Colavita Center for Food and Wine - Colavita

Colavita Center for Food and Wine

Colavita USA Founder Inducted into The Culinary Institute of America’s Hall of Fame Scholarship Established to Honor Lifetime of Achievement

In recognition of his great achievements and generosity, John J. Profaci, Chairman Emeritus and Founder of Colavita USA has been inducted into the Hall of Fame of The Culinary Institute of America (CIA).

Mr. Profaci is distinguished as a pioneer in the opening of the North American market to genuine Italian extra virgin olive oil. In 1978 after a chance meeting with Enrico Colavita, Mr. Profaci became intrigued by Mr. Colavita’s descriptions of this family’s stone olive oil mill in the hills of the Molise region of Italy. With a handshake, a new business was born and Mr. Profaci began selling to retailers and restaurants the authentic Italian extra virgin olive oil produced by the Colavita family. Through Mr. Profaci’s efforts, Colavita Extra Virgin Olive Oil is now consistently ranked as the top-selling Italian brand.

Recognizing the role of foodservice professionals in the company’s success, Mr. Profaci and Mr. Colavita provided the financial support that enabled the CIA to open The Colavita Center for Italian Food and Wine on the college’s Hyde Park campus in 2001. The only facility of its kind in the world, each CIA student must complete a rotation at the Colavita Center before earning a culinary arts degree. The Colavita Center is also the home to the CIA’s award winning Ristorante Caterina de’ Medici.

In tribute to Mr. Profaci’s achievements, the CIA is establishing The John J. Profaci Legacy Scholarship to provide financial assistance to students with an interest in Mediterranean cuisines who are pursuing degree programs. Tax deductible contributions made payable to The Culinary Institute of America can be mailed to James Heisey, Executive Director of Development, The Culinary Institute of America, 1946 Campus Drive, Hyde Park, NY 12538. For more information about The John J. Profaci Legacy Scholarship, call 845.451.1299.

About The Culinary Institute of America

Founded in 1946, The Culinary Institute of America is an independent, not-for-profit college offering bachelor’s and associate degrees, as well as certificate programs, in either culinary arts or baking and pastry arts. As the world’s premier culinary college, the CIA has a network of more than 37,000 alumni that includes industry leaders such as Grant Achatz, Anthony Bourdain, Michael Chiarello, Cat Cora, Steve Ells, Todd English, Duff Goldman, Sara Moulton, Charlie Palmer, and Roy Yamaguchi. The college has campuses in New York (Hyde Park), California (The CIA at Greystone, St. Helena), and Texas (San Antonio). In addition to its degree programs, the CIA offers courses for professionals and food enthusiasts, as well as wine education. For more information, and a complete listing of program offerings at each site, visit the CIA online at