Culinary News from The Culinary Institute of America

Austin Pastry Chef Mary Catherine Curren Speaks to CIA Graduates

San Antonio, TX – Mary Catherine Curren, executive pastry chef for several well-respected Austin restaurants, delivered the commencement address at the Texas campus of The Culinary Institute of America in San Antonio on April 12.

A 2006 Baking & Pastry Arts graduate of the CIA’s Hyde Park, NY campus, Chef Curren oversees the desserts at 24 Diner, Italic, Irene’s, and Cookbook Bar & Café—all part of the Austin-based Elm Restaurant Group.

“Your education here at The Culinary Institute of America has given you a basic set of tools. Actually a really great set of tools, but still just a set of tools,” Chef Curren told graduates earning associate degrees in Baking & Pastry Arts and Culinary Arts. “Now it’s time to put your education to the test by starting jobs as line cooks, bakers, and managers in the hospitality industry. It’s time to go out and live it.”

Her approach on her dessert menus is to use local, seasonal ingredients in creating a balance of flavors and textures that make her sweets shine. Both Food & Wine and Thrillist have named 24 Diner to their lists of America’s Best Diners.

The CIA San Antonio offers degrees in both Culinary Arts and Baking & Pastry Arts. Graduates can then transfer to the college’s New York campus to complete bachelor’s degrees in Food Business Management, Culinary Science, Applied Food Studies, or Hospitality Management.


Photo Caption and Hi-Res Image:

Pastry chef Mary Catherine Curren of the Austin-based Elm Restaurant Group speaks to graduates and their families during commencement at the Texas campus of The Culinary Institute of America on April 12, 2019. Chef Curren is a 2006 graduate of the CIA’s New York campus. (Photo credit: Darren Abate/CIA)
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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 master’s, bachelor’s, and associate degrees with majors in culinary arts, baking & pastry arts, food business management, hospitality management, culinary science, and applied food studies. The college also offers executive education, certificate programs, and courses for professionals and enthusiasts. Its conferences, leadership initiatives, and consulting services have made the CIA the think tank of the food industry and its worldwide network of more than 50,000 alumni includes innovators in every area of the food world. The CIA has locations in New York, California, Texas, and Singapore.

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