The Culinary Institute of America's Historical Menu Archive Goes Digital

Menus Collection

Media Contact:

Jeff Levine
Communications Manager

Hyde Park, NY – Have you ever wondered what dishes were on the menu of the first public restaurant at The Culinary Institute of America (CIA) in the early 1970s? Or what was served in its American Bounty Restaurant in the 1980s when the CIA was changing the definition of American cuisine? If so, you can now take a gastronomic tour of the dining history of the college—and beyond—from anywhere in the world, thanks to a new online archive of restaurant menus.

The Conrad N. Hilton Library at the CIA is sharing selections from its menu collection through Hudson River Valley Heritage—a collaborative project providing online access to materials from digital collections of colleges, libraries, archives, historical societies, museums, and cultural organizations in the Hudson Valley.

Hundreds of early menus from CIA restaurants and events are now searchable by keyword. More are continuously being added, including historical menus from around the world dating as far back as 1855. Menus can be browsed or searched online at

"The CIA is an important part of the history of the Hudson River Valley," says Eric Hinsdale, CIA director of library and information services. "I'm happy to have our materials included in the project along with those of so many of the region's other cultural organizations."

Housed in the Hilton library, this special collection of more than 25,000 menus includes menus from CIA restaurants, along with gifts from major menu collectors, including George Lang, Chapman S. Root, Vinnie Oakes, and Roy Andries de Groot. Assembled over decades, the collection illustrates the history of dining in America and abroad. Menus come from all 50 states and more than 80 countries, as well as from ships, railroads, and airlines.

The CIA Menu Collection is one of many digitized historic collections that can be searched online at These collections contain photos, postcards, letters, diaries, newspapers, scrapbooks, manuscripts, memorabilia, maps, ephemera, and even audio and video clips. The project is coordinated by the Southeastern New York Library Resources Council. SENYLRC's mission is to support its members in the Mid-Hudson Valley in enriching their services and enhancing access to information for their users.

Photo Caption and Hi-Res Image

Cover page of the menu from a buffet of international cuisines prepared by students of The Culinary Institute of America (then based in New Haven, CT) on August 20, 1964 as a final project of one of their classes. (Courtesy: The Culinary Institute of America)

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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