Culinary News from The Culinary Institute of America

CIA Provides Scholarships to Winners of NAACP Culinary Competition

For Third Straight Year, Winner Will Attend World’s Premier Culinary College

Media Contact:

Jeff Levine
Communications Manager

Hyde Park, NY – For the third straight year, the winner of the culinary competition at the NAACP’s Academic Cultural Technology & Scientific Olympics (ACT-SO) will be enrolling at The Culinary Institute of America. Frehdee Gatewood of Houston, TX was the gold medal winner at a cook-off held at the Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino in Las Vegas, NV over the summer. By winning the event, Gatewood earned a half-tuition scholarship to the world’s premier culinary college. She will enroll at the Hyde Park campus in January, majoring in culinary arts.

Last year’s gold medal winner, Darrell Crawford of Chicago, is beginning his CIA studies in January as well. Karina Yepez, who won in 2012, is currently a sophomore.

“Winning the competition meant so much to me,” says Yepez, who grew up in Los Angeles. “It showed that you can actually live your dreams and push forward for them to come true. And being at The Culinary Institute of America is the greatest way to pursue those dreams.” She is currently completing her externship field study at the Sea Island Resort in Georgia, and plans to start her own catering business and become an executive chef after earning her bachelor’s degree in management from the CIA.

Among the judges at the ACT-SO competition were CIA ambassador and former faculty member Arnym Solomon ’69, who also presented awards to all the winners, and Susan Wolfla ’94, executive chef at Mandalay Bay.

Photo Caption and Hi-Res Image

Frehdee Gatewood of Houston, TX accepts congratulations from Arnym Solomon of The Culinary Institute of America after winning the culinary competition at the 2014 NAACP Academic Cultural & Technology and Scientific Olympics. Gatewood earned a scholarship to the CIA and will soon enroll, joining the 2012 and 2013 winners as students at the Hyde Park campus. (Photo: Courtesy Arnym Solomon)
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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, culinary science, and applied food studies, 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 47,000 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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