Industry Leaders Cathy, Chesser, Elliot, Fugo and Metz Honored at National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation's 23rd Annual Salute to Excellence


Contact: Jessica Maggio Wion (312) 715-5397

CHICAGO - Five restaurant and foodservice industry leaders will be honored at the 23rd Annual Salute to Excellence on Saturday, May 22, 2010, at the Hilton Chicago, the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation (NRAEF) announced today. Kicking off the annual National Restaurant Association Restaurant, Hotel-Motel Show, this grand affair is the NRAEF's premier fundraising event and pays tribute to the industry's extraordinary current and future leaders.

The 2010 NRAEF honorees are:

2010 Thad and Alice Eure Ambassador of Hospitality:

  • S. Truett Cathy
    Founder, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Chick-fil-A, Inc., Atlanta, Ga.

2010 College of Diplomates inductees:

2010 Michael E. Hurst Lifetime of Achievement in Education Award honoree:

  • Ferdinand E. Metz, CMC
    President Emeritus, The Culinary Institute of America, Hyde Park, New York
    Managing Partner, The Master Chefs' Institute, Escondido, Calif.

"We are honored to recognize these extraordinary individuals with the NRAEF's most prestigious awards. They each have demonstrated an outstanding commitment to education and excellence in our industry," said Dawn Sweeney, president and CEO, National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation. "We are privileged to honor them for their contributions, and they fully embody our commitment to enhancing the restaurant industry's service to the public through education, community engagement, and promotion of career opportunities."

As the NRAEF's most highly anticipated social event of the year, Salute to Excellence features an opportunity to network with the restaurant and foodservice industry's most respected leaders and sample a tempting selection of foods. The event will also feature TREND, a one-of-a-kind fashion show with Food Network star Ted Allen as host that features the latest trends in restaurant apparel and more. The fundraiser supports the NRAEF Scholarship Program and the NRAEF's ProStart program.

The Thad and Alice Eure Ambassador of Hospitality Award is the highest honor bestowed by the NRAEF. It is presented each May to an individual who is a member of the NRAEF's College of Diplomates, and who is recognized as an outstanding leader in the restaurant and foodservice industry.

The NRAEF College of Diplomates includes top industry leaders, educators, journalists, restaurant association executives, authors, chefs and TV personalities, who have made outstanding contributions to the advancement and enhancement of the restaurant and foodservice industry's image.

To honor the devotion to educating and enhancing the lives of young people that characterized Michael E. Hurst - a respected and successful restaurant operator and firm advocate of industry education - the NRAEF awards the Michael E. Hurst Lifetime of Achievement in Education Award to an outstanding educator who has made an indelible contribution to restaurant and foodservice education.

** Photos and bios of honorees available at http://www.nraef.org/events/salute.

Now in its 23rd year, Salute to Excellence celebrates the current and future leaders of our industry. This event is made possible by the generous contributions of founding partner The Coca-Cola Company, as well as Ecolab, Inc., Sweet Street Desserts, Procter & Gamble Professional and Kellogg's.

Tickets for the Salute to Excellence may be purchased individually or by a table of eight. For more information or to purchase tickets online, please call (312) 715-5384 or visit http://www.nraef.org/events/salute.

The annual National Restaurant Association Restaurant, Hotel-Motel Show is the largest single gathering of restaurant, foodservice and lodging professionals. NRA Show 2010 will be held May 22-25, at McCormick Place in Chicago. The event attracts tens of thousands of attendees and visitors from all 50 states and 100+ countries, and showcases more products, services, innovative ideas and other growth opportunities than any other industry event. For more information, visit the Show Web site at www.restaurant.org/show.  

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