Cat Cora '95 Delivers Commencement Address at Singapore Campus
Jeff Levine, Communications Manager
Eve Felder, Managing Director
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Singapore – The 33 students in the first class at The Culinary Institute of America (CIA), Singapore completed their bachelor's degree studies in culinary arts management and received their diplomas during commencement exercises on campus on Tuesday, January 29. Celebrity chef and fellow CIA graduate Cat Cora '95 was the keynote speaker during the ceremony, which was also attended by several distinguished alumni working in Singapore.
"We all have a common sense of culinary brinkmanship—pushing the boundaries for positive change," Chef Cora told the graduates. "Take the industry higher in a way that only you can do. Whether you bake bread, become a teacher, command a restaurant, or build an empire, use your voice, hands, and mind to propel us forward."
Chef Cora was encouraged to attend the CIA by none other than Julia Child. It was advice that changed her life, she says: "One person—a parent, friend, instructor, or even a stranger you meet by chance—can turn your life around and send you on a journey beyond anything you ever imagined."
Her newest venture, Ocean Restaurant by Cat Cora, is scheduled to open at Resort Worlds Sentosa in Singapore in February.
Among the Singapore-based CIA alumni at the commencement were Adam Crocini, general manager of Wolfgang Puck's Cut and a 2000 graduate of the bachelor's degree program in Hyde Park; Eric Bost '98, executive chef of Restaurant Guy Savoy; Ivan Brehm '05, executive chef of Bacchanalia and formerly at England's renowned Fat Duck; Jeanie Janus '06, assistant manager of Iggy's, named the best restaurant in all of Asia for 2012; and Travis Masiero '99, executive chef/owner of Luke's Oyster Bar.
During their CIA studies, the students had the opportunity to work in top restaurants in both Asia and the United States, such as Restaurant Guy Savoy and the American Club in Singapore, Bo Innovation in Hong Kong, Chez Panisse in California, and Eleven Madison Park in New York.
"These graduates have spread their wings not only across the globe, but also into many different segments of the food and beverage industry," said CIA Singapore Managing Director Eve Felder. "I am proud to say that many of these students have been offered full-time positions upon graduation."
This group of graduates began its CIA studies in January 2011 after completing a three-year diploma program in partnership with the Singapore Institute of Technology. Credits from previous business management courses transferred, allowing the students to complete their four-year degree with two years of the CIA's unparalleled hands-on culinary training and certain required liberal arts courses.
Two other classes of students are well into their CIA studies and the next graduation at the college's Singapore campus will be held in September.
The first graduating class of The Culinary Institute of America, Singapore, with college President Dr. Tim Ryan and commencement speaker Cat Cora '95. (Photo credit: Julian Tan/CIA)
About The Culinary Institute of America
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, Latin cuisines, 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 45,000 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.
About Singapore Institute of Technology
Established in 2009, SIT is an institution funded by the Ministry of Education offering undergraduate degree programmes primarily for polytechnic graduates. In partnership with various reputable overseas universities, SIT has brought to Singapore some of the world's top industry-focused degree programmes targeted at growth sectors of the economy. Through a unique tripartite collaboration with its overseas university partners and the five local polytechnics, SIT represents a new model that is set to become a key pillar of university education. SIT has been slated to become the fifth public university in Singapore by the Government.
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