Monday, September 15 1:00PM—2:10PMCulinary Trailblazers Business Seminar
BiographyLarry Forgione has often been called the “godfather of American cuisine.” Born on Long Island in 1952, Forgione attended the Culinary Institute of America before taking a post at London’s prestigious Connaught Hotel restaurant. It was there, across the Atlantic, that he rediscovered the American foods of his childhood, which had all but disappeared from the American culinary landscape. Upon his return to the US, Forgione set out to address what he believed to be the underlying issue with the American food movement – the scant availability of farm-fresh ingredients for chefs and home cooks. In time, he developed his signature “farm-to-table” cuisine by forging personal relationships with many of America’s local farmers and artisanal product producers.
In 1983, Forgione opened his first restaurant, An American Place on Manhattan’s Upper East Side, with one goal – to put American food on the map. Forgione committed himself to using only domestic ingredients at the restaurant, the name for which had been suggested by his late mentor and friend, culinary legend James Beard. An American Place earned 3 stars from The New York Times and established Forgione as a champion of regional, seasonal American food.
In 2004, Forgione brought An American Place to St. Louis, MO, where it is one of the city’s most popular restaurants. He also opened The Beekman 1766 Tavern at America’s oldest inn, the Beekman Arms in Rhinebeck, New York. That restaurant was named one of Esquire magazine’s “Best New Restaurants” and was selected as one of the “10 Best Destination Restaurants” by The New York Times. Forgione will be opening another outpost of An American Place at Wynn Las Vegas in 2009.
Throughout his career, Forgione has received numerous accolades, including “America’s Best Chef” from the James Beard Foundation, “Chef of the Year” from the Culinary Institute of America. He is also co-founder of American Spoon Foods, a 27-year-old specialty food company in northern Michigan that produces high-quality preserves, relishes, salad dressings, dried fruits, and wild nuts. Forgione’s An American Place Cookbook was the recipient of the James Beard “Best American Cookbook Award.” He is also the co-founder of the City Meals-on-Wheels Chefs Tribute to James Beard.