I learned last night that my friend and former boss Dorothy Cann Hamilton, of the International Culinary Center, died in a tragic car accident on Friday. I have a heavy heart today remembering her. She was one of the most generous people I’ve ever known and she was a leader who led by example. It’s doubly sad that a visionary was killed in something so preventable as a car accident. Steve Jobs said of his disease that he would be one of the first people cured of it, or one of the last ones to die from it. It’s ironic that the government provided additional guidance on the future of driverless cars, days later.Click here to read the NYTimes Story
I remember my time at the French Culinary Institute fondly, because she never put limits on how high you could aspire. She had amazing stamina and was diligent about the details of life. When I would take care of her computer, I’d notice hand written “Thank you” notes to numerous people on her desk. She was an amazing storyteller, and never boring. One time she had taken a small group of us to dinner at Gallagher’s steak house and then we proceeded to go to the Broadway play, “Mama Mia”. She was rocking that place that night. I’m going to remember her that way. I hadn’t seen Dorothy in almost 10 years, and by some random chance, while attending a work event with my wife, Dorothy was giving a speech for Air France, she remembered my name, and gave me a big hug. It was like I had just seen her yesterday. I don’t remember Dorothy as an exceptional Chef, but I can tell you that SHE changed the way I thought about food forever. Every single cooking show I watch, and every trendy restaurant or food truck I visit, I think about her, and that will remain a constant. I think the saddest part of life is that we often don’t realize that the best times are unfolding directly in front of us. I owe it to her to continue to be equally fervent about living life. She will be missed dearly.