Christine Langelier’s interest in hospitality and culinary arts began
at a vocational technical high school near her home in Bellingham, MA.
“I was involved with SkillsUSA and went to the National Leadership and
Skills Conference twice,” recalls Christine, general manager at Blue
Hill at Stone Barns in Pocantico Hills, NY. “I mostly focused on
front-of-the-house but still had dreams of being in the kitchen.”
After graduating high school, Christine attended Widener University
in Philadelphia pursuing a degree in hospitality. After a year there,
she decided the traditional college atmosphere wasn’t a good fit. She
packed her bags and headed to Walt Disney World in Florida. “I spent a
year there and got a great foundation of guest and hospitality
interaction that really set the basis for my working in the hospitality
industry,” she says. It also convinced Christine that her next step
would be culinary school. “The only choice for me was The Culinary Institute of America.”
Once Christine completed her associate degree in culinary arts she
didn’t think twice about continuing her education. “I knew I was a
natural born leader and it only made sense for me to continue to build a
strong foundation for the future by completing a bachelor’s degree,”
says Christine. “You really get a sense of place at the CIA, and feel
that you’re part of a greater community working towards a common goal.
It’s the whole mise en place mindset. I still use it every day. I take
time at night to prepare for the next day’s work, just like I did at the
Christine started her six-month front-of-house apprenticeship for
Restaurant Management & Service (F.A.R.M.S.) at Blue Hill at Stone
Barns the Monday after graduation. “I had just completed the bachelor’s
program and was drawn to the front of the house but I still wanted to
have the option of working in the back of the house. The apprenticeship
seemed like a great opportunity to get my hands dirty on the farm, then
clean them up for work in the dining room,” recalls Christine. Within
three and a half months, she became a captain in the dining room. She
was the first to earn that title while doing an apprenticeship.
Christine quickly moved up the ranks first as assistant service manager,
then assistant general manager, and finally general manager. “We have
about 40 people who work in the front of the house and I like to say
that I’m the culinary liaison to the back of the house because I have my
degree from the CIA and I’ve had my hands in the kitchen,” she says.
In July 2018, Christine became a manager at Eleven Madison Park, a Michelin Guide three-star rated restaurant located on Madison Avenue in Manhattan. In September 2018, she was promoted to service director.
Christine loved her time at the CIA and advises students to, “get
involved and take advantage of everything the CIA has to offer. You may
have your heart set on the back of the house but you should always keep
your options open. You may discover another career path that is equally