Culinary News from The Culinary Institute of America

Senior Class Dinners Benefit Good Causes While Providing Great Food and Entertainment

Media Contact:

Jeff Levine
Communications Manager

Hyde Park, NY – As part of The Culinary Institute of America’s bachelor’s degrees in management, seniors in the Foodservice Management course develop and execute a special event as a final project before graduation. Proceeds from the themed fine-dining experiences are split between CIA scholarship funds and charities selected by students.

For the collegiate year that ended May 31, nine events raised almost $59,000 for charities and scholarships. After expenses, an impressive 32 percent of sales went to the beneficiaries. “The large percentage of surplus is a testament to the planning and budgeting skills of the students and allows us to donate a larger amount to charities and scholarships,” said Dr. Patrick Bottiglieri, a professor teaching Foodservice Management.

These events require students to apply the skills learned in their four years of CIA education, including culinary and baking and pastry arts, wines and beverage service, management, and hospitality. Students conceive, plan, and execute the event in teams that are completely responsible for coordinating and executing food, service, financing, and marketing. Each section selects one classmate to serve as the event’s general manager.

Titles of the past year’s events were Harvest on the Hudson, Moroccan Nights, Venetian Carnivale, Dinner en Blanc, A Night Under the Big Top, A Night in Wonderland, Tastes of Americana, Fall into Winter, and Swing into Spring. Benefiting charities were The Grace Smith House, Food Bank of the Hudson Valley, Dutchess Outreach, Miles of Hope Breast Cancer Foundation, Dutchess County SPCA, Claudio Cares Foundation, Fisher House Foundation, Wounded Warrior Project, and American Farmland Trust.

“In addition to serving as a capstone to our students’ education, these events provide support to charities and scholarships. Guests have the opportunity to interact with the students while enjoying great entertainment, beverages, and food,” said Dr. Bottiglieri. “Each event is truly a win for all involved and a great way for graduating seniors to cap off their CIA experience.”

The fall semester will feature four events between October 25 and December 6. To learn more, visit often, as the last 19 of these dinners have sold out.

Photo Caption and Hi-Res Image

An outdoor reception kicks off a benefit dinner at The Culinary Institute of America's Hyde Park, NY campus in 2014. The event was completely planned and executed by seniors in the college's Foodservice Management course. During the past year, nine events raised almost $59,000 for charities and student scholarships. (Photo credit: CIA/Jong Eun)
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.

# # #

Contact Us

Media Relations
1946 Campus Drive
Hyde Park, NY 12538-1499
Phone: 845-451-1457