CIA Bachelor’s Degree Concentrations Forge Future of Profession

CIA's Farm to Table majorThree new academic concentrations—in beverage management, farm-to-table cooking, and Latin cuisines—are giving CIA students the chance to focus their studies on a particular area of interest in the food world. Students enrolled in the bachelor’s degree management programs can choose a concentration which includes 15-credit semesters at other CIA campuses. As a bonus, visitors to those campuses reap the rewards of the students’ lessons with exciting dining experiences.

The concentrations expand upon the college’s bachelor’s degree programs that pioneered culinary management education in the 1990s, and are another example of how the CIA continues to be at the forefront of preparing leaders for all segments of foodservice and hospitality.

Students in the Advanced Wine, Beverage, and Hospitality major spend a semester at the CIA’s Greystone campus in the heart of California’s Napa Valley wine country. Throughout the program, they get an upper-level wine and beverage education and study the advanced principles of restaurant service management.

American Food Studies: Farm-to-Table Cooking also features a semester away at Greystone. The culinary director of the program is Larry Forgione ’74. Known as "the godfather of American cuisine," he is credited with changing the way Americans eat by embracing the virtues of using seasonal, local ingredients. Students learn the intricacies of local sourcing, ingredient selection, and menu development, and they work on a farm adjacent to the campus which supplies some of the meat and produce for the food they prepare.

Nao Restaurant and the CIA's Latin Cuisines majorLatin Cuisines immerses students in the unique ingredients, culinary techniques, and traditions of the diverse cultures of South America, Central America, Mexico, and the Caribbean. This specialization recognizes the rapid growth of these cuisines, accounting for a third of all ethnic restaurant sales. Studies take place at the CIA’s campus in San Antonio—the gateway to Latin America.

Much like music conservatory programs, masters (in this case, chefs and vintners) serve as guest instructors alongside the college’s own world-class faculty. At the end of their time together, students present what they’ve learned from some of the biggest names in their field. At Greystone, this happens at The Conservatory, a student-led "crop-up" restaurant. Students from American Food Studies prepare the meal and those in Advanced Wine, Beverage and Hospitality create the beverage menu and provide service. In San Antonio, students present their "projects" at Nao Restaurant.

These three concentrations join the college’s new CIA culinary science bachelor's degree, which launched earlier in 2013, and curriculum is being developed for additional concentrations to be offered in the near future.

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