Pasadena’s Institute of Culinary Education Announces Wolfgang Puck as 2019 Commencement Speaker

Chef Wolfgang Puck will speak at ICE’s Los Angeles campus’ inaugural commencement ceremony

Published : Thursday, April 25, 2019 | 4:06 PM

Chef Wolfgang Puck Photo courtesy: Institute of Culinary Education

Today, the Institute of Culinary Education (ICE) announced its 2019 commencement ceremony speaker. Chef Wolfgang Puck and alum Matthew Leung will be part of the Los Angeles campus’ first graduation commencement in June.

Industry icon Puck, chef-owner of more than 35 restaurants, will share insights from his storied careers in the food and hospitality industry at each commencement ceremony.

“We are honored to host such esteemed chefs as these at this year’s commencement ceremonies. Their careers have been illustrious and the advice and remarks they will share with our graduates is sure to be inspirational,” said Rick Smilow, ICE’s president and CEO. “We’re thrilled to offer our graduates this last note of motivation as they move on from our campuses to their careers.”

Puck has opened dozens of restaurants and bars around the world since he debuted Spago in Hollywood in 1982. Throughout nearly 45 years in Los Angeles, he has been nominated for two dozen James Beard Awards, winning seven, including Outstanding Chef in 1991 and 1998 and the Lifetime Achievement Award in 2012. He earned two Michelin stars at Spago Beverly Hills and one Michelin star at CUT, his steakhouse in the Beverly Wilshire hotel.

Puck’s speech will be preceded by Matthew Leung’s. West Coast alum speaker Leung won ICE’s #CulinaryVoice scholarship contest, which was featured on ABC’s “The Chew,” in 2018 and enrolled in Culinary Arts at our Los Angeles campus that same year. Upon completing his classroom hours, he earned an externship as a commis at The French Laundry, where he was hired full time.

The Los Angeles campus’ inaugural commencement will be held at the Pasadena Playhouse on June 3 at 6 p.m.

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