50 Women Game Changers in Food: #17, Dorothy Hamilton

If you're interested in a career in the food industry, then you might consider buying a book called Love What You Do. After all, our game changer of the week, Dorothy Cann Hamilton, wrote the book and parlayed her wanderlust and love of food into a successful career. 

When Ms. Hamilton was in high school, she dreamed about going to Europe. Being a determined woman, she got a student loan and went to college in England. While there, she befriended some French girls and during their visits to France, she got hooked on French food.
Then came the Peace Corps in Thailand from 1972 to 1974 where she was introduced to Asian cuisine. When she finally returned to the US, without job skills or opportunities, her father gave her a job at his trade school. Dorothy worked her way up and eventually became an expert in student financial aid. She was invited to see the top trade schools in Europe and France, where she saw the top professional cooking school, run by the French government.

Inspired by these premier vocational schools, Ms. Hamilton convinced her father they should create a culinary trade school in NYC. They actually paid the French government for the curriculum, brought over the teachers and the French maintained the quality control. So The French Culinary Institute was born in 1984. Quite a success story!

Hamilton was the creator and host of Chef’s Story, a 26-part television series, which debuted on PBS in April 2007, and the author of the companion book, Chef’s Story. Her book on culinary careers, Love What You Do: Building a Career in the Culinary Industry was published in the fall of 2009.

Most recently, she was inducted into the Who’s Who of Food and Beverage in America by the James Beard Foundation and was nominated for the Entrepreneur Award of Excellence by the International Association of Culinary Professionals. She has been knighted by the Association Internationale de Maîtres Conseil dans la Gastronomie Française, inducted into the James Beard Foundation Hall of Fame and awarded the Silver Spoon by Food Arts magazine in recognition of her leadership in the American restaurant community.

Because Dorothy Hamilton is not a chef, finding a recipe today was difficult. However, I ran across an interesting article in Food and Wine 
where she discussed a problem we all have: watching our weight while still enjoying food. She turned to the staff at FCI to help her.
André Soltner, the dean of classic studies at the FCI (and the former chef and owner of Lutèce) offered the following recipe. 

While preparing the artichokes is a bit time consuming (To see how I prepare my artichokes, click HERE; I don't clean them the way the recipe suggests.) 
keep in mind you can refrigerate the leftovers. I halved the recipe and ate it for two dinners and a lunch. With certainty this is not the most colorful or enticing dish to photograph, but I'll definitely make it again. The flavor of the broth was sensational.  
(One serving is 193 cal, 8 gm fat, 1.1 gm saturated fat, 23 gm carb, 5 gm fiber)

Artichoke, Cauliflower and Mushroom Barigoule 

Recipe courtesy André Soltner, the dean of classic studies at the FCI


1 lemon, halved, plus 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice 
8 large artichokes 
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil 
1 large white onion, thinly sliced 
3 small carrots, thinly sliced 
5 small garlic cloves, halved 
2 bay leaves 
2 thyme sprigs 
1/2 teaspoon coriander seeds 
1 1/2 cups dry white wine 
1 1/2 cups water 
3/4 pound cauliflower, cut into 1-inch florets (4 cups) 
3/4 pound white mushrooms, quartered if large 
Salt and freshly ground pepper


Fill a large bowl with water and squeeze the lemon halves into it. Using a sharp knife, halve the artichokes crosswise. Discard the tops. Working with 1 artichoke at a time, pull off the outer green leaves until you reach the tender yellow leaves. Scrape out the hairy choke with a melon baller or spoon. Trim and peel the base and stem, then quarter the heart and add the artichoke quarters to the bowl of water. Repeat with the remaining artichokes. 
In a large deep skillet, heat the olive oil. Add the onion and carrots and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until softened but not browned, about 7 minutes. Add the garlic, bay leaves, thyme and coriander seeds and cook for 1 minute. Add the wine, water and the 3 tablespoons of lemon juice and bring to a boil over high heat. Cook until the carrots are barely tender, about 3 minutes. 
Drain the artichokes and add them to the skillet along with the cauliflower and mushrooms. Season with salt and pepper and bring to a boil over high heat. Cover and cook over low heat until tender, about 20 minutes. Uncover and let cool to room temperature, about 30 minutes. Transfer the vegetables and broth to shallow bowls and serve. 
Make Ahead. The barigoule can be refrigerated overnight. Warm before serving.

Join Mary from One Perfect Bite and all the other participants in this fun series.

Val - More Than Burnt Toast 

Joanne - Eats Well With Others
Taryn - Have Kitchen Will Feed
Susan - The Spice Garden
Claudia - A Seasonal Cook in Turkey
Heather - girlichef
Miranda - Mangoes and Chutney
Jeanette - Healthy Living
April - Abby Sweets 
Katie - Making Michael Pollan Proud
Mary - One Perfect Bite
Kathleen -Bake Away with Me
Viola - The Life is Good Kitchen
Sue - The View from Great Island
Kathleen - Gonna Want Seconds
Amy - Beloved Green

 - Ciao Chow Linda
Nancy - Picadillo


  1. A delicious combination! That barigoule must be very comforting.



  2. I love this series on women chefs!

  3. I'm impressed! I am always intimidated by artichokes and tend to use those in jars of oil or juices ... I know, wimpy, but what can I say? Something tells me they just wouldn't do for this beautiful dish!

  4. I agree with Susan, I'm impressed. I don't 'do' fresh artichokes! I was so curious about this dish, I had no idea what a barigoule was. We certainly are healthy this week.

  5. Glad you were able to find a recipe because it looks fantastic!

  6. What a wonderful dish. I'm a sucker for anything with artichokes that I didn't have to deal with myself ;)

  7. Hi Barbara! Such an excellent reminder of Ms. Hamilton's important contributions. And, I love learning the word Barigoule!
    oh, how we love All Things Artichoke.

  8. This is a wonderful choice to honour Dorothy. I read the article and agree about trying to follow a healthier ligestyle, but there is so much temptation in the world:D

  9. I didn't know her story. Thanks for sharing this! This looks worth the effort of cleaning artichokes. Love all these vegetables!

  10. I met her at an event at the school... as I recall she was thin as could be... so she must be dong something right eating recipes like this. I fear, were I in her position with all that great food all day long I would be as big as a house!!!

    I never knew she paid for the curriculum... I thought it was American generated and french inspired.

    PS I'm with Nancy... love the word Barigoule~ sounds dashing, doesn't it?

  11. I had never even heard of her! I am totally loving this series.

  12. I love this series Barbara and this recipe look absolutely nice! love the pictures! gloria and now I go to see the Island! he,he

  13. I'm going to have to give this a try. I love artichokes!

    And what an enterprising woman. I had no idea!

  14. This looks like a beautiful assembly of vegetables. I love such types of dishes!

  15. Darling Barbara!

    What a great story of a determined woman to follow her dream and to turn it into gold. And what a place to make the dream unwind....ENGLAND and then France. I see a yummy looking chocolate chestnut torte on you YOU MIGHT LIKE list here that I will have to visit! Two great tastes combined like that make for sheer joy. THANK YOU SO MUCH for coming to visit me! ENJOY a wonderful fall weekend, Anita

  16. Thank you for bringing her to our attention Barbara! I hadn't heard of her before! :)

  17. She was a woman on a mission wasn't she Barbara. She knew what she wanted from life and went for it. How wonderful!
    I loved your last post on your visit to Taha. Such a gorgeous place. And I loved the photos of you and your daughter. Beautiful girls. I can't believe how much you two look alike!
    hugs from here...

  18. Great combination of flavours! Love the artichokes.

  19. What a beautiful and inspirational story, Barbara! This barigoule sounds and look so comforting and mouth-watering. Lovely click!

    Have a wonderful weekend :)

    HUGS <3

  20. I think this is a really great post! I have never heard from this lady before. Thanks for introducing her to me!

    I love these sort of posts from you, my friend!

    Kisses from belgium to you! :)

  21. I'm loving this series--learning so much about women and food!

  22. nice...cool to meet here...your take on artichokes sounds very nice...not a huge fan of artichoke but would def give this one a try...have a lovely weekend barbara

  23. Dorothy Hamilton sounds like a real go-getter. Her accomplishments are o incredible. I wonder about doing that now. I recently read a book about the famous American wine critic, Robert Parker, written by Elin McCoy called The Emperor of Wine. She suggests that in part he was able to become so successful because of the period that he started mid-1970s, just when the baby boomers were in their thirties and forties and suddenly had money for wine. The economy is so different today. I wonder if a Robert Parker or Dorothy Hamilton could really do the same sort of things now?

    I love anything with artichokes, by the way!

  24. Love this vegetable dish you chose to make in honor of Dorothy Hamilton, so fresh and clean.

  25. I really wanted to make this, but it seemed so time consuming. I might have to, though, after this excellent post!

  26. Dorothy is so great. I got to meet her recently at a dinner in San Francisco. I used to love the Public TV show she did, too, where she'd interview chefs who graduated from the French Culinary Institute.

  27. my first thought, embarrassingly enough, was that dorothy hamilton was a figure skater. then i realized it was dorothy hamill. doh! regardless of my idiocy, i think this is a great recipe by an inspirational lady!



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