The Culinary Institute of America Advances Culinary Education with the Opening of The Bocuse Restaurant

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The CIA Innovates its Curriculum with Modern Techniques as Vital to the Success of Future Chefs with New Teaching Restaurant

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Hyde Park, NY – The Bocuse Restaurant, a spectacular learning lab for students and The Culinary Institute of America's (CIA) ninth public restaurant, opens its doors today. Featuring contemporary French fare, it offers guests the chance to experience French cuisine through the lens of modern techniques. Students staffing this restaurant will be applying their foundation of classic French training, while taking their craft to the next level by experimenting with cutting-edge methods and presentations.

Following nearly 40 years of award-winning service, the CIA closed the doors of its flagship restaurant, The Escoffier Restaurant, in a move which recognized the need for an approach that reflects the French restaurant of the future. Reopening today as The Bocuse Restaurant, the CIA has advanced its curriculum to demonstrate the teachings of revered Chef Paul Bocuse (named Chef of the Century by the CIA in 2011) and to apply those modern techniques deemed essential by faculty to prepare CIA students for continued success in this competitive industry.

"Paul Bocuse is, simply stated, the most important chef in history. He set the standard for culinary excellence, business acumen, and media savvy that generations of chefs around the world still aspire to," says Dr. Tim Ryan, president of the CIA. "His contributions to the profession have surpassed those of legendary French chef August Escoffier, so we felt that it was important to change the name of the CIA's long heralded French restaurant—from Escoffier to Bocuse. Just changing the name, however, would not have been an appropriate tribute, or in keeping with the CIA's nature to constantly improve, so we asked our Art Director world renowned restaurant designer Adam Tihany to work with us on a complete transformation of the former space. We envisioned something light, modern, and accessible, that also showed our affection for, and respect of Chef Bocuse. At the same time, we asked our faculty members to think about the French restaurant experience of the future (in America), and to incorporate new technologies, techniques, presentations, and thinking while remaining true to the spirit and essence of French cooking. Above all we wanted a customer-centric restaurant: comfortable, fun, interesting, not too expensive, with delicious food and attentive service."

The Bocuse Restaurant exemplifies the philosophy of its namesake by instructing its student staff to think outside the established rules, just as Bocuse did when he embraced the market inspired menu, collaboration with fellow chefs and innovation in his kitchen. Aiding the implementation of this new curriculum is Assistant Professor Sergio Remolina. Chef Remolina instructs associate and bachelor's degree candidates in the kitchen of The Bocuse Restaurant, and he traveled to Lyon to work alongside the great chef. During his visit, Chef Remolina also staged with a number of Bocuse's leading chefs in his legendary kitchens, including L'Auberge du Pont de Collonges and L'Ouest to garner inspiration for the menu.

To highlight the diversity of French cuisine, the menu features a selection of classic mainstays, regional favorites and iconic "chef's signature" dishes. Classic menu selections include Roasted Rack and Epigram of Lamb and Potato Crusted Lemon Sole, with contemporary twists. Communicating the country's multi-dimensional approach to food, regional favorites like the Lyonnaise Style Frisée Salad and the Filet Mignon of Beef with Marrow are highlighted. The menu also includes iconic dishes with vibrant culinary heritages that were originally conceptualized by Chef Bocuse himself, including Bocuse's Truffle V.G.E. Soup. All the dishes are prepared with a focus on the future of French cuisine, offering the chance for students to flex their creative muscles while exploring global influences, diverse ingredients and modern techniques.

Built as a classroom first and a restaurant second, the Bocuse kitchen has been modeled around teaching best practices and future technologies that will shape and propel the foodservice industry. The kitchen includes a dedicated sous vide station, signaling the importance that this new technology has in culinary careers of the future. It also features precision temperature devices such as C-Vap (controlled vapor) ovens, commercial-sized pressurized kettles and other advances in culinary methodology which the CIA feels will be significant for restaurants in the future. This new structure works in tandem with the college's transformed teaching model, encouraging students to explore culinary specialization utilizing more advanced techniques. The Bocuse Restaurant kitchen also features the inclusion of a specialized pastry station led by baking and pastry Assistant Professor Stéphane Weber. With these additions, The Bocuse Restaurant offers students state-of-the-art, real-world experience, giving graduates the confidence needed to walk into any of the finest modern restaurant operations in any major city and retaining the CIA's position at the forefront of culinary education.

The restaurant offers guests a casual, elegant dining experience. Imparting Paul Bocuse's dare-to-be-different attitude, the innovative beverage and pastry programs have visual elements that utilize the likes of liquid nitrogen to create ice cream churned à la minute tableside, and the use of a brulee torch to burn sections of whiskey barrels tableside in the preparation of the Smoked Manhattan or Sazarac.

A true departure from the formal ambiance of the former Escoffier space, The Bocuse Restaurant celebrates elements of the traditional French brasseries and highlights the admirable history of its namesake. Designed by the CIA's Art Director, Adam Tihany, the new design of the restaurant is now contemporary in both style and function. The dining room, which seats up to 105 guests, is replete with black walnut floors, light leather wall paneling, custom armchairs and warm earth tones throughout. Providing guests with stunning views of the Hudson River, the airy, bright space is anchored by sprawling windows, an open kitchen and a brand new, all-glass wine room. The restaurant is set "sans tablecloths," choosing to feature beautiful walnut tables and fine napery instead to convey the casual intention of the space as well as a respect for the environmental concerns associated with laundering table linens. Custom touches provide unique focal points in the restaurant's private dining room, such as the one-of-a-kind chandelier made of Bocuse's signature VGE soup bowls and the one-of-a-kind commissioned piece of art in the private dining room that provides many of the great French chefs with the opportunity to finally cook together in the same kitchen. To complete the narrative, wall sconces, resembling the signature chef toque and topped with small porcelain figurines of Bocuse himself, decorate the walls of the restaurant, along with carefully selected photos of Chef Paul Bocuse throughout his career.

Photo Captions:

Photo 1: The Bocuse Restaurant at The Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, NY. (Photo credit: CIA/Phil Mansfield)

Photo 2: The Bocuse Restaurant at The Culinary Institute of America offers guests a dining room where the service model is built on casual elegance. (Photo credit: CIA/Phil Mansfield)

Photo 3: The Bocuse Restaurant at The Culinary Institute of America. (Photo credit: CIA/Phil Mansfield)

Photo 4: The Culinary Institute of America's new Bocuse Restaurant features an elegant private dining room that seats up to 10 guests. (Photo credit: CIA/Phil Mansfield)

Photo 5: The dining room of The Bocuse Restaurant at The Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, NY features an open kitchen. (Photo credit: CIA/Phil Mansfield)

Photo 6: CIA Students working the open kitchen at the new Bocuse Restaurant in Hyde Park, NY. (Photo credit: CIA/Phil Mansfield)

About The Culinary Institute of America

Founded in 1946, The Culinary Institute of America is an independent, not-for-profit college offering associate and bachelor's degrees 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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