Steven Lyons - CIA Culinary arts ACE student

Spotlight On: Steven Lyons ’17Culinary Arts

Hometown: Roanoke, VA
"The best thing I love about this college is the constant pursuit of providing what we need as students and chefs to succeed at school and in the food industry."

How did you become interested in your major?
My family has owned restaurants my whole life. When I was 18 years old, my uncle trained me to be a manager. Then by age 20, I helped run a restaurant of his. I realized this is what I wanted to do with my life so I decided to come to this school and learn from the best.

Who most influenced your decision to pursue this career?
My family members were the most influential people to push me to apply to the CIA. They have always told me that whatever I choose to do with my life, just make sure I‘m happy.

Did you have any challenges in coming to the CIA?
The financial side of coming to school—I was making pretty good money but I also had an apartment and a car payment, plus my mom and dad were having some financial problems and I was helping them out. On top of that, I was waiting for the restaurant I was running to be sold. So CIA Admissions was really helpful in always keeping in contact with me and offering scholarships to help get my foot in the door. I was also able to find additional scholarships through competitions that helped me.

Why did you choose the CIA?
I chose the CIA because I wanted to be the best chef. And I figured to be the best chef I needed to learn from the best. I came to this college because of all the great chefs that I heard came from here.

What do you like best about the CIA?
The best thing I love about this college is the constant pursuit of providing what we need as students and chefs to succeed at school and in the food industry.

What is/are the best lesson(s) you’ve learned while at the CIA or what advice would you give to new students?
The best advice I can give is for new students to take advantage of every opportunity they can to learn. There are so many opportunities the CIA offers like cooking competitions and seminars from successful people in the industry. The college is great for networking.

What are your career goals or plans right after graduation?
My goal right after graduation is to open up a couple of fast casual restaurants. Then after I train a few chefs to run these businesses, I want to open a more casual restaurant to build my reputation as a chef. Then when I start getting my name out there, my end goal is to open a fine-dining restaurant in Las Vegas.

What advice would you give to someone who is considering attending the CIA?
Come visit the campus and talk to someone from CIA Admissions. After you talk to someone from here or actually see what the campus is all about, you will feel right at home the second you step in the door.

The Culinary Institute of America

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