San Antonio, TX – Michael Sohocki, chef/owner of Restaurant Gwendolyn in San Antonio, TX, shares the story behind his unique and successful restaurant in a new video podcast from his alma mater, The Culinary Institute of America (CIA). Sohocki, who earned his bachelor's degree from the CIA in 2002, was the winner of the Rising Star Sustainability Chef Award from StarChefs.com in 2012.
In the five-minute podcast, Chef Sohocki discusses his career inspiration and why he uses only local, perishable ingredients—and no electricity—in his kitchen. The concept at Gwendolyn is to prepare food the way it was done before the industrial revolution of the 19th century. The Robstown, TX native talks about how his bachelor's degree studies at the CIA helped shape his philosophy.
"I got more exposure to the philosophical application (of cooking) in the bachelor's degree. They teach you not so much the 'how,' as in the associate degree, but more the 'why,'" Sohocki says about his CIA education. "There are courses in the bachelor's program in which we talk about our childhood experiences…It gives you more of an idea of how to conceive your menu so that it has not just good technical skill but it contains meaning."
Chef Sohocki opened his own restaurant in 2010 after working for fellow CIA alumnus Andrew Weissman '96 at Le Rêve, Il Sogno Osteria, and Sandbar Oyster Bar in San Antonio. Restaurant Gwendolyn is at the location of the former Le Rêve on the Riverwalk, not far from the CIA's San Antonio campus.
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, Johnny Iuzzini,
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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