The Culinary Institute of America started on the East Coast with its main campus in Hyde Park, N.Y. Then it opened one on the West Coast in Napa Valley’s Greystone. The addition of San Antonio to the mix a few years ago was said to be the Third Coast, situated as it is at the gateway to Central and South America.
Now the school is adding a fourth campus, one with a coast far from the United States. The new school is in Singapore, and it will take on the CIA name in January.
In many ways, the history of the new school is reminiscent of the way in which the San Antonio campus began, says Mark Erickson, vice president for continuing education.
In San Antonio, the school began as the dream of Kit Goldsbury, who owned the Pearl Brewery and wanted to see a world-class cooking school on the site that would train students from the area. So, he started the school with the help and guidance of the CIA, which eventually assumed ownership.
In Singapore, the school was also started with CIA leadership. The difference was the school’s deal was with the Singapore government, Erickson said. Yet, the school was created with the goal of providing educational opportunities for the country’s students. The CIA was one of a select group of schools to be invited to the Asian country. Others included John Hopkins and Cornell.
In the way that the San Antonio campus is the center for Latin American culinary research, the Singapore branch will focus on the diverse food styles of Asia, from India to Malaysia, he said.
The Singapore project began about four years, around the same time as work in San Antonio. The reason the school didn’t come aboard sooner, Erickson said, is because some of the structure of the program was subject to the ways of the government. And politics anywhere can take time.
Yet all seems on track for the Singapore project, which has many on the school’s staff excited with the possibilities that await.
According to CIA president Tim Ryan, when celebrity chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten wants to change up his menu, where does he go? Singapore.
The same excitement can be felt about Saturday’s opening of the new facility on the San Antonio campus and the expansion of programs in the coming year.
It’s a time for growth for the school, and that can only mean good things for foodies, regardless of which campus is close at hand.