Future CIA Students Win SkillsUSA Culinary and Baking Competitions

Top Three Baking Winners Coming to the CIA

Hyde Park, NY – Recent high school graduates who are continuing their education at The Culinary Institute of America won both the Culinary Arts and Commercial Baking categories at the 2016 SkillsUSA national championship in Louisville, KY in late June. In fact, future CIA students swept the top three spots in the baking competition.

First place winners Giovanni Bartolacci of Columbia, MO (Culinary Arts) and Jordyn Baker of Anchorage, AK (Commercial Baking) each earned full-tuition scholarships. Bartolacci began his CIA studies at the New York campus on July 12 and Baker will enroll at the California campus in September. Once she earns her associate degree there, Baker plans to transfer to the New York campus to complete her bachelor’s degree in Food Business Management.

“The scholarship has made a really big difference in my life and will definitely help me in the future,” says Bartolacci, the third consecutive national Culinary Arts winner from Columbia—all of whom came to the CIA. “I’m excited to be starting (at the CIA) so soon. I figure I might as well get back to cooking as quickly as possible.”

Placing just behind the appropriately named Baker in the baking competition were Courtney Morehouse of Concord, VT and Alexandra Berrich of Gambrills, MD, who earned scholarships of $4,000 and $3,500, respectively.

Also earning a full-tuition CIA scholarship was Annie Yamamoto, last year’s winner in post-secondary Commercial Baking who placed third this year. The Reno, NV resident will join Baker in beginning her CIA studies this September in California. In the Restaurant Service category, Nikkol Mulligan of Webster Pit, ME placed in the top three for two straight years. Mulligan earned a $4,000 scholarship and will begin at the CIA in November.

SkillsUSA national competitions cover 100 career and technical fields. In Culinary Arts, competitors prepare both hot and cold food through the production of a four-course menu. Commercial Baking requires students to master a written exam as well as hands-on cake decorating and the production of breads, rolls, Danish, cookies, and pies. Restaurant Service focuses on both technical service skills and guest relations, involving table setup, greeting, reservations procedures, describing food and drink items, taking orders, and serving and clearing multiple courses.

Photo Caption and Hi-Res Image:

Winners of the 2016 SkillsUSA high school baking competition will all be enrolling at The Culinary Institute of America to continue their baking and pastry education. They are (L to R): Courtney Morehouse, Concord, VT (silver medal); Jordyn Baker, Anchorage, AK (gold medal); and Alexandra Berrich, Gambrills, MD (bronze medal). (Photo courtesy SkillsUSA)
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Media Contact:

Jeff Levine
Communication Manager

Founded in 1946, The Culinary Institute of America is the world’s premier culinary college. Dedicated to driving leadership development for the foodservice and hospitality industry, the independent, not-for-profit CIA offers bachelor’s degrees in food business management, culinary science, and applied food studies; associate degrees in culinary arts and baking and pastry arts; and executive education through its Food Business School. Its conferences and consulting services have made the CIA the think tank of the food industry in the areas of health & wellness, sustainability, world cuisines & cultures, and professional excellence & innovation. The college also offers certificate programs and courses for professionals and enthusiasts. Its worldwide network of 49,000 alumni includes leaders in every area of foodservice and hospitality. The CIA has campuses in New York, California, Texas, and Singapore.

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