The Culinary Institute of America

Star Houston Chef Sends Culinary Institute of America Graduates on their Career Journey

Chef Bryan Caswell
 

Bryan Caswell '99 Delivers Address at Commencement Ceremony at Pearl

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Jeff Levine
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j_levine@culinary.edu

San Antonio, TX – Bryan Caswell, a 1999 graduate of The Culinary Institute of America (CIA) and executive chef/co-owner of four successful Houston restaurants, delivered the commencement address at the college's San Antonio campus on Friday, January 17. Eight graduates received their Associate in Applied Science (AAS) degrees in culinary arts during the commencement ceremony at the Pearl complex.

Chef Caswell's Reef was named Best Seafood Restaurant in the United States by Bon Appétit magazine in 2008. His other restaurants are Little Bigs, El Real Tex-Mex Café, and 3rd Bar Eating House. He has also developed four concepts at the Astros' Minute Maid Park.

He compared graduation day to standing on a platform on a train station. Now, he said, it is time for each of the graduates to choose their destination and begin their culinary journey in that direction.

Raised in Houston, Caswell attended the CIA's Hyde Park, NY campus, and completed his externship field experience at a Michelin-starred restaurant in Barcelona, Spain. After graduating, he worked for such renowned chefs as Jean-Georges Vongerichten, Wayne Nish, and fellow CIA alumni Charlie Palmer '79, Alfred Portale '81, and Rocco DiSpirito '86.

Caswell, 39, was named a Food & Wine magazine Best New Chef in 2009. He's a two-time nominee for the James Beard Foundation Award as Best Chef: Southwest and was honored as a Rising Star Restaurateur by StarChefs.com in 2011.

In addition to an AAS in culinary arts, students at the CIA San Antonio can also major in baking and pastry arts. As part of their studies, during sophomore year, students work at Nao: New World Flavors, a public restaurant on campus. Generous scholarships for Texas residents are available through the college's El Sueño initiative and other financial aid opportunities.


Photo Caption and Hi-Res Image

Chef Bryan Caswell, a 1999 graduate of The Culinary Institute of America, speaks to graduates at the college's San Antonio campus on January 17, 2014. (Photo credit: Darren Abate/M3D14.com)
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Founded in 1946, The Culinary Institute of America is an independent, not-for-profit college offering associate and bachelor's degrees with majors in culinary arts, baking and pastry arts, and culinary science, as well as certificate programs in culinary arts and wine and beverage studies. As the world's premier culinary college, the CIA provides thought leadership in the areas of health & wellness, sustainability, and world cuisines & cultures through research and conferences. The CIA has a network of 46,000 alumni that includes industry leaders such as Grant Achatz, Anthony Bourdain, Roy Choi, Cat Cora, Dan Coudreaut, Steve Ells, Johnny Iuzzini, Charlie Palmer, and Roy Yamaguchi. The CIA also offers courses for professionals and enthusiasts, as well as consulting services in support of innovation for the foodservice and hospitality industry. The college has campuses in Hyde Park, NY; St. Helena, CA; San Antonio, TX; and Singapore.

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