JWU alums serving up small bites at the CFIT 50 Gala.

CFIT 50th Anniversary Gala

September 29, 2023

For a half-century, Johnson & Wales University’s College of Food Innovation & Technology (CFIT) graduates have transformed the American food landscape as chefs, nutritionists, product developers, entrepreneurs, and thought leaders.

JWU continues to innovate and adapt to be at the forefront of the ever-changing food industry. Over the next 50 years, our graduates will continue to make their mark in redefining the economic, community, and ecological impacts of the food system.

On September 29, 2023, the university celebrated its storied contributions to food education with a 50th Anniversary Gala that included a special recognition of the life and work of food icon Jacques Pépin '10 Hon.

Invited guests include many high-profile food and media personalities (such as Lorena Garcia '00, '14 Hon. and Emeril Lagasse '78, '90 Hon.) as well as leaders from every facet of the food, beverage, and hospitality fields, tapping into the vast network of industry professionals JWU has built over the past several decades. In addition to JWU faculty, staff, students and alums, members of the JWU Epicurean Scholarship Society and food enthusiasts from across the Northeast will also be in attendance.

This memorable night began with a 5pm VIP cocktail reception with Chef Pépin and invited guests. At 6pm, Gala attendees experienced the talents of alumni chefs and restaurateurs, current JWU faculty and students, and retired JWU faculty at food stations throughout the dynamic Culinary Arts Museum on JWU’s Harborside Campus.

The evening festivities included several auction opportunities, all with culinary themes:

  • Silent auction
  • Live auction of an original artwork created by Jacques Pépin

Event proceeds supported scholarships, travel, and educational experiences for CFIT students as they prepare to join a network of trailblazers in the food industry post-graduation.

CFIT at 50: A Legacy of Culinary Community

Various gourmet bites served at JWU culinary events, from charcuterie samples to goat cheese plates with herb salad.


CFIT Gala Sponsor Logos

Mise en Place: 50 Years of CFIT

CFIT 50th anniversary: Grid collage of multiple scenes from the college’s storied history.

JWU’s College of Food Innovation & Technology (CFIT) celebrates a golden anniversary as it looks to change the world with future-forward programs.

Discover the rich history — and bright future — of CFIT:

Read the Story

If you are unable to attend and are in a position to support the talented students studying in the College of Food Innovation & Technology (CFIT), consider making a gift today. Your donation will provide scholarships and financial aid directly to CFIT students, allowing them to pursue their passions at Johnson & Wales.


Wide landscape view of the organic garden beds adjacent to the Cuisinart Center for Culinary Excellence (CCCE).

CFIT 50 logo under ice at the gala reception.

4 panels depicting JWU students at work at various events or photo shoots.