Culinary News from The Culinary Institute of America

CIA San Antonio Success Story Returns to Deliver Commencement Address

Diego Galicia ’10 Welcomes Graduates into “Exclusive Group”

San Antonio, TX – Diego Galicia, chef and co-owner of Restaurant Mixtli and Mezcalería Mixtli in San Antonio, spoke to graduates of The Culinary Institute of America on December 18. Chef Galicia challenged the associate degree recipients to take care of each other—and themselves.

“You are now part of a very select and exclusive group. You’ve been given the tools, the knowledge, and the discipline to cook,” said Galicia, a 2010 alumnus of the CIA’s San Antonio campus. “I want you to look at each other—in your whites, as proud as any West Point grad. This is all you have, the person next to you. Don’t ever let each other down.”

Chef Galicia reminded graduates that they are entering a life of service and commitment to others. He advised them to take care of their own health, as well as their feet and their knives, and to continue to polish their craft.

“You were led here by your heart, your will to create, and your desire to learn,” he said. “Don’t ever lose your passion.”

While completing his studies in Latin Cuisines from the CIA, the native of Toluca, Mexico was named chef de partie for the opening of Restaurant Lüke in San Antonio, working with CIA alumni Steven McHugh ’97. He was corporate chef for the Taco Cabana chain before making a major change from the quick-service segment with the opening of Mixtli in 2013.

Serving only 12 guests a night, Mixtli is one of the most sought-after reservations in San Antonio. It was named one of the 10 hottest restaurants in the city by Zagat Survey and one of the 10 most romantic restaurants in America by USA Today. Mezcalería Mixtli, focusing on mezcal and other Mexican spirits, opened earlier this year.

Photo Caption & Hi-Res Image:

Diego Galicia, chef and co-owner of San Antonio’s acclaimed Restaurant Mixtli and Mezcalería Mixtli, speaks to graduates of The Culinary Institute of America, San Antonio on December 18, 2015. Chef Galicia is a 2010 graduate of the CIA’s Texas campus. (Photo credit: Darren Abate/CIA)
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Founded in 1946, The Culinary Institute of America is the world’s premier culinary college. Dedicated to driving leadership development for the foodservice and hospitality industry, the independent, not-for-profit CIA offers associate degrees in culinary arts and baking and pastry arts; bachelor’s degree majors in management, culinary science, and applied food studies; and executive education through its Food Business School. Its conferences and consulting services have made the CIA the think tank of the food industry in the areas of health & wellness, sustainability, world cuisines & cultures, and professional excellence & innovation. The college also offers certificate programs and courses for professionals and enthusiasts. Its worldwide network of 48,000 alumni includes leaders in every area of foodservice and hospitality. The CIA has campuses in New York, California, Texas, and Singapore.

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