Alain Sailhac, born in Millau, France is an internationally recognized French chef working in New York City, where he holds the position of Executive Vice President and Dean Emeritus at The International Culinary Center, founded as the French Culinary Institute. Sailhac earned the first ever four star rating from The New York Times while at Le Cygne in 1977. He went on to be a chef at Le Cirque, the 21 Club and the Plaza Hotel.
Sailhac, born in France, began his culinary career at age 14, working as an apprentice at the Capion restaurant in his small hometown of Millau, France. He worked in Paris, Corfu, Rhodes and Guadeloupe before becoming sous chef at the Michelin Guide two-star Château de Larraldia. In New York City beginning in 1965, Sailhac established himself as chef de cuisine at Le Mistral and Le Manoir. Stints at several Paris hotels and restaurants and as executive chef at l’Hôtel Royal in New Caledonia and at Le Perroquet in Chicago followed.
In 1974, Sailhac worked at Le Cygne, which during his tenure, in 1977, received the coveted four stars from The New York Times. He served as executive chef from 1978 through 1986 at the legendary Le Cirque restaurant on Manhattan’s Upper West Side, earning three stars in 1984 from The New York Times. Sailhac also was executive chef at the 21 Club, culinary director at the Plaza Hotel and a consultant to the Regency Hotel. In 1991, Sailhac joined The French Culinary Institute as Dean of Culinary Studies and today is Executive Vice President and Dean Emeritus.
In 1997, Sailhac received the Silver Toque after he was named Chef of the Year by the Maîtres Cusiniers de France (Master Chefs of France), an award that places him among the world’s outstanding culinary artists.
He received the coveted Silver Spoon Award with his wife Arlene Feltman Sailhac from Food Arts magazine in 2003. Also that year, he was the recipient of the 2003 James Beard Foundation "Who's Who of Food and Beverage in America. Sailhac also was the Chevalier du Mérite Agricole and in 2004, he was presented France's Ordre National du Mérite.
Chef Sailhac is a member of numerous prestigious culinary organizations, including the Maîtres Cuisiniers de France and the Société Culinaire Philanthropique.
On 13 May 2010 Sailhac, along with other chefs from The French Culinary Institute (now known as The International Culinary Center), Jacques Pepin, Jacques Torres and André Soltner, prepared a $30,000-per-couple dinner for President Barack Obama’s fund-raiser for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee at Manhattan’s St. Regis Hotel.
- "Having words with Alain Sailhac: executive vice president and senior dean of studies, The French Culinary Institute". Findarticles.com. 11 July 2005. Retrieved 27 April 2011.
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- McAuliff, Michael; Saltonstall, David (13 May 2010). "After beating up Wall Street 'fat cats,' President Obama ready to take their money in NY fund-raiser". Daily News (New York). Retrieved 27 April 2011.