Perhaps one of the greatest compliments you can give a chef is to cherish their food.  Add to that an understanding of their craft and you have the perfect fusion of ingredients for the truly greatest compliment of all.

And that’s why The Center for Discovery’s Chief of the Department of Nourishment Arts® (DNA®), Chef Cesare Casella’s latest accolade means so much to him and to us.

His award-winning “Casella’s Prosciutto Speciale” was adored by a blind tasting panel which sampled more than 18-hundred entries in 14-categories.  The one of a kind prosciutto took home the prize in the Charcuterie category of this year’s Tenth Anniversary Good Food Awards in San Francisco!

The awards are held by the Good Food Foundation, an organization that is working diligently to celebrate those who care about the land, animals and the art of making good, nutritious, responsible food.  In short, they are transforming the American food system – one grower, rancher, maker and merchant at a time.

And that, is the very definition of our Chief of the Department of Nourishment Arts®.  Partnership and teamwork is key, Chef Casella humbly said after the ceremony, “I am proud of this award and especially of all the great people who make this prosciutto possible – particularly the independent family farms we work with to source the highest quality hams. It shows that we can do great things and make a great product when we collaborate.”

Here at The Center for Discovery as head of DNA®, Chef Casella ensures that TCFD’s philosophy, Food is Medicine®, is respected and followed at every step along the food chain. He oversees 300-certified organic and biodynamic acres of rural Sullivan County land, which produces more than 60-different vegetables, flowers, and herbs. He shepherds a staff of nutritionists, chefs, farmers and orchardists, as they tend to the land, several species of livestock, and menus for the 1,900 meals served to residents, students and staff daily.

It is a massive operation that is truly Seed to Belly®. Truly good for residents, students, staff, the environment, and for a truly good cause.

For more information on the Department of Nourishment Arts®, please reach out to the Office of Strategic Outreach and Partnerships at