Culinary News from The Culinary Institute of America

The CIA and Restaurant Associates Announce New Partnership Designed to Accelerate Innovation in Contract Foodservice Operations of the Future

Media Contact:

Stephan Hengst

Hyde Park, NY – The Culinary Institute of America (CIA) and Restaurant Associates (RA) have formed a strategic partnership geared towards fostering future creativity, innovation, and “intrapreneurial” thinking in the contract foodservice sector of the foodservice industry. In support of the CIA’s capital campaign, Restaurant Associates and Compass Group have also made a substantial commitment to provide valuable financial assistance to students in pursuit of their professional degrees at the world’s premier culinary college.

Along with increasing student scholarships, the nexus of the partnership will be the CIA’s new Student Commons, which is now under construction and scheduled to open in the summer of 2015. Located at the college’s flagship New York campus and designed under the direction of the world-renowned Adam Tihany, the new facility will take the concept of student dining to a new level. The state-of-the-art Student Commons will feature several cooking and dining venues, a high-volume production teaching kitchen, a fresh market complete with green walls growing herbs and vegetables, a teaching micro-brewery done in partnership with Brooklyn Brewery, and a “black box restaurant” in which CIA bachelor’s students studying intrapraneurship will develop and market-test new restaurant concepts.

RA brings a wide range of knowledge in foodservice operations to the new partnership, and is well-known for the premium food venues it provides to museums, performing arts centers, corporate dining operations, and educational facilities.

The dining facility, named The Egg for its oval shape, will be operated by Restaurant Associates in partnership with the Education Division of the CIA. “Knowing that so many of our students pursue careers with major operators like Restaurant Associates, it made sense for us to create a new student dining facility that introduces them to the latest innovations in technology and menu development,” explains Dr. Tim Ryan, president of The Culinary Institute of America. “As an industry leader, RA’s cutting-edge knowledge of providing contract food services in large-volume environments will be a valued addition to our students’ CIA experience. In turn, our students are the future of foodservice, and this initiative will enable them to exercise their creativity and explore new concepts with our faculty, to the benefit of Restaurant Associates and the industry.”

“To be able to partner with an institute of such high caliber as the CIA is an incredible opportunity for Restaurant Associates,” says RA CEO Dick Cattani. “The CIA works with world-famous restaurateurs, renowned chefs, and foodservice companies from all over the world and to have been chosen from this impressive group is, for our team, a dream come true. In addition, hundreds and hundreds of our culinary and management team members within the Compass family are CIA graduates and a number of them will be involved with this project.”

Ed Sirhal, president of Restaurant Associates, adds “As one of America’s leading culinary colleges, the CIA’s values mirror all those held by Restaurant Associates when it comes to areas like health, wellness, quality, and sustainability. We are thrilled to enter into this long-term partnership with the CIA and look forward to creating an entirely new standard of food and hospitality excellence.”

Photo Caption and Hi-Res Image

The focal point of the CIA's new Student Commons, which is now under construction and scheduled to open in the summer of 2015, is the dining facility which has been named The Egg. Named for its oval shape, the facility will be operated by Restaurant Associates in partnership with the Education Division of the college. (Illustration credit: Steve Patricia/Noelker and Hull)
View hi-res image >

About 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, 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 46,000 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.

About Restaurant Associates
Restaurant Associates is recognized as the nation’s premier hospitality company, operating over 150 prestigious locations. Restaurant Associates, based in New York City, provides premium food services to museums, performing arts centers, aquariums, corporate dining and educational facilities, and off-premise event catering in New York City; Boston; Hartford; Atlanta; Washington, DC; and Philadelphia. Restaurant Associates is a subsidiary of Compass Group North America.

About Compass Group
Based in Charlotte, NC, Compass Group North America is the leading foodservice management and support services company with $12.8 billion USD (£8 billion) in revenues in 2013. With over 500,000 associates worldwide, its parent company, UK-based Compass Group PLC, had revenues of £17.6 billion in the fiscal year ending September 30, 2013.

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