Culinary News from The Culinary Institute of America

The Culinary Institute of America Hosts Beverage Symposium

A student speaks with lifestyle expert Maureen Petrosky '99

Panels and Presentations Give Students Unique Insight into Exciting Careers

Media Contact:

Jeff Levine
Communications Manager

Hyde Park, NY – Hundreds of students at The Culinary Institute of America (CIA) were introduced to a multitude of new career possibilities during a day-long symposium about the beverage world at the CIA's Hyde Park campus on Monday, May 12.

Nineteen speakers spoke about their experiences in the beverage industry and participated in lively panel discussions on topics such as Beverage Trends, Being a Sommelier, Life Behind the Bar, Wine and Spirits in Today's Media, and From the Kitchen to the Front of the House.

"The symposium helped our students see new possibilities for career paths they can pursue, such as brewer, sommelier, distiller, or beverage manager," says Douglass Miller '89, associate professor of hospitality and service management at the CIA and organizer of the event. "Many CIA students start out planning for careers behind the stove before falling in love with the beverage side of the hospitality business."

Among the presenters were Alex Wolf, general manager of Jean-Georges in New York City; Brian VanFlandern, a cocktail consultant; Eric Ottaway, general manager of Brooklyn Brewery; and Maureen Petrosky '99, lifestyle expert for NBC's Today show.

Professor Miller noted that Petrosky was just one of several presenters who are CIA graduates. "Our students can see where people who were in their shoes just a few years ago have gone in the beverage industry," he said. "It helps show them that these leadership positions are attainable for them too."

Some other recent CIA alumni who have quickly achieved success in this field and shared their experiences at the symposium included bachelor's degree graduates Gonzalo Gout '12, manager at Enrique Olvera's new Cosme restaurant in New York City and Brendan O'Rourke '09, distiller at Tuthilltown Spirits in Gardiner, NY; and associate degree alumni Laura Battiato '08, fine wine manager at Palm Bay International importers and Kellen Hamrah '10, service manager at New York City's Stella 34 Trattoria.

Photo Captions and Hi-Res Images

Photo 1 (top photo): A panel discussion featuring recent CIA graduates in beverage and dining room management careers was part of The Culinary Institute of America's first Beverage Symposium at the college's Hyde Park, NY campus on May 12, 2014. (Photo credits: CIA/Phil Mansfield)
View hi-res image >

Photo 2: A student speaks with lifestyle expert Maureen Petrosky '99 (right) about her career path during The Culinary Institute of America's first Beverage Symposium on May 12, 2014. Petrosky, who often appears on NBC's Today show, is the author of two beverage books, The Wine Club and The Cocktail Club. (Photo credits: CIA/Phil Mansfield)
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, 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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