Chair of Slow Food NYC Named CEO of the Natural Gourmet Institute

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Anthony Fassio Takes the Helm as CEO of the Nation’s Top Health-Supportive Culinary School, the Natural Gourmet Institute

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Anthony Fassio, CEO of the Natural Gourmet Institute

"NGI will continue to be the innovator in teaching health-supportive cooking and leading the culinary industry through progressive education." Anthony Fassio, CEO, the Natural Gourmet Institute

The Natural Gourmet Institute (NGI) is pleased to announce the appointment of Anthony Fassio, the Chair of Slow Food NYC, as its new CEO. NGI’s founder, Annemarie Colbin, Ph.D., has stepped down as CEO and assumed the role of Chairman Emeritus.

“Anthony is the perfect person to take on this role,” states Dr. Colbin. “The philosophy of Slow Food is about food that is wholesome, delicious, clean and fairly produced—principles we’ve been advocating at the Natural Gourmet Institute since we began more than 35 years ago.”

As the leader in health-supportive culinary arts and theory since 1977, NGI sought out a new CEO who understands food and its connection to everyday health. Mr. Fassio’s credentials include extensive experience in consumer food goods, restaurant and private catering, including Danny Meyer’s Union Square Hospitality Group, family agriculture, non-profit management, and food safety. He also graduated second in his class at Le Cordon Bleu, Paris.

Early in his career, Fassio led the effort to convert his family’s fourth generation egg farm from conventional to organic and cage-free—back when this was certainly not the status quo. Later, under his leadership, Slow Food NYC, a non-profit organization dedicated to counteracting the culture of fast food, flourished. The organization doubled its operating budget, increased membership by 20%, and grew programming, including the “Snail of Approval” program, which now has over 120 member restaurants. He also started the Snail of Approval Producer Matrix, which connects restaurants with like-minded suppliers.

“I have long been an admirer of NGI and all that Dr. Colbin did as a true pioneer in recognizing the connection between food and health,” states Fassio. “The fundamental philosophies of NGI and Slow Food are well aligned. My vision for NGI is to continue to build upon Dr. Colbin’s strong foundation and further extend NGI’s principles beyond traditional education using a holistic and interdisciplinary approach. NGI will continue to be the innovator in teaching health-supportive cooking and leading the culinary industry through progressive education.”

Dr. Colbin created a niche in culinary education by teaching how to prepare and cook mostly vegetarian fare using only whole foods, preferably grown locally and organically. She is confident that Mr. Fassio will maintain the message, mission and legacy of NGI’s first 36 years, while strategically moving forward in the dynamic culture of the culinary world.

“When I started the Natural Gourmet Institute in my kitchen so long ago, the idea of health-supportive cooking was on the cutting edge,” states Colbin. “It makes me so happy to see delicious, whole, organic food becoming more and more mainstream, and to see powerful leaders like Anthony Fassio stepping up to carry the torch. We’re excited about this next chapter with Anthony, and looking forward to continuing our role at the forefront of a new generation of food-conscious citizens.”


About Natural Gourmet Institute

Founded in 1977 by Annemarie Colbin, Ph.D., the Natural Gourmet Institute (NGI) is the leader in teaching health-supportive cooking as well as elucidating the relationship between food and health. NGI believes that what we eat significantly affects our physical, mental and spiritual well being.

NGI operates three programs:

The Natural Gourmet Institute for Health & Culinary Arts Chef’s Training Program was created in 1987 in response to the demand for culinary professionals skilled in the art of preparing beautiful, delicious health-supportive cuisine. This comprehensive mostly-vegetarian program -- the only one of its kind in the world -- prepares students for careers in health spas, restaurants, bakeries, private cooking, catering, teaching, consulting, food writing and a variety of entrepreneurial pursuits.

The Natural Gourmet Institute for Food & Health offers excellent learning opportunities to the general public. Whether a novice or an experienced cook, new to natural foods or expanding one’s cooking repertoire, the Institute has a class designed especially for one’s particular interests. Through a combination of cooking classes and lectures, NGI teaches health-supportive preparation as well as an ever-expanding array of approaches to nutrition. These include models from Western nutrition, Chinese medicine, macrobiotics, raw foods, fermentation, medicinal cooking, and more.

The Natural Gourmet Institute’s Friday Night Dinner Program has become a culinary magnet for savvy New Yorkers and visitors alike. Guest can savor a delicious and unique experience when Chef Instructors and students of NGI’s Chef’s Training Program pour their expertise and enthusiasm into a three-course vegetarian dinner that is both innovative and beautifully presented.

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Jessica Brida

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