The Culinary Institute of America—the college that has launched the careers of thousands of culinary leaders around the world—is celebrating seven decades of education excellence.
The New Haven Restaurant Institute opened its doors in New Haven, Connecticut, on May 22, 1946. The first and only school of its kind in the U.S., the college was founded in an effort to train returning World War II veterans in the culinary arts. The Institute opened its doors with 50 students and a faculty consisting of a chef, a baker, and a dietitian.
That school changed its name to The Culinary Institute of America in 1951, and in 1972 the college relocated to the bluff high atop the Hudson River in Hyde Park, New York. Today, the CIA has grown into the world's premier culinary college—and this week marks its 70th anniversary. The campus community celebrated the milestone with an impressive anniversary cake made by students. Adding to the CIA pride in the local community, the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Mid-Hudson Bridge in Poughkeepsie was lit in the college's green and gold school colors.
The CIA's original director, Connecticut attorney Frances Roth, may have never worked in a restaurant, but she was one of the most influential pioneers in culinary education. She was determined to establish a school that would become "the culinary center of the nation." With support from co-founder Katharine Angell, wife of then-Yale University President James Rowland Angell, Mrs. Roth turned her passion into a new vision for educating chefs.
Only one college has advanced the food professions and the American diet for 70 years. The CIA vigorously carries forward this legacy of leadership in its education programs, research, and service—and through the global impact of more than 48,000 alumni.
Since its founding, the CIA has offered education programs distinguished by their quality, innovation, and resources. Instruction emphasizes hands-on learning in small class settings, and key initiatives have included the creation of student-staffed restaurants, the introduction of courses in nutritional cooking and wine studies, the addition of management studies, and the CIA's unique curriculum that assures students build their knowledge and skills in the ideal learning sequence.
To address the growing responsibilities of foodservice professionals, the CIA has continually advanced its education programs, beginning with its introduction of the first associate degree program in culinary arts in 1971. The college added a second major in baking and pastry arts in 1990, and introduced the first-ever bachelor's degrees in Culinary Arts Management or Baking and Pastry Arts Management in 1993. The CIA has since added bachelor's degree majors in Culinary Science and Applied Food Studies, and bachelor's concentration topics in advanced baking and pastry; advanced wine, beverage, and hospitality; Asian cuisine; intrapreneurship; and Latin cuisine.
CIA programs are routinely recognized internationally for their excellence. This excellence is backed by extraordinary faculty and facilities at campuses in New York, California, Texas, and Singapore. The college's newest facility, The Culinary Institute of America at Copia, opens this fall in downtown Napa, California.
The college also operates The Food Business School (FBS) as the executive education center of the CIA. The world's first business school dedicated to food entrepreneurship and innovation, FBS offers programs both online and at facilities in California and New York.