Dorothy Cann Hamilton, Founder of International Culinary Center, Dies at 67

Dorothy Cann Hamilton, the founder of one of America’s most prestigious culinary schools, died in a car accident on Friday
The International Culinary Center confirmed the horrific news this weekend.

Wikimedia Commons/ICC

The International Culinary Center confirmed the horrific news this weekend.

Dorothy Cann Hamilton, 67, the woman behind some of the most recognizable names in the food industry and founder of the International Culinary Center, died in a car accident on Friday in Nova Scotia, Canada. ICC president Erik Murnighan mourned the loss of Hamilton in an email sent to students.

“Dorothy was not only a trailblazer in the culinary arts, she was an inspirational figure to women, aspiring chefs and entrepreneurs,” the note read. “She was a role model, a visionary and someone who, with a discerning eye, elevated culinary culture in America. Her remarkable passion for and embrace of food will provide an everlasting change to the way restaurateurs operated, chefs cooked and how culinary students were mentored.”

Hamilton had a list of accolades as impressive as her tenure at the International Culinary Center. She was a James Beard Award winner and a former chairwoman of the foundation. She was the creator and host of the radio show Chef’s Story, as well as the accompanying series on PBS, and just last year she was award the French Legion of Honor. She also spearheaded the USA Pavilion at the Expo Milano last year. 

Hamilton founded the ICC in 1984 — then known as the French Culinary Institute — which boasts famous alumni such as Bobby Flay, Wylie Dufresne, David Chang, Christina Tosi, and Dan Barber.


As news spreads of her death, expressions of grief and condolences come flooding in from all over the restaurant world.