Rochelle speaks at the 2010 Culinary Institute of America commencement ceremony

Hyde Park, NY, September 20, 2010 – When Rochelle Huppin enrolled at The Culinary Institute of America (CIA) in 1985, she was not comfortable in the polyester student-issue chef’s uniforms of the day. With a doctor’s note saying she was allergic to synthetic fabrics, she was allowed to wear a pair of handmade all-cotton houndstooth print pants.

Twenty-five years later, Huppin returned to the scene of her discomfort to inspire a new class of CIA alumni. She delivered the commencement address to 63 recipients of CIA associate degrees in culinary arts and baking and pastry arts on Friday, September 10, 2010.

While cooking for Wolfgang Puck after graduating from the CIA, Huppin began designing and making more comfortable chefs pants for friends, then friends of friends, in the industry. This led to the creation, in 1990, of Chefwear, Inc., a company that specializes in clothing and accessories for chefs. She has outfitted celebrity chefs such as David Burke ’82, George Morrone ’83, and Jonathan Waxman.

In addition to her successful catalog and Web business, Huppin is still a working chef. She is the executive pastry chef and founding partner of Beacon, an Asian-inspired café in the Culver City neighborhood of Los Angeles.

Original article here ; (Photo credit: CIA/Keith Ferris)