Media Relations Specialist
St. Helena, CA – In just four years, the Accelerated Wine and Beverage Program (AWBP) at The Culinary
Institute of America (CIA) has proven to be a highly successful path to a
quality career in the wine and beverage industry. Graduates have already landed
highly coveted wine and beverage positions with some of the world's best
restaurants, wineries, and distributors, as well as in other segments of the
members of the most recent class of 24 graduates elected to take the Court of
Master Sommelier Level 2: Certified Sommelier Exam, and
all of them passed. In the last four years, AWBP graduates have earned a pass
rate on that exam that is 20% higher than the national average.
program and its graduates are making an impression on the industry. Addressing
graduates at a ceremony last month, James Tidwell, a 1998 CIA alumnus
who is also a Master Sommelier and wine industry leader, noted how impressed he
is with the AWBP course of study and encouraged students to continue to use it
to lay the foundation for their careers. Tidwell, who currently serves as
beverage manager for the Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts in Dallas, TX, started
out in a small bistro in New Jersey.
“In that tiny restaurant, I worked with a James Beard
Award-winning executive chef and the best service team in a small town. I gained
the foundation for my career with a breadth and depth that I couldn't have
received anywhere else.”
AWBP was created, 82 students have graduated. Many of them are now
sommeliers in high-end restaurants such as Eleven Madison Park and Per
New York City; Gary Danko and Hakkasan in San Francisco, CA; and
Meadowood Napa Valley in
St. Helena, CA. Some are running wine programs at places like Dry
in Healdsburg, CA; and Sons & Daughters and Nopa in San Francisco,
CA. Others hold high positions in Napa Valley wineries, are
front-of-the-house managers in restaurants, and at least one is
career in wine writing.
Accelerated Wine and Beverage Program is held at the CIA's Greystone campus in St. Helena, CA, in the heart of the Napa Valley wine country.
Over the course of the eight-month program, students taste more than 1,000
wines in class, take dozens of field trips, and learn from the CIA's expert
wine faculty as well as more than 50 guest speakers. Classes focus on
wines of the world, sensory analysis, the professional
business of wine, spirits, and mixology.
next class begins August 19, 2014. Enrollees must be at least 21 years
old with a bachelor's or associate degree in hospitality management, culinary
arts management, or a related field; or a bachelor's degree and a year of experience
in a restaurant with a professional wine and beverage program. For more information, visit us online.
Photo Caption and Hi-Res Image
Master Sommelier and CIA alumnus James Tidwell addresses
students graduating from the CIA's Accelerated Wine and Beverage Program
(AWBP). (Photo credit: Charlie Gesell/CIA)
View hi-res image >
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 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 46,000
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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