Culinary News from The Culinary Institute of America

Internationally Respected Houston Chef Speaks to CIA San Antonio Graduates

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Jeff Levine
Communications Manager

San Antonio, TX – Charles M. Carroll, an executive chef in Houston and vice president of the World Association of Chefs Societies (WorldChefs), challenged graduates of The Culinary Institute of America to work harder than everyone else to achieve success. Chef Carroll delivered the commencement address at the college’s Texas campus on January 23.

A 1986 graduate of the CIA’s Hyde Park, NY campus, Carroll is executive chef at the River Oaks Country Club in Houston. In addition to his full-time job, he chaired the WorldChefs Congress held in South Korea in 2012 and the following year became vice president of the organization, which encompasses culinary federations of 100 countries and more than 10 million chefs.

“Nothing matters but your will to succeed,” Chef Carroll told recipients of the CIA San Antonio associate degree in culinary arts. “If you want something badly enough, you have to keep pounding on that door until it opens. I have been blessed to accomplish amazing things, simply by pounding on the door until my knuckles were bloody.”

Chef Carroll served the United States on seven Culinary Olympic teams, including managing the 2000 team which took home four gold medals and a silver. He says one of the things of which he is most proud was the creation of “Operation HOT (Honoring Our Troops).” With 21 celebrities and a support team, he brought a seven-hour Vegas-style show and home-cooked meal to 5,000 U.S. troops in Afghanistan in both 2011 and 2013.

Chef Carroll is the author of Tasting Success: Your Guide to Becoming a Professional Chef and Leadership Lessons from a Chef: Finding Time to Be Great. He has been a recipient of the American Culinary Federation’s President’s Medallion in four different decades (1989, 1999, 2005, and 2014) as well as its national Chef’s Professionalism and Sharing Culinary Traditions Awards in 2008.

After the graduation ceremony in San Antonio, Chef Carroll left for Lyon, France for the biennial Bocuse d’Or competition. He is representing WorldChefs at the renowned international contest.

Photo Caption and Hi-Res Image

Chef Charles M. Carroll '86, executive chef at Houston's River Oaks Country Club and vice president of the World Association of Chefs Societies (WorldChefs), delivered the commencement address at The Culinary Institute of America in San Antonio on January 23. (Photo credit: Darren Abate/CIA)
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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, culinary science, and applied food studies, as well as certificate programs in culinary arts 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 47,000 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.

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