Ferdinand Metz, certified master chef (CMC), world global master chef (WGMC), American Academy of Chefs (AAC), hall of fame (HOF), of Escondido, Calif., received the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation’s (NRAEF) 2010 Michael E. Hurst Lifetime Achievement in Education Award during NRAEF’s Salute to Excellence event at the Hilton Chicago, May 22.
“”This award is for all educators more than it is for me,” said Metz, president emeritus of The Culinary Institute of America, Hyde Park, N.Y., managing partner of The Master Chefs’ Institute and co-owner of Ferdinand Metz Culinary Innovations, LLC. “By creating an award such as this – in the name of Michael Hurst, who was an educator and an operator – the industry has realized that education is our future. Teachers could make more money in other positions, but as educators, they have the satisfaction of touching many lives and careers. Teaching leaves a legacy.
The Michael E. Hurst Lifetime of Achievement in Education Award was established in 2002 in honor of Michael E. Hurst, a respected and successful operator and firm advocate of industry education. The award is presented to an outstanding educator who has made an indelible contribution to restaurant and foodservice education, according to the association. Past recipients include Dave Thomas (posthumously), founder, Wendy’s International, Inc., 2002; Carol Kizer, CCE, RD, FMP, HAAC, hospitality management department chair emeritus, Columbus State Community College, Columbus, Ohio, 2007; and Donald Smith, Westin distinguished professor, Washington State University, Pullman, Wash., 2009.
By receiving the award, Metz is recognized as a modern day pioneer for education who exemplifies passion and enthusiasm for education and has demonstrated support for the educational initiatives of NRAEF, as well as strong, positive moral character and integrity throughout his career.
Metz grew up in Germany where his parents owned a hotel, butcher shop and restaurant. After coming to America to pursue a culinary career, he worked at the Preakness Hills Country Club, Wayne, N.Y., and at the famed Le Pavillon restaurant and the Plaza Hotel in New York. He went on to begin a 15-year career at the H.J. Heinz Company, where he led the research and development effort as senior manager. Metz was instrumental in establishing the chefs’ apprenticeship, certification and master chefs’ certification program in America in the mid 1970s, and he spearheaded a 20-year successful effort of leading the United States’ “culinary Olympic team to three consecutive world championships. He also served for four years as president of the American Culinary Federation (ACF) and was the first certified master chef, who also had earned a master’s degree in business administration.
As president of The Culinary Institute of America for 21 years, Metz saw more than 30,000 students graduate, many of whom would become leaders in the culinary field. He was recognized for his contributions by having received almost every major award, including the Lifetime Achievement Award and the induction into Who’s Who of Food and Beverage in America by the James Beard Foundation, The Medal of the French Republic and Maitre D’ Honneur by the Chaine des Ri´tisseurs. He also serviced as past president of the World Association of Cooks’ Societies, an organization of 8 million members in 72 countries, and as past chairman of the board of the NRAEF. He is a member of ACF’s Mid Hudson Culinary Association.