Culinary News from The Culinary Institute of America

CIA Students are First U.S. Recipients of Special Certification From Government of Japan

Ikuo Miyanaga, deputy consul general and director of the economic division at the Consulate of Japan in New York City, speaks with students at The Culinary Institute of America

Hyde Park, NY – Following the successful completion of the Advanced Cooking: Japanese Cuisine course on December 13, nine students at The Culinary Institute of America became the first American recipients of the Certification of Cooking Skills for Japanese Cuisine in Foreign Countries. After reviewing this innovative immersion into the cuisines and culture of Japan, the Organization to Promote Japanese Restaurants Abroad (JRO)—based on the guideline from the Japanese Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries—authorized the CIA as the first location in the United States sanctioned to issue this special certification.

“We are most honored to have been selected by the government of Japan as the first U.S. institution authorized to certify culinary students as having achieved a significant level of mastery of Japanese cuisine,” said CIA President Dr. Tim Ryan. “At a time when interest in Japanese flavors and food culture is accelerating among the public and aspiring chefs, we are gratified to be playing a critical role in making this expertise more accessible.”

Advanced Cooking: Japanese Cuisine launched in the fall 2016 semester with the support of Suntory Group, one of the world’s leading consumer product companies. Offered to juniors and seniors pursuing a CIA bachelor’s degree, it was jointly taught by Chefs Martin Matysik of the CIA and Hiroki Murashima of the world-renowned Tsuji Culinary Institute in Osaka. Chef Murashima served as the CIA’s first Suntory Visiting Professor of Japanese Studies.

“Suntory is honored to have contributed to the opening of this course,” said Suntory Executive Officer Tomomi Fukumoto. “Students not only learn cooking techniques, but also Japanese traditions, as well as respecting nature and appreciating what each season gives us. The fact that Suntory is collaborating with the CIA to develop food professionals with deep knowledge about Japanese cuisine and Japanese traditions is a meaningful contribution for both the United States and Japan.”

The students received their bronze-level certifications after preparing and serving a kaiseki cuisine dinner on December 13 as their capstone project for the course.

“Over the past three months, these select CIA students experienced an intensive, multifaceted discovery of Japanese flavors, techniques, and food culture,” said Dr. Michael Sperling, the college’s vice president of academic affairs. “We are very grateful to Suntory for its vision and commitment in making this course possible, and to JRO for recognizing our students’ accomplishment in mastering the skills required to earn such an important certification.”

The class, which will be offered to CIA students again in fall 2017, covers Japanese history and culture, along with the ingredients, flavors, textures, and techniques of authentic Japanese cooking. It delves into dashi stocks, rice and noodles, sushi, tempura, and the principles of umami, as well as the cultural aspects of the Japanese dining table. The course is the first phase of a broader CIA Japanese studies initiative, underwritten by a multi-year grant from Suntory.

Photo Captions and Hi-Res Images:

Photo 1: Culinary Institute of America student Jooho Hong works on the traditional preparation of ebi shinjo—a Japanese seafood dumpling—under the watchful eye of Chef Hiroki Murashima. Chef Murashima served as Suntory Visiting Professor of Japanese Studies for the CIA’s first Advanced Cooking: Japanese Cuisine course. The class concluded on December 13, 2016 with CIA students cooking and serving a kaiseki dinner for special guests, including a representative of the Consulate of Japan in New York City. (Photo credit: CIA/Phil Mansfield)
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Photo 2: Mr. Ikuo Miyanaga, deputy consul general and director of the economic division at the Consulate of Japan in New York City, speaks with students at The Culinary Institute of America who became the first U.S. recipients of his government’s Certification of Cooking Skills for Japanese Cuisine in Foreign Countries. Nine CIA students earned the certification after successful completion of the college's course in Advanced Cooking: Japanese Cuisine on December 13, 2016. (Photo credit: CIA/Phil Mansfield)
View hi-res image >

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Jeff Levine
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About The Culinary Institute of America
Founded in 1946, The Culinary Institute of America is the world’s premier culinary college. Dedicated to developing leaders in foodservice and hospitality, the independent, not-for-profit CIA offers bachelor’s degree majors in management, culinary science, and applied food studies; associate degrees in culinary arts and baking and pastry arts; and executive education through its Food Business School. The college also offers certificate programs and courses for professionals and enthusiasts. Its conferences and consulting services have made the CIA the think tank of the food industry and its worldwide network of 49,000 alumni includes innovators in every area of the food business. The CIA has campuses in New York, California, Texas, and Singapore.

About Suntory
Suntory Group is among the world’s leading consumer products companies, with $20 billion in annual sales. We offer a uniquely diverse portfolio of beverage products enjoyed by millions around the world: from award-winning Japanese whiskies Yamazaki and Hibiki, The Premium Malt’s beer, and iconic American spirits Jim Beam and Maker’s Mark to non-alcoholic favorites Orangina, Lucozade, and Ribena. Suntory also produces wellness products and operates a flower business. Founded as a family-owned business in 1899 in Osaka, Japan, Suntory Group has grown into a multi-national corporation, with operations throughout the Americas, Europe, Asia, and Oceania. We are driven by Yatte Minahare—the spirit of bold ambition—and our 42,000 employees worldwide draw upon our unique blend of Japanese artisanship and global tastes to explore new product categories and markets. Learn more about Suntory Group, its brands, and its commitment to social responsibility at, on, or @SuntoryGlobal on Twitter.

About JRO
The Organization to Promote Japanese Restaurants Abroad (JRO) is a nonprofit organization established in July 2007 by those volunteers who wish to convey the appeal of Japanese food to the world. The goal of the JRO is to communicate Japanese food and culture, share them with many people around the world, and take a proactive role in developing overseas markets for Japanese food products. To this end, the JRO will carry out various projects to help Japanese restaurants abroad further increase their reliability and eventually contribute to the richness and diversities of food cultures in the world. For more information, visit

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