Paul Bocuse will be honored as the Chef of the Century when The Culinary Institute of America (CIA) celebrates its fifth annual Leadership Awards at a gala at the Marriott Marquis in Times Square in New York City, on Wednesday, March 30.

CIA chef of century awardsThe CIA created the Augie™ Awards, named in honor of famed chef Auguste Escoffier, to celebrate success and achievement of the foodservice industry's best and brightest. Augie recipients exemplify a tradition of innovation and leadership. In addition to Chef Bocuse, four other foodservice and hospitality greats will be honored at the event, which begins at 6:30 p.m. Proceeds benefit the college's scholarship fund that supports the education of future culinary leaders.

The Chef of the Century Award honors world-renowned Chef Paul Bocuse, the father of modern French cuisine. He was one of the first to emerge from behind the kitchen door, bringing the face and personality of the chef into the dining room and beyond. Owner of the famed Michelin three-star l'Auberge du Pont de Collonges near Lyon, France, Chef Bocuse also operates four elegant brasseries in Lyon: Le Nord, l'Est, Le Sud, and l'Ouest. In 1975, he was awarded the Legion of Honor by French President Valery Giscard d'Estaing. One of his most widely hailed accomplishments was the establishment, in 1987, of the Bocuse d'Or international competition.

CIA President Dr. Tim Ryan credits Chef Bocuse with leading chefs away from haute cuisine towards a fresher, lighter approach, allowing the essence of fine ingredients to shine. This resulted in an increase in the use of seasonal and local foods. He also raised the profile of chefs as professionals and masters of their craft. "While others influenced 20th century cuisine, it was his leadership, vision, and willingness to take risks that set in motion the global culinary renaissance," Dr. Ryan says. "For legions of new young chefs, Paul Bocuse is either a direct role model, or his followers are the role models."

The Chef of the Year Award is being conferred upon Daniel Boulud, chef and owner of 10 award-winning restaurants and a catering company. A native of Chef Bocuse's hometown of Lyon, Chef Boulud has always looked upon Paul Bocuse as a mentor. Today, he has come to dominate the restaurant scene in New York City, and has seen his empire grow to Miami, Palm Beach, London, Beijing, and Singapore. One of America's leading culinary authorities, Daniel Boulud is a winner of the James Beard Foundation Awards for Best Chef: New York City, Outstanding Chef of the Year, and most recently, Outstanding Restaurateur. He has also been named a Chevalier de la Légion d'Honneur by the French government.

Alumni of the Year are Jerome Bocuse '92 and Michael Chiarello '82. Bocuse is the son of the Chef of the Century honoree and a worthy recipient in his own right. It was a testament to the quality of a CIA education that, in 1990, Paul Bocuse sent his son to study at the CIA, rather than any other culinary school in the world or to apprentice at the foot of a European master chef. Today, Jerome Bocuse is vice president of Les Chefs de France restaurant at EPCOT® in Orlando, FL—a brasserie that highlights the authentic tastes and ingredients of France. He is also the vice president of the Board of Directors of the Bocuse d'Or USA Foundation.

Michael Chiarello has won awards in every facet of the food world in which he is involved. He is chef and owner of Bottega Napa Valley, which earned Best New Restaurant accolades from Forbes, Esquire, and the Zagat Guide since its 2008 opening. Chef Chiarello's television program, Easy Entertaining with Michael Chiarello, has won three daytime Emmy Awards. The Chiarello Family Vineyard produces five wines, which have all earned 90+ points from Wine Spectator. His book Michael Chiarello's Casual Cooking won an International Association of Culinary Professionals Cookbook Award in 2002. His NapaStyle retail company is widely considered a lifestyle trendsetter. And Chef Chiarello's artisan food products earned him Best Product Line honors at the International Fancy Food Show in 1994.

The Frances L. Roth Award will be presented to Richard Marriott. This award recognizes a business executive in the hospitality and foodservice industry whose vision, creativity, and entrepreneurship meet the highest standards of excellence and leadership. Mr. Marriott is chairman of the board of Host Hotels & Resorts, Inc., a sister company of Marriott International. He began working in his family's corporation after earning his MBA from the Harvard Business School in 1965. Mr. Marriott is deeply involved with philanthropic work, including serving as chairman of the J. Willard Marriott & Alice Marriott Foundation and the Marriott Foundation for People with Disabilities; president of the Richard E. & Nancy P. Marriott Foundation; and a trustee of the Boys & Girls Clubs of America.

Tickets to the gala are $1,000 per person (of which $750 is tax deductible). For information and reservations, contact Lisa Vanata at 845-905-4279 or visit www.ciaalumninetwork.com/gala.