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2014 Best of New York Award Dinner Salutes Alumnus Allen Susser and Other City Tech Partners

top, l to r: Martin Jaffe, City Tech Foundation; Allen Susser; James Claffey, Jr., Local 1 (IATSE); President Russell Hotzler; Dr. Robert Tribble, Brookhaven; Michael Lomonaco; bottom, l to r: Yves Busnel, Société Culinaire Philanthropique; Dr. Susan Singer, National Science Foundation; David Ehrenberg, Brooklyn Navy Yard.
Credit: Ken Brown

City Tech honored corporate and other "partners" at the 2014 Best of New York Award Dinner on Wednesday, May 14 at the New York Hilton Midtown. The evening began with a Guest of Honor Reception, followed by dinner and the award presentations. City Tech graduate Michael Lomonaco '84, celebrity chef and managing partner, Porter House New York at Time Warner Center, was Master of Ceremonies.

Honorees were Brookhaven National Laboratory, Brooklyn Navy Yard Development Corporation, International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE) Local 1, National Science Foundation, and Société Culinaire Philanthropique, all of which have long partnered with the College in furthering its mission to develop skilled graduates ready for the high-tech careers that increasingly define the global economy.

The 2014 Distinguished Alumnus Award was presented to City Tech graduate Allen Susser, president & CEO, Chef Allen's Consulting, and founding chef, Taste of the NFL, which has raised millions of dollars to fight hunger.

Susser graduated in 1976 from City Tech's award-winning hospitality management program. He earned a baccalaureate in hospitality from Florida International University, and worked in the kitchens of Le Bristol Hotel in Paris and Le Cirque in New York before becoming a seminal figure in New American cuisine in Miami.

In addition to his skills as a chef, Susser is known for his humanitarian work. In 1992, he hosted a Hurricane Andrew relief effort that raised money for food and water for victims of the hurricane. Again, after Hurricane Katrina, he followed up on several initiatives to help the people of New Orleans and also organized efforts to raise money for the victims of the earthquake that devastated Haiti, among other relief projects. A longtime chairman of Taste of the Nation/Share Our Strength, Susser has helped raise millions for South Florida's needy.

Susser's many honors include an honorary doctorate of culinary arts from Johnson & Wales University; the Torch Award for Leadership from Florida International University; the James Beard Foundation Award for Best Chef: Southeast; the James Beard Foundation Humanitarian of the Year Award; the Zagat Survey for Best Restaurant for Food in Miami for four years in a row; and Gourmet magazine's Top Table Award in South Florida.

First held in 1982, the Best of New York Dinner Award is hosted by the City Tech Foundation, a not-for-profit corporation chartered in 1981 to raise funds for the College. Proceeds from the annual dinner help fund foundation-sponsored scholarships and other student financial assistance and professional development programs.