Early Sunday morning, a wildfire (codenamed Glass) started burning near St. Helena. The California leadership team and senior leaders in Hyde Park including President Ryan monitored conditions throughout the day and prepared for a possible evacuation of campus. Late last night, we evacuated 119 students from the residence halls. Most students were able to connect with family or friends for overnight accommodations; 18 students were provided lodging arranged by the CIA through the county. The California team was in continuous contact with CIA leadership throughout, and due to their efforts, the evacuation went smoothly with all students safe and accounted for. Students remained calm and in good spirits despite the situation. They have been real troopers.

While the fire came too close for comfort, Greystone and our residence halls on campus and on Pratt Avenue were untouched.

Currently the Greystone campus is without power as damage is assessed and fires continue to be active in the area. All members of the campus community have been asked to work remotely. We are using The CIA at Copia as a base camp for our operations, and many students will be spending time there today. We will continue to update students, faculty, and staff, by e-mail as needed. Parents, please urge your student to share these notifications, so you have the latest information.

Star Houston Chef Sends San Antonio Grads on their Career Journey

Brian CaswellBryan Caswell ’99, executive chef/co-owner of four successful Houston restaurants, recently delivered the commencement address to associate degree graduates at the San Antonio campus. He compared graduation day to standing on a platform on a train station. Now, he said, it is time for each of the graduates to choose their destination and begin their culinary journey in that direction.

Chef Caswell’s Reef was named Best Seafood Restaurant in the United States by Bon Appétit magazine in 2008. His other restaurants are Little Bigs, El Real Tex-Mex Café, and 3rd Bar Eating House. He has also developed four concepts at the Astros’ Minute Maid Park. Raised in Houston, Caswell studied at the CIA’s Hyde Park campus. After graduating, he worked for such renowned chefs as Jean-Georges Vongerichten, Wayne Nish, and fellow CIA alumni Charlie Palmer ’79, Alfred Portale ’81, and Rocco DiSpirito ’86.

Caswell, 39, was named a Food & Wine magazine Best New Chef in 2009. He’s a two-time nominee for the James Beard Foundation Award as Best Chef: Southwest and was honored as a Rising Star Restaurateur by StarChefs.com in 2011.

In addition to an AAS in culinary arts, students at the CIA San Antonio can also major in baking and pastry arts. As part of their studies, during sophomore year, students work at Nao: New World Flavors, a public restaurant on campus. Generous scholarships for Texas residents are available through the college’s El Sueño initiative and other financial aid opportunities.

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