The Culinary Institute of America

Casey Shea

Spotlight On: Casey SheaAOS in Baking and Pastry Arts

Class of 2011
"Chef Kate Cavotti has helped me improve my cake decorating skills by inviting me to work on Coca-Cola’s 125th anniversary cake with her. Chef Peter Greweling has taught me so much and helped me understand chocolate in a much more extensive way."
The Beginning
Baking was something that I enjoyed from an early age. It was an activity to which I gravitated, and it provided me with a lot of comfort. One day, I was lamenting to my best friend that I didn’t know what I wanted to do with my life. She asked, if I could do anything I wanted, what would it be? I said that I’d spend my entire day baking. After that, everything just clicked.

After high school, I applied to the CIA and started working. My first job in a professional bakery was an unpaid internship at a small mother/daughter bakeshop in Thousand Oaks, CA. I learned the importance of working fast and clean. With only three of us working, one handled customers while the other two were in the kitchen baking and decorating. That operation produced over 20 dozen cupcakes daily for the store and also handled specialty cake orders. I truly enjoyed the creative freedom I found in decorating cupcakes and developing new cake flavors.

College Highlights
I have tried to take advantage of the many opportunities available on campus. I feel so incredibly lucky to have been able to participate in so many different ways. Chef Kate Cavotti has helped me improve my cake decorating skills by inviting me to work on Coca-Cola’s 125th anniversary cake with her. Chef Peter Greweling has taught me so much and helped me understand chocolate in a much more extensive way. He has also allowed  me to work in his bakeshop  on new recipes and testing  different techniques. I’ve also had a great deal of fun participating in the Sargento Panini Cook-off and the Baking and Pastry Society’s Sugar Showpiece Competition.

Outside of Class
I’ve been working to support myself during college. I have part-time jobs in the Student Recreation Center and in the Continuing Education Department as a chef assistant. While there, I particularly enjoyed  assisting in the Chocolates at Home, Cake Decorating, Pastry Techniques, and Baking Techniques classes. One day, I hope to open my own chocolate shop.

The Impact
Being the first Godiva Chocolatier Scholarship recipient was overwhelming, and I had no idea that it was only the beginning. Turns out, I was the guest of honor at a press party in New York City celebrating the scholarship. While there, I had the opportunity to meet and network with so many amazing people, including alumnus Duff Goldman ’98. Since creating the recipe for Cappuccino Bonbons as part of my scholarship application, I’ve been inspired to keep creating different recipes and flavor combinations. I hope that my relationship with Godiva will continue and that they will help me nurture my love of, and knowledge about, chocolate. I feel so blessed to have been given this opportunity because it helps me continue my education.

The Culinary Institute of America

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