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The Culinary Institute of America

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The Culinary Institute of America
The Culinary Institute Emblem
Seal of the Culinary Institute
of America
Former names
New Haven Restaurant Institute(1946–1947)
Restaurant Institute of Connecticut (1947–1951)
Motto The World's Premier Culinary College
Type Private
Established 1946; 70 years ago (1946)
Endowment $131.2 million (2015)[1]
President L. Timothy Ryan
Academic staff
Undergraduates 2,880
Location Hyde Park, New York, United States
41°44′45″N 73°55′59″W / 41.745941°N 73.932959°W / 41.745941; -73.932959Coordinates: 41°44′45″N 73°55′59″W / 41.745941°N 73.932959°W / 41.745941; -73.932959
Campus 3 U.S. locations,
1 Singapore location
  Green and gold[3]
Nickname Steels
Affiliations HVIAC

The Culinary Institute of America (CIA) is an American private not-for-profit[a] college specializing in culinary and baking and pastry arts education. The CIA's primary campus is located in Hyde Park, New York, with branch campuses in St. Helena, California, San Antonio, Texas, and the Republic of Singapore. The college offers associate and bachelor's degrees, and has the largest staff of American Culinary Federation Certified Master Chefs. The CIA also offers continuing education for professionals in the hospitality industry as well as conferences and consulting services. In addition to professional education, the college also offers recreational classes for non-professionals. The college operates student-run restaurants on their three U.S. campuses. The school colors (green and gold) refer to the school's mission to sustain the environment and to strive for excellence.

The school was founded in 1946 in New Haven, Connecticut as a vocational institute for returning veterans of World War II. With a growing student body, the school purchased a former Jesuit novitiate in Hyde Park in 1970, which remains its central campus. The school began awarding associate degrees in 1971 and bachelor's degrees in 1993. The school opened its California campus in 1995, its Texas campus in 2008, and its Singapore campus in 2010.


An ornate Second Empire-style house
The Davies mansion at the time of its occupancy by the CIA
A Neocolonial building
Roth Hall, the primary school facility at the school's main campus

The New Haven Restaurant Institute was founded by culinary educator Frances Roth and Katherine Angell (wife of James Rowland Angell) on May 22, 1946 in New Haven, Connecticut as a vocational training school for returning World War II veterans.[5] With assistance from Yale University, the school purchased the Davies mansion in New Haven's Prospect Hill neighborhood.[5][6] The building, later known as Angell Hall, was joined by the adjacent Taft Mansion, now demolished.[7] The first class consisted of sixteen students and the faculty included a dietitian, a baker, and a chef. In 1947 the school was renamed the Restaurant Institute of Connecticut to reflect its growing repute; the school's name was changed again to the Culinary Institute of America in 1951.[8]

Enrollment grew to approximately 1,000 students by 1969, beyond the capacity of its original campus, so the school purchased the St. Andrew-on-Hudson Jesuit novitiate in Hyde Park, New York in 1970.[5] In 1971, the college began awarding associate degrees. The following year, it began operating at the Hyde Park location. From 1974 to 1979, the school built three residence halls, a culinary library, a career planning center, and a learning resources center. From 1982 to 1984, the American Bounty and Caterina de' Medici Restaurants and St. Andrew's Café opened. In 1984, the school's continuing education center (later named the J. Willard Marriott Education Center) opened, and the school improved its teaching kitchens and constructed an experimental kitchen and food laboratory. In 1990, the school opened a baking and pastry facility, named two years later as the Shunsuke Takaki School of Baking and Pastry. In 1993, the school opened its Conrad N. Hilton Library and began offering bachelor's degree programs. In 1995, the school's first branch campus opened, the Culinary Institute of America at Greystone in St. Helena, California. In 1998, the Student Recreation Center was opened.

The Apple Pie Bakery Café opened in 2000, and the Colavita Center opened the following year. More residence halls were built at the school's Hyde Park campus in 2004. In 2005, Anton Plaza opened in Hyde Park while the Ventura Center for Menu Research and Development opened in St. Helena. The school's third campus opened in 2008 in San Antonio. Two years later, the CIA opened a campus in Singapore consisting of a facility on the campus of Temasek Polytechnic. In 2012, the CIA began offering a bachelor's degree program in culinary science, and in 2014 introduced a bachelor's degree in applied food studies.[8] Also, in 2012 the college was inducted into the Culinary Hall of Fame.[9] In 2015, the college expanded its recreation center and added a new dining facility for students, called The Egg. Both are housed in the CIA's Student Commons building. In the same year, the college acquired a portion of Copia, a museum in downtown Napa, California that operated from 2001 to 2008. As of 2016 the college is opening a campus, the Culinary Institute of America at Copia, which will house the CIA's new Food Business School.[10] The college, which was outgrowing its St. Helena campus, purchased the northern portion of the property for $12.5 million (it was recently assessed for $21.3 million).[11]


Rows of cooking stations in a large room
Teaching kitchens at the Greystone campus
A two-story stone building and parking spaces
The Conservatory, a restaurant at Greystone run by Farm-to-Table students and led by Larry Forgione


The college offers Associate in Occupational Studies degrees in either Culinary Arts or Baking and Pastry Arts at its New York and California campuses, and Bachelor of Professional Studies degrees in Culinary Arts Management, Baking and Pastry Arts Management, Culinary Science, and Applied Food Studies at its Hyde Park campus. The CIA's Texas campus offers Associate in Applied Science degrees in either Culinary Arts or Baking and Pastry Arts. Admission requires either a minimum of six months foodservice experience in a professional kitchen (excluding experience at fast food businesses), one year in a high school culinary arts program active in select National Student Organizations (NSOs), or a semester of college-level work in hands-on cooking and baking classes. Each program requires an fifteen-week externship at a CIA-approved foodservice operation. In the bachelor's degree management programs, concentrations include Farm-to-Table Cooking; Advanced Wine, Beverage, and Hospitality; Latin Cuisines; Advanced Concepts in Baking and Pastry; Intrapreneurship; and Asian Cuisines. Most of these concentrations include a semester away at either the CIA's California, Texas, or Singapore campuses.[12] The school's degree programs are accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.[13]

The CIA also runs an accelerated culinary program for students who already have at least four years of experience in foodservice. The program includes the same basic classes as the school's associate degree programs, however the accelerated program does not include the externship requirement, and several classes are run with a faster-paced curriculum or including more in-depth material.[12]

Other programs and courses[edit]

In 2015, the Culinary Institute of America launched The Food Business School, its center for executive and graduate education. The college's Hyde Park campus also offers continuing education courses and certificate programs. The California and Texas campuses run several continuing education classes, and the California campus also has programs for wine professionals. A variety of programs for food enthusiasts are run as well at the three U.S. campuses. The college also was partnered with Epicurious in running an online cooking school featuring a variety of culinary classes.[14] The CIA also runs a certification program called ProChef, a program to recognize culinary and academic skills, as well as familiarity with business practices.[15]

Teaching faculty[edit]

The college's president is L. Timothy Ryan, a graduate of the school and its fifth president. The school's faculty number approximately 170, and the college employs a number of American Culinary Federation-certified Certified Master Chefs, as well as Master Bakers certified by the Retail Bakers of America. The faculty also includes authors of textbooks, magazines, and other published media. Many of the instructors are graduates of the school.[2]

Campus media[edit]

La Papillote, the school's newspaper, was established in 1979. The newspaper's stated purpose is to report the news of the institution to the students and other members of the campus community. The newspaper also examines contemporary issues of the industry to inform and challenge students' minds. The editor-in-chief position is held by a current student, and the paper uses submissions from students, chefs, and outside professionals.[16]

mise en place is the college's magazine for alumni and the public. The magazine aims to improve the relationship between the school, its alumni, and the public by providing information of interest about the college, its alumni, and students; covering of major issues and events concerning the college; and featuring the leadership and contributions of the school's alumni.[17]


The CIA at Hyde Park[edit]

Anton Plaza, in front of Roth Hall at Hyde Park
Student restaurant Caterina de' Medici
Romanesque stone building surrounded by shrubs
Greystone Cellars, the primary school facility at St. Helena
The CIA San Antonio

The Hyde Park campus operates four public restaurants for students to gain experience in kitchen and management skills. Food served at the American Bounty Restaurant highlights Hudson Valley produce and is prepared in the style of cuisines of the Americas. The Bocuse Restaurant serves traditional French food using modern techniques. It was the first of the school's restaurants, and opened as the Epicurean Room and Rabalais Grill in 1973, before being renamed the Escoffier Restaurant (after Auguste Escoffier) in 1974. In 2012 it was again renamed to honor Paul Bocuse, and given a $3 million renovation by Adam Tihany.[18] The Ristorante Caterina de' Medici is a restaurant with a focus on authentic Italian food. The Apple Pie Bakery Café has a casual atmosphere and serves sandwiches, soups, and baked foods. The campus' pop-up restaurant, Pangea, focuses on ethical and sustainable food.[19]

The campus offers intercollegiate, intramural, and club athletics. Its intercollegiate program began in 2004, and is affiliated with the Hudson Valley Intercollegiate Athletic Conference.[20]

The CIA at Greystone[edit]

The CIA has a branch campus in St. Helena, California, the Culinary Institute of America at Greystone. The campus runs associate degree programs as well as certificate programs, continuing education courses, custom classes, conferences, and seminars including the Worlds of Flavor International Conference & Festival each year. The Rudd Center for Professional Wine Studies runs wine instruction classes and a certification program for wine professionals.

The campus also operates three restaurants, including the Wine Spectator Greystone Restaurant, which utilizes local and seasonal ingredients; the Bakery Café by illy, which serves sandwiches, soups, salads, breads, desserts, and hot beverages prepared by students in the college's baking and pastry arts degree program; and The Conservatory Restaurant, which is run by students of the American Food Studies: Farm-to-Table Cooking concentration of the bachelor's degree program.[21]

The CIA San Antonio[edit]

The San Antonio campus is located in Downtown San Antonio's Pearl Brewery, and runs associate degree programs in culinary arts and baking and pastry arts, as well as programs for professionals and food enthusiasts. The campus' restaurant, Nao Latin Gastro Bar, serves Latin American dishes in a contemporary style.[22] The campus also hosts seminars and conferences for foodservice professionals.[23]

The CIA Singapore[edit]

The Culinary Institute of America, with the Singapore Institute of Technology and Temasek Polytechnic, runs its bachelor's degree program in Culinary Arts Management in Singapore to graduates of Polytechnic institutions who have earned diplomas in hospitality, tourism, or culinary arts. Temasek Polytechnic and the CIA constructed a 30,000-square-foot (2,800 m2) educational facility with three teaching kitchens to house the programs.[24]


The CIA has a brand licensing program sells branded products for foodservice operations and households, and it also publishes cookbooks for professional and home use. The school's general cookbook, The Professional Chef also has an interactive iPad edition that PC Magazine called "a new frontier for books."[25] During the late 1990s, the CIA produced the PBS television show Cooking Secrets of the CIA.[26]

Augie Award[edit]

The CIA annually honors people for success and achievements in the foodservice industry. The Augie Award was named for Auguste Escoffier, one of the most renowned and influential chefs. The award is presented at the CIA's annual Leadership Awards gala; the first awards were given in April 2007. In 2015, the ceremony theme was "Celebrating Women," and the following were recipients of Augie Awards:[27]

Notable alumni[edit]

Anthony Bourdain, chef, author, television host

The CIA has approximately 48,000 graduates in the culinary industry.[28] Some of the college's notable alumni include:

In popular media[edit]

Several books have been written about the school. Journalist Michael Ruhlman, in his first book about the CIA, The Making of a Chef, documents his experiences as an "undercover student" as he passes through the classes at an accelerated rate.[62] In another book, The Soul of a Chef, he documents seven chefs taking the ACF Master Chef test held there semi-annually. Kitchen Confidential by Anthony Bourdain also features an in-depth discussion of the author's education at the CIA.[63] The book Beaten, Seared, and Sauced: On Becoming a Chef at The Culinary Institute of America by Jonathan Dixon, provides a first-hand experience of a student's experiences at the CIA. The 1995 film Heavy was partially filmed at the school, using interiors and exteriors of its buildings.[64]


  1. ^ The college is a not-for-profit educational organization under United States Internal Revenue Code Section 501(c)(3).[4]


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  2. ^ a b "CIA Faculty Profiles". The Culinary Institute of America. Retrieved October 18, 2015. 
  3. ^ "Student Handbook & Planner - The Culinary Institute of America at Greystone" (PDF). The Culinary Institute of America. 2013–2014. p. 16. Retrieved October 18, 2015. 
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  5. ^ a b c Schiff, Judith (January–February 2008). "Angell of the CIA". Yale Alumni Magazine. Retrieved October 18, 2015. 
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  17. ^ "Mission". mise en place (70). The Culinary Institute of America. October 2015. p. 5. Retrieved March 28, 2016. 
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  19. ^ "New York Campus Restaurants". The Culinary Institute of America. Retrieved April 2, 2016. 
  20. ^ "CIA Athletics". The Culinary Institute of America. Retrieved April 2, 2016. 
  21. ^ "Culinary School in California". The Culinary Institute of America. Retrieved October 18, 2015. 
  22. ^ "Nao". The Culinary Institute of America. Retrieved October 18, 2015. 
  23. ^ "Culinary School in Texas". The Culinary Institute of America. Retrieved October 18, 2015. 
  24. ^ "The CIA Announces The Creation of its Fourth Campus; The Culinary Institute of America, Singapore". Singapore Institute of Technology. September 7, 2010. Retrieved April 11, 2016. 
  25. ^ Duffy, Jill (October 24, 2011). "A New Frontier for Books". PC Magazine. Retrieved October 18, 2015. 
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  31. ^ "Spotlight On: Wilo Benet". The Culinary Institute of America. Retrieved April 17, 2016. 
  32. ^ a b ""Supercool" Restaurant Companies Have CIA Grads at the Helm". The Culinary Institute of America. August 15, 2013. Retrieved April 17, 2016. 
  33. ^ "Event Planner for the Stars Marcy Blum Speaks to Graduates of Her Alma Mater". The Culinary Institute of America. September 29, 2015. Retrieved April 17, 2016. 
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  42. ^ "Rocco DiSpirito '86, Rocco's Dinner Party". The Culinary Institute of America. May 24, 2011. Retrieved April 17, 2016. 
  43. ^ "Spotlight On: Steve Ells '90". The Culinary Institute of America. Retrieved April 17, 2016. 
  44. ^ Peppard, Alan (September 29, 2012). "Dallas Dossier: Dean Fearing". The Dallas Morning News. Retrieved April 17, 2016. 
  45. ^ Rosenblum, Dan (May 25, 2013). "What's Amanda Freitag's secret ingredient? A dash of Cedar Grove". Verona-Cedar Grove Times. Retrieved April 11, 2016. 
  46. ^ "Ilan Hall '02, Executive Chef/Owner/TV Host". The Culinary Institute of America. May 24, 2011. Retrieved April 17, 2016. 
  47. ^ "Johnny Hernandez '89, Executive Chef/Restaurateur". The Culinary Institute of America. October 27, 2011. Retrieved April 17, 2016. 
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  56. ^ "Michael Smith". Asian Food Channel. Retrieved April 17, 2016. 
  57. ^ Grinberg, Emanuella (September 13, 2015). "'Iron Chef' star Kerry Simon dies". CNN. Retrieved April 17, 2016. 
  58. ^ "Spotlight On: Michael Symon". The Culinary Institute of America. Retrieved April 17, 2016. 
  59. ^ "Marcel Vigneron". Bravo. Retrieved April 17, 2016. 
  60. ^ "Roy Yamaguchi". Bloomberg. April 17, 2016. Retrieved April 17, 2016. 
  61. ^ "Margaret Williams, Geoffrey Zakarian". The New York Times. July 31, 2005. Retrieved April 11, 2016. 
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  64. ^ Mangold, James (Director) (1995). Heavy (Motion picture). 

Further reading[edit]

  • Bourdain, Anthony (2007). Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly (2 ed.). New York: Harper Perennial. ISBN 0-06-089922-0.  About education at the Culinary Institute of America.
  • Ruhlman, Michael (October 15, 1999). The Making of a Chef: Mastering Heat at the Culinary Institute. New York: Holt Paperbacks. ISBN 0-8050-6173-8.  About the author's experiences in classes at the school..
  • Ruhlman, Michael (July 31, 2001). The Soul of a Chef: The Journey Toward Perfection. New York: Penguin. ISBN 0-14-100189-5.  About the ACF Master Chef test held at the school.
  • Greenberg, Jan (November 2010). "Secrets of the CIA". Hudson Valley Magazine. Retrieved November 16, 2014. 

External links[edit]