On Sunday, October 9, 2011, Bakers Dozen East and Dessert Professional magazine honored Chef Albert Kumin’s 90th birthday at Avery Fisher Hall at Lincoln Center in New York City. A highlight of the reception was a parade of birthday cakes prepared by prominent pastry chefs who are friends, former students and admirers of Chef Kumin, include ICE Chef Instructors Nick Malgieri, Toba Garrett and Michelle Tampakis.
Albert Kumin trained as a pastry chef in his native Switzerland before coming to North America as the pastry chef at Montreal’s Ritz Carlton Hotel. He then moved to New York as opening pastry chef at the famed Four Seasons. His distinguished career includes positions at the White House and the opening of Windows on the World. In 1992, he was named to the James Beard Foundation’s Who’s Who in Food and Beverage in America. He was a mentor to many of today’s leading pastry chefs, and they gathered at the reception to celebrate his accomplishments and contributions to the industry.
The parade of birthday cakes featured nine cakes, each representing a decade of Kumin’s life. Among the notables who created cakes for Chef Kumin’s birthday event were ICE Chef Instructors Toba Garrett and Michelle Tampakis, as well as cake luminaries Ellen Baumwoll, Charmaine Jones, Cheryl Kleinman, Rosemary Littman, Colette Peters and Betty Van Nortsrand. A team of ICE student volunteers prepared the Swiss chocolate birthday cake served to guests.
It was a wonderful honor for a pastry chef who has been a teacher and role model to many ICE chefs, professionals and pastry school students over the years.