The CIA Introduces "Small Plates, Big Impact: Contemporary Menu Ideas with Almonds"

Malaysian Barbecued Almond Chicken-th
Chocolate Almond Baklava-th

A Free, Online Course from The Culinary Institute of America

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Stephan Hengst
Marketing Director, Communications & PR

St. Helena, CA – The Culinary Institute of America (CIA) has introduced a new, free online learning program, "Small Plates, Big Impact: Contemporary Menu Ideas with Almonds."

"Small Plates, Big Impact" explores one of the dominant shifts in dining today: the preference for snackable, shareable courses. This online resource updates the trend, venturing beyond tapas to highlight a global array of small-format dishes, from Mexican antojitos to Mediterranean meze.

The self-paced microsite includes 12 downloadable recipes with step-by-step streaming videos, demonstrated by CIA Chef-Instructor Bill Briwa. The site is geared toward food enthusiasts and foodservice professionals alike.

Chef Briwa's demonstrations emphasize the versatility of almonds on the menu, showcasing them in every niche from breakfast to bar snacks. "Small Plates, Big Impact" offers ideas for fashionable cheese courses, produce-centered small plates, and irresistible mini desserts. Through online videos, chef-tested recipes, and a guide to the myriad almond formats, the course presents scores of suggestions for using this wholesome and popular nut.

"Because diners know and love almonds, chefs can use them as a bridge to more exotic flavors," says Chef Briwa. "I love Indian, Mexican, and Malaysian cooking and have found that almonds can be 'the way in' for many people who aren't familiar with these cuisines."

Recipes on the online course include Fromage Blanc with Toasted Almonds, Popped Aromatic Spices and Fresh Mint Chutney; Mini Tostadas Topped with Pan-roasted Salmon with Aromatic Almond Pipiàn; Malaysian Barbecued Almond Chicken Wings; Summer Green Bean Salad with Almonds and Goat Cheese; Almond Frangipane with Pound Cake and Fresh Apricots; and more.

"Small Plates, Big Impact: Contemporary Menu Ideas with Almonds" from The Culinary Institute of America was produced by the CIA's Digital Media team, which has won two James Beard Awards for Best Webcast. The course can be found online at the CIA's prochef website.

Photo Captions:

Photo 1: Malaysian Barbecued Almond Chicken, one of a dozen recipes in The Culinary Institute of America's "Small Plates, Big Impact: Contemporary Menu Ideas with Almonds" free online course. (Photo credits: Kristen Loken/CIA)

Photo 2: Chocolate Almond Baklava, a dessert with almonds you can learn to make during "Small Plates, Big Impact," a free online course. (Photo credits: Kristen Loken/CIA)

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, Latin cuisines, 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 45,000 alumni that includes industry leaders such as Grant Achatz, Anthony Bourdain, Roy Choi, Cat Cora, Dan Coudreaut, Steve Ells, 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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