About Hudson Valley Foie Gras
Michael Aeyal Ginor
Michael Aeyal Ginor is co-founder, co-owner, and President of Hudson Valley Foie Gras and New York State Foie Gras, the most comprehensive Foie Gras producer in the world. Michael, with his partner Izzy Yanay, modernized the ancient delicacy known to Pharos and kings by utilizing the hi-tech and scientifically advanced production techniques of the twentieth century. No longer defined by individual farming efforts, and given to a chancy game of guess and hope, production is now a unified, controlled and consistent operation based on nature, nurturing, and computer technology. It is a closed, independent production system where the duck and the egg are bred and processed, where both come first…
Michael was born in Seattle, Washington, in 1963. He is a graduate of Brandeis University and holds an MBA from New York University. After four years on Wall Street as a Senior Vice-President with David Lerner Associates (at 23, the youngest in the history of the firm), he decided to take a revolutionary step: having been born to Israeli expatriates living in America, in 1988 Michael chose to join the Israeli Defense Forces. He served as a Captain in the Gaza Strip, as a patrol commander and as the Israeli Defense Forces spokesman. It was in Israel that Michael discovered the potential of modern-age Foie Gras processing and the possibilities of total and comprehensive production. Michael aggressively pursued his dream by establishing what is today the major Foie Gras producer in the world. By 1998, the company distributed its moulard duck products through a network of 75 domestic distributors extending throughout the United States, and beyond to Argentina, Canada, Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore and Venezuela.
Hudson Valley Foie Gras has received the 1993 Gold Merit Award from Chefs in America and the 1996 Award for Excellence from The James Beard Foundation. In 1996, Hudson Valley received the Five Star Diamond Award from the American Academy of Hospitality Sciences and the 1998 Award of Excellence from the American Tasting Institute. Michael has served as Honorary Event Chairman for the Spinazzola Foundation and the Cystic Fibrosis Fund. In May 1996, Michael received the first Olive Branch Award from the Jewish National Fund for humanitarian and professional achievements. He was honored with the 1997 Angel Award from The James Beard Foundation for dedication, contribution and foresight and in 1998, Michael received the American Master Taster Award from the American Tasting Institute. Both Michael and Izzy Yanay were inducted into the James Beard Foundation 2001 Who's Who of Food and Beverage.
While Hudson Valley Foie Gras is the bedrock of Michael's pursuits, since 1990, Michael has dedicated his time to the many facets of the culinary world, including product development, creating and organizing gourmet and charitable events, workshops and demonstrations. All is geared to the enhancement of good taste, good deeds and good cheer. Thus, Hudson Valley Foie Gras is committed to and is associated with: The James Beard Foundation, where Michael serves as a member of the National advisory Board, The Culinary Institute of America, New England Culinary Institute, Meals on Wheels, Share Our Strength, The Robert Mondavi Master Chefs Program, The Television Food Network, The Masters of Food and Wine, Taste of the Hudson Valley Festival, the Zurich Food & Wine Festival; among numerous others.
In addition to Michael's commitment to Hudson Valley, he is also part of Culinary Brainwaves. As the founder, Michael plays the part of a consultant to the gourmet food industry. He is currently working with Rio Suite Hotel & Casino, Las Vegas; Hyatt International; The Regent Group; The Four Seasons Group; Shangri-La Sheraton International; Inter-Continental and the Disney Corporation. In 1994, he inaugurated the Food and Wine Festivals for Club-Med International.
Moreover, Michael organizes culinary events and festivals worldwide. By bringing together celebrated American chefs and local chefs, Michael helps to create an intercultural culinary exchange program which introduces American concepts and ideas to world markets. Recently, such events have been organized in Argentina, Canada, Chile, Great Britain, Finland, Hong Kong, Israel, Mexico, Russia, Singapore, and Thailand, just to name a few!
When not traipsing around the world, cooking up a storm, or just spreading the foie gras gospel, Michael finds time to contribute food articles to such stellar publications as Food Arts Magazine; The James Beard Magazine; Art Culinaire; Seattle's Coffee & Cuisine; Singapore's Cuisine Scene and Great Britain's Great Hospitality. He has completed his first cookbook, the internationally acclaimed Foie Gras…A Passion, published in September, 1999. The 300-page comprehensive reference book accompanied by 84 recipes from renowned chefs worldwide received the prestigious 1999 Prix la Mazille for best international cookbook of the year from the International Cookbook Revue in Versailles.
Michael's culinary involvement has also forayed into the retail gift market. Michael is no stranger to leaving an imprint, in this case through his Culinary Brainstorms, a company which conceives, produces and markets chefs' signature creations.
Michael resides in Great Neck, New York, with his wife Laurie and their three children.