Culinary News from The Culinary Institute of America

Food & Wine Magazine Names Two CIA Grads Among America’s Best New Chefs

Honorees Include an Alumnus of CIA San Antonio

Hyde Park, NY – Making the Food & Wine Best New Chefs list is often a sign of greater things to come in the culinary world. The magazine’s class of 2017 includes two graduates of The Culinary Institute of America, including one from the CIA’s San Antonio campus. Diego Galicia ’10 is chef and co-owner of Mixtli in San Antonio and Nina Compton ’01 is chef and owner of Compère Lapin in New Orleans.

Galicia graduated from the CIA San Antonio, aided in his studies by the college’s El Sueño Scholarship initiative to help aspiring Latino chefs become leaders in the food business. He opened the highly acclaimed Mixtli—a 12-seat restaurant housed in a former railroad boxcar—after leading menu research and development for the quick-service Taco Cabana chain. Food & Wine Editor Nilou Motamed told the San Antonio Express-News that Galicia and business partner Rico Torres “impressed us with their ability to constantly reinvent Mixtli. Their cuisine is incredibly studied, technical, and transportive—all attributes of amazing Best New Chefs.”

In naming Compton to its list of rising star chefs, the Food & Wine editors write that she “unravels the French/Southern/Haitian rubber-band ball of Louisiana cooking, and looks at its constituent parts in a new way.” Compton, a native of St. Lucia who graduated from the CIA’s New York campus, is also a nominee for the 2017 James Beard Foundation Award for Best Chef: South. Compère Lapin was named Restaurant of the Year for 2016 by the New Orleans Times-Picayune.

Chefs Galicia and Compton will be featured at the Aspen Food & Wine Festival in June and as the cover story of the magazine’s July issue, along with the other 10 honorees. Some previous CIA alumni honorees who have gone on to chef stardom include Gary Danko ’77, Rocco DiSpirito ’86, Jonathan Benno ’93, Melissa Perello ’96, Roy Choi ’98, and Justin Yu ’05.

Photo Caption and Hi-Res Image:

Diego Galicia ’10 is one of two alumni of The Culinary Institute of America, along with Nina Compton ’01, named to the 2017 Food & Wine Best New Chefs list. Galicia, a graduate of the CIA San Antonio, returned to campus in 2015 as commencement speaker. (Photo credit: Darren Abate/CIA)
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Media Contact:

Jeff Levine
Communications Manager

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 degree majors in management, culinary science, and applied food studies; associate degrees in culinary arts and baking and pastry arts; and executive education through its Food Business School. The college also offers certificate programs and courses for professionals and enthusiasts. Its conferences and consulting services have made the CIA the think tank of the food industry and its worldwide network of 49,000 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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