Culinary News from The Culinary Institute of America

CIA Students Sweep Statewide Competition

Hyde Park, NY – Students from The Culinary Institute of America took home gold medals in both the Baking & Pastry and Culinary Arts categories at the New York State SkillsUSA competition at Alfred State College in Wellsville, NY on March 24.

Freshman Jessica Henson of Lewiston, ME was the winner among postsecondary students in baking and pastry arts and sophomore Ashley Tolley of Glen Rock, PA took top honors among the culinary arts competitors. In addition, CIA sophomore Seth Jordan of Alva, OK was the silver medalist on the culinary side.

“For our students who participate, competing is SkillsUSA is a valuable addition to their education,” says CIA professor and SkillsUSA advisor Ezra Eichelberger. “When they prepare for competition in the various categories, you can see them develop—not only in the specific skills for that particular event, but also in their organizational skills, interpersonal skills, and overall professionalism.”

The students trained under CIA faculty members Lance Nitahara and Didier Berlioz. Chef Nitahara is a CIA graduate who won several culinary competitions as a student.

With their victories at the state level, Henson and Tolley have earned the opportunity to represent the CIA at the SkillsUSA national competition this June in Louisville, KY. In 2017, CIA students took silver medals in both Culinary Arts and Restaurant Service at the nationals. Since 2006, the college has had more than a dozen gold medal winners at the state level and seven gold medal winners at the national competition.

Photo Caption and Hi-Res Image:

CIA freshman Jessica Henson, winner of the 2018 New York State SkillsUSA postsecondary competition in baking and pastry arts. Henson and fellow CIA student Ashley Tolley (culinary arts) will now represent the college and New York at the SkillsUSA national championships. (Photo credit: The Culinary Institute of America)
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Media Contact:

Jeff Levine
Communications Writers

About The Culinary Institute of America:

Founded in 1946, The Culinary Institute of America is the world’s premier culinary college. Dedicated to developing leaders in foodservice and hospitality, the independent, not-for-profit CIA offers bachelor’s degrees in management, culinary arts, culinary science, and applied food studies, and associate degrees in either culinary arts or baking and pastry arts. The college also offers executive education through its Food Business School along with certificate programs and courses for professionals and enthusiasts. Its conferences, leadership initiatives, and consulting services have made the CIA the think tank of the food industry and its worldwide network of nearly 50,000 alumni includes innovators in every area of the food business. The CIA has locations in New York, California, Texas, and Singapore.

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