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February 2002
CUNY Responds: Rebuilding New York
CUNY Alumnus/Prize-winning Journalist Reports from Islamabad, Jalalabad, Kabul
City Tech Students Envision Rebuilding St. Nicholas Church
U.S. Poet Laureate Billy Collins Mulls Emergency Service of Verse
John Jay College and FEMA Address Urban Hazards
Helping Students Write about Trauma
Biography of a Life Cut Violently Short
CUNY Law Practice In the Public Interest Since 9/11
Graduate Center 9/11 Digital Archive
Windows on the World Chef Returns to City Tech following 9/11
Walt Whitman Sums Up “Human and Heroic New York”
Inaugural Conference on "Women and Work"
For Alzheimer’s Patients Life’s a Stage
Kingsborough Center Incubator of Global Virtual Enterprises
Governor Proposes State Budget
White House Urged to Support Pell Grant Increase
President Jackson Named to Schools Board
Fine Way To Learn About Steinway

City College Scholar-Director Chosen Cultural Affairs Commissioner by Mayor

Claire Shulman Honored by QCC

CUNY Counsel Elected Legal Aid Society Chair

Law Dean Glen Honored by State Bar

“American Art at the Crossroads”—
April Symposium at Graduate Center

Challenging Summer for Students in Vassar/CUNY Program

 
 

Windows on the World Chef Returns to City Tech

His story is much like others who survived the events of September 11th. A chance diversion, an unscheduled delay, or some twist of fate, these were the random acts that determined who would live and who would die.

Michael Lomonaco
Michael Lomonaco, the master chef of Windows on the World Restaurant at the World Trade Center, hurried through the concourse level that morning when he happened by a Lenscrafters, which offers fifteen minute eye-exams and new lenses "in about an hour." He and his wife had plans to leave for Europe in a few days and his regular ophthalmologist was booked.

Lomonaco stopped for the eye exam. He survived. Seventy-three of his friends, employees and colleagues perished. Life since has been a blur of funerals and memorials and great introspection. He co-founded the Window of Hope Family Review Fund to help the families of food workers who lost loved ones on 9/11. But he wanted to do more.

Beginning this month , Lomonaco returns home to New York City Technical College, to the hospitality program that launched him on his critically acclaimed and financially successful restaurant and television career as Visiting Distinguished Professor of Hospitality Management.

As a member of the faculty, Lomonaco will be conducting master classes in the culinary arts and delivering guest lectures in various courses, including Food and Beverage Cost Control, Hospitality Marketing and the Senior Research Seminar. He will also be developing culinary programming for CUNY-TV at the college.

"Michael has maintained ties to the College," said President Fred Beaufait, "coming back time and again to share the depth and breadth of his experience. And he has made valuable contributions." Lomonaco has high praise for the program, its faculty and students. "The Hospitality Department produces graduates who are among the finest hospitality and restaurant graduates available anywhere," he said, adding that the College is a major source of young talent for the multi-billion dollar hotel and restaurant industry, a vital component of the city's economy. "This demonstrates how the College and the University are an important part of life in New York City, he said. "Our graduates stay in the city and contribute to its vibrancy."

And he is eager to collaborate with the faculty. "In our business you learn to work as a team. I anticipate that one of the joys of working at the college will be to work as part of a team. I'm constantly in search of ways to keep learning about the business. I hope to share some of my skills but what I can learn from the faculty is probably going to be the greater experience." The program offered at New York City Technical College differs from the numerous cooking schools that have proliferated over the last decade in the metropolitan area. Its students are given a strong grounding in gastronomy. But they are also expected to master the fine points of hospitality management. "I tell people that to run a successful restaurant you have to read a spread sheet. Reading a spread sheet was just one of the many skills I learned at the college," Lomonaco said.

In May, he will receive the Lifetime Achievement Award from Ivy, the magazine of the National Restaurant Association, at the National Restaurant Show in Chicago.

As a young chef, Lamonaco honed his skills and his commitment to regional American cooking with an emphasis on using fresh and natural foods to produce dishes with rich bold flavors. Stints at Maxwell's Plum and Le Cirque led to a seven year run as executive chef of the '21' Club Restaurant.

Lomonaco draws from his thespian training—he completed three years of study at Brooklyn College and embarked on an acting career—to bring his style of cooking to television. He has gained an national following, first as the host of "Michael's Place" on the Food Network and now as the host of "Epicurious" on the Discovery Channel. He is the co-author of The '21' Cookbook (Doubleday, 1995) and the author of a forthcoming book on creative home cooking.

At the time of the World Trade Center attack, Lomonaco's Windows on the World was the highest grossing restaurant in the country for three consecutive years.

"To be able to give back to both the University and the city is a privilege," he said. "Being invited to join CUNY is a great honor for me, first because I am a graduate of the system, and because I chose CUNY twice in my academic career. It was impossible to say no."