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Culinary Students to Cook Thanksgiving Dinner at the James Beard House in NYC

By: Georgia Schumacher Filed under: Culinary

November 1, 2018

James Beard Foundation Thanksgiving Holiday Table

This November, six culinary students from The Art Institutes system of schools will have the honor of helping to prepare Thanksgiving dinner at the famed James Beard House in New York City. Cooking here is an invitation-only event, reserved for only the top chefs from around the country with a reputation for excellence.

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These six students will join four Ai culinary instructors to prepare and serve the James Beard Holiday Table, a six-course meal offered on Thanksgiving Day. The students have earned this incredible opportunity by competing with students from across the Ai system of schools. To compete for their spot in the James Beard House kitchens on Thanksgiving Day, each of the winners created a sample late fall or Thanksgiving menu featuring hors d’ oeuvres and five full courses. Their submissions also included an original recipe for one menu item.

“We are honored to prepare Thanksgiving dinner for attendees at the prestigious James Beard House,” said Chef David Hendricksen, CCE, CEC, director of culinary programs at The Art Institutes, who will be among the instructors leading the students at the James Beard House holiday dinner. “The partnership between The Art Institutes and the James Beard House provides a unique opportunity for students to work inside the kitchens of the James Beard House and we are excited for the opportunities it will bring them in their future careers.”

In addition to the honor of cooking at the James Beard House, the winners’ all-expense paid trip to NYC will last from November 19 – 23, 2018 and include a culinary tour of the city and the chance to shadow a chef at a New York City restaurant.

Meet the Winning Students

The students participating in the 2018 James Beard Thanksgiving Holiday Table event include:

Larry Colbert
Associate of Arts in Culinary Arts
The Art Institute of Atlanta

Rebekah Suarez
Bachelor of Science in Culinary Management
The Art Institute of California – San Diego, a campus of Argosy University


Gregory Stanfield
Associate of Applied Science in Restaurant & Catering Management
The Art Institute of Charlotte, a branch of Miami International University of Art & Design


Gary Loughmiller
Associate of Applied Science in Culinary Arts
The Art Institute of Austin, a branch of The Art Institute of Houston

Mari Tuttle
Associate of Science in Culinary Arts
The Art Institute of California – Hollywood, a campus of Argosy University

Lena Le
Associate of Applied Science in Culinary Arts
The Art Institute of Houston

Each student is looking forward to networking with their peers and faculty from around the country, to preparing a high-quality Thanksgiving meal for attendees, and to meeting dinner guests and members of the James Beard Foundation.

“Not many culinary professionals can say that they’ve cooked at the James Beard House. Ever,” says student Mari Tuttle. “It’s like getting to play a solo at Carnegie Hall.”

The students will be led by the following culinary program directors and department leaders:

  • Chef David Hendricksen, CCE, CCC
  • Chef Clifton Lee Van On, CEC, CCA
  • Chef Mauro Rossi, CCE, CEC, CEPC, CCA
  • Chef Les Eckert, CCE, CEPC, AAC

Support Our Students

The Thanksgiving Holiday Table event starts at 6:00pm on Thursday, November 22, 2018


For more information and an event menu, visit https://www.jamesbeard.org/events/thanksgiving-holiday-table-4 .

Learn more about our programs.

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By: Georgia Schumacher Filed under: Culinary

November 1, 2018