CIA dedicates new pavilion, holds commencement there

The Culinary Institute of America dedicated its new, 42,000-square-foot Marriott Pavilion on May 1 — and then put it to good use right away.

The pavilion will be the largest gathering place on the CIA campus, for commencement ceremonies, industry leadership conferences, cultural events, and lectures by luminaries of the food world, according to a CIA news release on the event.

CIA President Dr. Tim Ryan noted at the dedication, “The Marriott Pavilion is just what we need to attract the most influential chefs, scholars, nutrition and food scientists, business experts, and thought leaders to our campus. It will enrich the CIA student experience and the culinary profession with innovative world-class programs and events.”

“This facility is a tribute to the men and women of the hospitality industry who work so hard to make it successful,” added Richard Marriott, chairman of the board of Host Hotels & Resorts, Inc., the real estate investment sister company of Marriott International.

Following the dedication, Marriott delivered the commencement address at the first baccalaureate degree graduation held in the building. He was granted an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters in Culinary Arts degree.

“The world is full of opportunities,” he told the 74 recipients of bachelor’s degrees in culinary arts management, baking and pastry arts management, and, for the first time, culinary science. “Your ability to be successful will depend upon your ability to identify these opportunities.”

The Marriott Pavilion features an 800-seat Ecolab Auditorium, with two portable kitchens that can be rolled on stage for culinary demonstrations. Flanking the walls of the theater are 31-foot-high reproductions of “Summer” and “Vertumnus,” two paintings by 16th century artist Giuseppe Arcimboldo. The lower level consists of a conference center with a demonstration kitchen and space to seat 300, either theater-style or, by erecting temporary walls, in up to six individual classrooms. Another highlight is Gastrotypographicalassemblage, a 33-foot-wide, eight-foot-tall, three-dimensional mural that hung in the CBS dining room from the 1960s through 1980s. The 1,650 individual letters spelling out culinary expressions and 65 food-related objects that make up this artwork are now on display for the first time ever.

The $21 million pavilion was made possible by support from the J. Willard and Alice S. Marriott Foundation, Ecolab, and pledges to the college’s capital campaign.

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