As part of The Culinary Institute of America’s bachelor’s degrees in management, seniors in the Foodservice Management course develop and execute a special event as a final project before graduation. Proceeds from the themed fine-dining experiences are split between CIA scholarship funds and charities selected by students.

For the collegiate year that ended May 31, nine events raised almost $59,000 for charities and scholarships. After expenses, an impressive 32 percent of sales went to the beneficiaries. 

“The large percentage of surplus is a testament to the planning and budgeting skills of the students and allows us to donate a larger amount to charities and scholarships,” says Dr. Patrick Bottiglieri, a professor teaching Foodservice Management.

These events require students to apply the skills learned in their four years of CIA education, including culinary and baking and pastry arts, wines and beverage service, management, and hospitality. Students conceive, plan, and execute the event in teams that are completely responsible for coordinating and executing food, service, financing, and marketing. Each section selects one classmate to serve as the event’s general manager.

Titles of the past year’s events were Harvest on the Hudson, Moroccan Nights, Venetian Carnivale, Dinner en Blanc, A Night Under the Big Top, A Night in Wonderland, Tastes of Americana, Fall into Winter, and Swing into Spring. 

Benefiting charities were The Grace Smith HouseFood Bank of the Hudson ValleyDutchess OutreachMiles of Hope Breast Cancer FoundationDutchess County SPCAClaudio Cares FoundationFisher House FoundationWounded Warrior Project, and American Farmland Trust

“In addition to serving as a capstone to our students’ education, these events provide support to charities and scholarships. Guests have the opportunity to interact with the students while enjoying great entertainment, beverages, and food,” says Dr. Bottiglieri. “Each event is truly a win for all involved and a great way for graduating seniors to cap off their CIA experience.”

The fall semester will feature four events between Oct. 25 and Dec. 6. 

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