Celebrated Mexican Chef Roberto Santibañez Addresses CIA Graduates

Roberto Santibañez

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Jeff Levine
Communications Manager

Hyde Park, NY – Roberto Santibañez, chef and owner of Fonda restaurants in Brooklyn and Manhattan, and one of the most celebrated Mexican chefs in America, spoke to graduates during commencement ceremonies at The Culinary Institute of America's Hyde Park, NY campus on Friday, August 16, 2013.

"This institution has given you so many tools and the power to go out there and make a difference," Chef Santibañez told 54 recipients of associate degrees in culinary arts and baking and pastry arts.

Building on the love of food instilled in him by his grandmother, the Mexico City native strengthened his classical culinary foundation by studying and working in France and England. He returned to his home country to open several critically acclaimed restaurants before moving to Texas and, eventually, New York City.

"We share the language of food, so we don't have to speak other languages to understand each other," Santibañez said.

In addition to his restaurants, Chef Santibañez is president of Truly Mexican Consulting and the author of Rosa's New Mexican Table (Artisan, 2007), Truly Mexican (John Wiley & Sons, 2011), and Tacos, Tortas, and Tamales (Wiley, 2012)—the latter selected as one of the best cookbooks of the year by Food & Wine magazine.

Chef Santibañez serves on the executive committee of the CIA's Latin Cuisines Advisory Council and is a regular presenter at the college's annual Latin Flavors, American Kitchens conference at the CIA's San Antonio, TX campus.

Photo Caption and Hi-Res Image

Chef Roberto Santibañez applauds for graduates of The Culinary Institute of America during commencement at the college's Hyde Park, NY campus on August 16, 2013. The celebrated Mexican chef was the keynote speaker. (Photo credit: CIA/Phil Mansfield)
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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, 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 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.

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