The Culinary Institute of America

Emily Nelson, CIA baking and pastry arts student, says this about the CIA, “The CIA is truly the Harvard of culinary schools. During my college search, I looked into several culinary schools in the country. After comparing what they all had to offer, I felt that the CIA would provide me with the best education and best opportunity for success in this industry.”

Spotlight On: Emily NelsonAOS Baking and Pastry Arts

Class of 2014
Hometown: Miami, FL
“The CIA offers an amazing experience. Be open minded and absorb every bit of information you can and think of ways to makes things better. Most importantly, try your hardest, be your best, and love what you do.”

How did you become interested in food?
I became interested in baking when I was in the third grade. My mom, who is an amazing cook, basically couldn't bake. So I was determined to learn how to bake. Incorporating some of my mom’s cooking techniques and my passion for baking, I crafted my skills and continue to work toward my personal and professional goals.

Who most influenced you?
Without a doubt, my mother was my biggest influence! If it wasn't for her baking “hockey puck” biscuits, I may never be where I am today.

Did you have to overcome any obstacles or challenges to come to the CIA?
While I adore baking and always have for as long as I can remember, I am gluten intolerant and have an allergy to flour. Just touching flour causes my hands to swell and I develop a painful rash. Being passionate about baking this is truly a challenge for me and at times, has been quite difficult. But if there is a will there is a way, so not even an allergy will stop me from doing what I love.

Why did you choose the CIA?
The CIA is truly the Harvard of culinary schools. During my college search, I looked into several culinary schools in the country. After comparing what they all had to offer, I felt that the CIA would provide me with the best education and best opportunity for success in this industry.

What do you like best about CIA?
I really love the atmosphere at the CIA. Everyone on campus shares the same passion and my fellow students, chefs, and faculty are amazing. I feel “at home” here.

What are your career goals/plans?
I would love to work on a cruise ship for a couple years. Long term, I would love to open up a gluten-free bakery. This would be a great way for me to turn a major challenge in my life into something positive as well as an opportunity to help others facing the same challenges.

Any advice for prospective students?
The CIA offers an amazing experience. You will learn something new every day. Be open minded and absorb every bit of information you can and think of ways to makes things better. Most importantly, try your hardest, be your best, and love what you do.

The Culinary Institute of America

1946 Campus Drive
Hyde Park, NY 12538-1499

845-452-9600