CECILIA CHIANG, NARSAI DAVID AMONG ATTENDEES AT BRONZE WORKS UNVEILING DEC. 10
11 New Works by Fred Parhad Installed at Napa Valley College's St. Helena Campus
Dec. 15, 2014 (Napa, California) – Iconic Chinese-American restaurateur and chef Cecilia Chiang was among more than 80 enthusiasts of culinary and wine culture who braved oncoming rains to attend the unveiling ceremony of 11 original bronze works by sculptor Fred Parhad at Napa Valley College's St. Helena Campus on December 10.
The festive ceremony formally marked the artworks' installation and invited guests were then treated to an elegant five-course, locally sourced luncheon prepared by the students of the Napa Valley Cooking School under the instruction and leadership of Executive Chef Barbara Alexander and Assistant Chef Maggie Nobile. Wines from the Napa Valley College Estate and supporters of the Napa Valley Cooking School were also provided.
The bronze busts of Chiang, James Beard, Julia Child, David, MFK Fisher, Robert Mondavi, Jacques Pepin, Paul Prudhomme, Wolfgang Puck, Jeremiah Tower, and Alice Waters symbolize the diversity and importance of these individuals in shaping the birth of a distinctly Californian food and wine sensibility over the last 60 years.
"From across the country and around the world, these culinary legends found inspiration in this Golden State of bounty and diversity, creating California Cuisine, and thereby reinvigorating American cooking, redefining how we think about what we eat and drink, and reimagining our relationship with the Earth that feeds us," David stated in his remarks during the ceremony.
The bronze works feature chefs, authors, and vintners – many with deep Napa Valley and Bay Area ties – who have influenced the American palate, changed the nation's cuisine, and helped put the Napa Valley at the international forefront of outstanding culinary, wine, and hospitality. Bay Area author, radio commentator, and California Cuisine pioneer Narsai David and his wife, Venus David, commissioned the artworks from the artist and donated them to the college.
"By permanently installing these statues at the Napa Valley College's St. Helena campus, the stories of these great masters will now inspire chefs-in-training for years to come and remind visitors to our great valley of the fascinating personal histories that have helped shape it," said Napa Valley College spokesperson Lissa Gibbs.
"We're proud to be educating the culinary luminaries of tomorrow, and the addition of these works provides our students with a fantastic context for them to pursue their passion," NVC President Dr. Ron Kraft said.
Also attending the ceremony were family members of the artist Fred Parhad, a self-taught sculptor with over 35 years of professional dedication to his work. Among his many sculpture portraits, figures and monuments, Parhad created the Ashurbanipal monument, which stands in San Francisco in front of the Asian Art Museum.
The bronze works are now on permanent display in the courtyard of Napa Valley College's St. Helena campus and may be viewed free of charge during the campus' normal business hours, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. To learn more about the Napa Valley Cooking School and the educational programs at the college's St. Helena campus, please visit the Upper Valley Campus page on the Napa Valley College Web site at http://www.napavalley.edu/AboutNVC/CampusInfo/Pages/UpperValleyCampus.aspx.