and around the world, these culinary legends found inspiration in this Golden State of bounty and diversity, creating California cuisine, and thereby reinvigorating American cooking, redefining how we think about what we eat and drink, and reimagining our relationship with the Earth that feeds us."
Napa Valley College spokesperson Lissa Gibbs told the paper, "By permanently installing these statues at the Napa Valley College's St. Helena campus, the stories of these great masters will now inspire chefs-in-training for years to come and remind visitors to our great valley of the fascinating personal histories that have helped shape it."
The statues, which were formally unveiled at a ceremony on December 10, come not long after the USPS put James Beard, Julia Child, Joyce Chen, Edna Lewis, and Felipe Rojas-Lombardi on a pack of pricey new stamps.