Upstairs, Downstairs with Dorothy Hamilton (Thailand 1972–74)

Dorothy Hamilton, founder and CEO of the International Culinary Center (which includes the French Culinary Institute and the Italian Culinary Academy), will this coming April introduce a new course: the Estate Management Studies program. Its purpose is to ‘train a new caliber of household staff.’

As Dorothy recently told the Wall Street Journal, “I have a couple of homes and a few people who worked for me. It always fell to the wife to run the home. I thought there are a lot of women in my position, who were looking for a chief of staff.”

To ‘run’ this course, Dorothy has found perhaps the perfect person. Christopher Ely!

Who you ask is Christopher Ely? Well, he has to be English, and indeed he is. Ely started his career when he was 18 as a footman at Buckingham Palace, working for Prince Charles and Princess Diana in the good (and bad) old days. Most recently, and most famously, he worked for Brooke Astor, and it was Christopher who gave enough testimony at the trial of Anthony Marshall–Astor’s son–that the son was convicted in 2009 of defrauding his mother’s estate .

If you are, however, schooled by Ely in Dorothy Hamilton’s new school, you will focus on 20 skill sets within ‘the framework of household cleaning and organization.” You learn how to polish silver, for example, and organize closets (where can I sign up?) and how to really make a bed and keep the pipes from freezing over the winter at the family country estate. Each unit will take a week, it will cost in the range of $1,700, but you’ll earn a certificate that is suitable for framing!

Dorothy is setting up classrooms now for the spring program at her Center on the corner of Broadway and Grand, downtown in Manhattan. Apply early. Tell her Hudson sent you.

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