Star Houston Chef Sends Culinary Institute of America Graduates on their Career Journey
Bryan Caswell '99 Delivers
Address at Commencement Ceremony at Pearl
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:
View hi-res image >
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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