Three Graduations in One Day for The Culinary Institute of America


All Three U.S. Campuses Hold Associate Degree Ceremonies on September 4

Media Contact:

Jeff Levine
Communications Manager

Hyde Park, NY – Three campuses of The Culinary Institute of America across the United States bestowed associate degrees in culinary arts and baking and pastry arts on September 4. Graduates at the college’s New York campus welcomed guest speaker Justin Smillie. As that ceremony was ending, the commencement at the CIA’s Texas campus was beginning, with CIA alumnus Mark Cox delivering the keynote address. And, by late morning California time, graduates of the Greystone campus were hearing words of inspiration from Shelley Lindgren.

Smillie is partner and executive chef at Upland in New York City, named after his hometown of Upland, CA. The restaurant showcases his California roots and seasonal, rustic culinary sensibilities. He was selected a New York Rising Star Chef in 2013 by and Adam Platt, restaurant critic for New York magazine, named Smillie one of his five best chefs of the year in 2012.

Cox, a 1978 CIA graduate, is executive chef and owner of the highly praised Mark’s American Cuisine in Houston. Mark’s, which Cox and his wife opened in 1997, has received numerous accolades, including being named one of the top ten restaurants in the U.S. and one of the best restaurants in the world by the Zagat Guide, induction into the Nation’s Restaurant News Fine Dining Hall of Fame, and receiving a Distinguished Restaurants of North America (DiRoNA) award every year since 2001.

Lindgren is co-owner and wine director of A16 in San Francisco, the restaurant that won the 2015 James Beard Foundation Award for Outstanding Wine Program. She is also co-owner and wine director of SPQR in San Francisco and A16 Rockridge in Oakland, CA. Wine Enthusiast nominated Lindgren as Wine Star Sommelier of the Year in 2012. She was honored with Gourmet magazine’s Sommelier Award in 2009, and she has been named Best New Sommelier by Wine and Spirits magazine.

“You have learned, here at the CIA, the fundamental skills you will carry throughout your life, whichever path you choose,” Ms. Lindgren told graduates at the California campus in St. Helena. “But you have also learned the stamina and dedication this trade requires personally, physically, and emotionally.”

The CIA’ s international campus in Singapore is holding a baccalaureate degree commencement on September 16.

Photo Captions and Hi-Res Images:

Photo 1 (top photo): The newest alumni of the New York campus of The Culinary Institute of America celebrate their graduation with the traditional tossing of the toques on September 4, 2015. (Photo credit: CIA/Phil Mansfield)
View hi-res image >

Photo 2: Shelley Lindgren, co-owner and wine director of three Bay-area restaurants including San Francisco's acclaimed A16, gives words of advice to graduates of the California campus of The Culinary Institute of America on September 4, 2015. (Photo credit: Kristen Loken/CIA)
View hi-res image >

Photo 3: Mark Cox speaks to graduates of The Culinary Institute of America, San Antonio on September 4, 2015. The 1978 CIA graduate is executive chef and owner of the Mark's American Cuisine in Houston, TX, honored as one of the top ten restaurants in America by the Zagat Guide. (Photo credit: Darren Abate/CIA)
View hi-res image >

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 associate degrees in culinary arts and baking and pastry arts; bachelor’s degree majors in management, culinary science, and applied food studies; 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 48,000 alumni includes leaders in every area of foodservice and hospitality. The CIA has campuses in New York, California, Texas, and Singapore.

# # #

Media Relations

1946 Campus Drive
Hyde Park, NY 12538-1499