Dedication of Ernie Royal Monument 5/22/24

Dedication of Ernie Royal Monument 5/22/24

The latest addition to the Downtown Rutland Sculpture Trail, honoring chef Ernie Royal, will be unveiled May 22, 2024 at 12 noon. The sculpture will be placed beside TD Bank, along Merchants Row in Downtown Rutland, Vermont. 

Rutlanders may remember Royal as the talented chef who entertained and fed diners at Royal's Hearthside Restaurant for nearly three decades, starting in 1963. Royal was Vermont's first Black restaurant owner, the first Black member of the board of the National Restaurant Association, and a mentor to hundreds of young African-Americans, as well as a benefactor to many more. Royal established a scholarship for Black students at the Culinary Institute of America, and left his entire estate to support it. He was named to the African-American Chefs Hall of Fame posthumously in 2017, 100 years after his birth.

The sculpture, designed by Amanda Sisk and carved by Don Ramey, was funded by Ted Balestreri, Casella Construction, Norm Cohen, Jane & Steve Costello, Gerry Fernandez, Foley Services, Green Mountain Power, Melinda Humphrey, Roots and The Bakery, Rutland Blooms, and the Rutland Branch of the NAACP.

The Downtown Rutland Sculpture Trail is a collaboration of the Carving Studio & Sculpture Center, Green Mountain Power, MKF Properties, and Vermont Quarries, which donates all the stone for the sculptures.

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