Dorothy Cann Hamilton, champion of the culinary world and founder of the International Culinary Center (formerly the French Culinary Institute), died on Friday. ICC president Erik Murnighan shared the news with students and faculty in an email sent Sunday.
Calling Hamilton’s death “a tragic loss for her family and friends, and for all of us in the culinary community who she inspired,” Murnigan wrote that the ICC founder was involved in a fatal car accident in Nova Scotia, Canada. She was 67 years old.
From the letter:
Dorothy was not only a trailblazer in the culinary arts, she was an inspirational figure to women, aspiring chefs and entrepreneurs. She was a role model, a visionary and someone who, with a discerning eye, elevated culinary culture in America. Her remarkable passion for and embrace of food will provide an everlasting change to the way restaurateurs operated, chefs cooked and how culinary students were mentored.
Hamilton founded the FCI in Manhattan in 1984. It has since grown to be one of the world’s leading centers for culinary education and has campuses in California and Italy, as well as a roster of notable alumni, including Bobby Flay, Wylie Dufresne, Christina Tosi, and David Chang, just to name a few.
Hamilton is also a former chairman for the James Beard Foundation, a post she held for three years, and was the creator and host of Chef’s Story, a weekly radio program on the Heritage Radio Network and a 26-part television series on PBS. Just last year, she received the Legion of Honor award from the French government for her work in promoting French cuisine in America. Hamilton, Thomas Keller, Julia Child, and Alice Waters are the only Americans to be awarded the distinction.
Members of the culinary world took to Twitter to react to the news over the weekend:
Please tell me this isn't true.— ruthreichl (@ruthreichl) September 19, 2016
Just heard that Dorothy Cann Hamilton has passed away. I can't imagine the food world without her passion.
Incredibly heartbroken to hear of the passing of Dorothy Cann Hamilton. She was a role model to me and many others. https://t.co/WtEFftoISb— Melissa Weller (@melissaweller) September 19, 2016
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