Tag Archive | "CIA-San Antonio"

Culinary Institute’s New Associate Degree Program Begins

The CIA today welcomes its first class of 24 students who begin studies toward their associate degrees in culinary arts at the college’s San Antonio campus. Until today, CIA San Antonio students would earn a certificate in culinary arts, then transfer to the college’s Hyde Park, NY campus to complete their degree.

The new associate degree in San Antonio is based on the same unmatched curriculum the college has been teaching at Hyde Park for decades. Designed to prepare students for a successful career in the dynamic food service and hospitality world, a CIA education provides graduates with a command of both classic and contemporary culinary methods and professional practices.

Luke San Antonio chef Steve McHugh a CIA grad.

San Antonio chefs Steve McHugh, Johnny Hernandez, Doug Horn, Michael Sohocki and Andrew Weissman all earned their associate degrees from the CIA.

Students beginning their studies today will earn their degrees in March 2013. Applications are now being accepted for the next class, which begins November 14, 2011. Prospective students are eligible for significant scholarships to enroll in the associate degree program at the CIA San Antonio.

After receiving their associate degrees, students from the San Antonio campus can earn their bachelor’s degrees after 17 more months of study in Hyde Park.

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Shere’s Blog: Student for a Day at CIA, a Dream Come True

Editor’s note: Shere Henrici, local cooking enthusiast, is passionate about cooking. “It’s the Italian in me — I just love to feed people,” she says. In addition to establishing her San Antonio Supper Club, she is also immersed in the early stages of developing a mobile food truck business. We asked her to be a student for a day at the CIA Thursday and share the experience with us on SavorSA.

By Shere Henrici

Shere Henrici loves to cook, and here begins her student-for-a-day training in the CIA kitchen slicing brioche for a baked custard.

Today was a dream come true experience.  I got to cook in the kitchens of the Culinary Institute of America’s San Antonio campus at the Pearl Complex!

It was Student for a Day, which the school sponsored to promote its new associate degree program starting in August. We joined current students in the school’s 30-week certificate program.

The last time I was in the kitchens there was during a tour I took with my oldest daughter, who at the time thought she might want to attend their Certificate Program. That has since changed.  During that tour I was so excited by the gorgeous professional stoves that, OK, I got weak in the knees: the amazing perfectly stocked pantry, the stainless steel counters. I wanted so much to cook in that kitchen.

At some point I remember starting to giggle and was thrown the “don’t-you-dare-embarrass-me-mother” glare.  So here I was on Thursday, ready to realize my dream.  We were given chef’s coats to wear with CIA logos, huge drag-on-your-shoes aprons and that cute little paper chef’s hat.

We took a tour of their new and much larger facility, were given a lunch of grilled salmon, Israeli couscous and a variety of really nice salads.  So far lunch is my favorite part.

Shere Henrici, left, and others gather to listen to chef Michael Katz begin his lecture in egg cooking.

We were then partnered up with a student who was most likely briefed to not let us chop any of our parts off or light ourselves on fire.  OK, so my apron string perhaps got a little close to the flame on the stove!  I’m not used to a gas stove, so no big deal.

It was a flurry of activity.  The day’s instruction was the basics of proteins.  That means eggs, folks.  I’m thinking “no problem, who doesn’t know how to cook an egg?!”  We were given five “simple” dishes to prepare and then watched as the chef and lecturing instructor, Michael Katz, demonstrated each.  This was important, we needed to follow instructions exactly, no winging it here.

Then we were on our own, working in our teams of course.  The challenge most of the time was not running into the person next to you or the one behind you.  Oh, sort of like a real professional kitchen — imagine that.

We worked for three hours making eggs like crazy.  I had some humbling experiences, like producing the “perfect” over easy egg.  We had to flip it in the pan, no spatula. It must not have any color, too much grease on top and do not even think about having any of the white folded under.  You getting the picture?  Who thought that making breakfast could be so stressful? In all, we learned how to (correctly) boil eggs, make soft and regular scrambled eggs, baked custard and Eggs Benedict (with hollandaise sauce).

It seems I passed, but I’m thinking chef Katz might have cut me some slack.  Just a thought.  It was an awesome day.  Lots of great camaraderie, and as much as I hate to admit it, I learned a lot.

Students had to have their ingredients assembled and ready to go. On the schedule for the day was learning to cook five different egg dishes.

After our cooking demonstrations we had dinner together, as at lunch, family style.  Very nice and casual.  This time we had rice, a perfectly roasted pork loin with a demi-glace sauce, a fresh tossed salad with Italian vinaigrette and shaved Parmesan. For dessert we had the custards we had made for our presentations to the chef Katz.

I had a fantastic day, made new friends and got to cook in a CIA kitchen.  I can cross that one off my list.  I will be looking for other opportunities to come and do this again.

Photographs by Bonnie Walker


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Sodexo Gives $150,000 Scholarship Funds to CIA San Antonio

HYDE PARK, NY — Sodexo has pledged a gift of $150,000 toward scholarships at The Culinary Institute of America, San Antonio, the CIA announced today.

CIA students gather at the opening ceremony at the CIA last year. The new Associates Degree program starts Aug. 22.

The scholarships will provide additional educational opportunities for Hispanic students who aspire to be the food-service leaders of tomorrow. Sodexo is also establishing a new paid externship for students at the San Antonio campus.

The newly established Sodexo Scholarship Fund will provide two scholarships a year for the next three years for qualified Hispanic students. One scholarship is for new students who enroll at the CIA San Antonio. The other will help current students demonstrating financial need, who maintain a minimum grade point average of 3.0.

In addition, Sodexo is creating an externship beginning in 2012, for CIA San Antonio students to complete the required field experience to earn their associate degrees.

“Sodexo is proud to be able to assist talented individuals who otherwise might not be able to access the world-class education The Culinary Institute of America provides,” says Lorna Donatone, chief operating officer and education president for Sodexo.

“This is a win-win for the students and Sodexo, because our company will now have a wider and more diverse group of talented CIA graduates from which to recruit our future leaders.”

Sodexo has a long relationship with the CIA, including participating in the college’s quarterly career fairs to hire students for externships and management positions throughout the company. As part of this gift, CIA Career Services will work with Sodexo to create a customized employee recruitment plan.

The CIA in San Antonio begins classes for students who have enrolled in the new associate degree program on Aug. 22. The school is offering informational sessions throughout this month for students who wish to enroll.

The schedule for these sessions and more information on all the ways you can benefit from a culinary education from this distinguished school, can be found by linking here.

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Enroll Now in the CIA’s New Associate Degree Program

Following the Grand Opening of The Culinary Institute of America’s third campus in San Antonio last October, the CIA is soon to begin its premier associate degree program in culinary arts. Classes at the facility at the Pearl Brewery begin on Aug. 22.

CIA students gather at the opening ceremony at the CIA last year. The new associate degree program starts Aug. 22.

The CIA’s associate degree in culinary arts in San Antonio is based on the proven curriculum provided at the college’s main campus in Hyde Park, NY.

Designed to prepare students for a successful career in the dynamic food service and hospitality industry, a CIA education provides its graduates with a command of both classic and contemporary culinary methods and professional practices.

Recognizing the need for culinary leaders, and to specifically aid Texas residents who wish to attend the CIA San Antonio, a special scholarship has been established—the El Sueño Scholarship.

For more information on the program, enrolling, financial aid and all that the CIA offers, you may attend one of a series of informational sessions going on this month.

The schedule for these sessions and more information on all the ways you can benefit from a prestigious culinary education can be found by linking here.

You may also visit the CIA on Facebook by clicking here.

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Take Culinary ‘Tour’ of South America at CIA Boot Camp

Embark on a five-day culinary excursion from the western coast of Peru, Ecuador, and Chile, across the Andes and Amazon, and ending in Argentina and Brazil in a food enthusiast class at the Culinary Institute of American June 13-17.

Learn to make Brazilian dishes at CIA South America culinary classes here next week. (Here, Brazilian chef Rodrigo Oliveira presents a dish based on pork belly at CIA Latin Flavors conference last fall.)

You can learn about preparing ceviches and employing regional cooking methods as you explore the flavor profiles and seasonings associated with the cuisines of Peru, Chile, Brazil, and Argentina.

  • Develop an appreciation for the ingredients common to several South American countries.
  • Become competent in the pit roasting and grilling traditions used throughout Peru, Chile, Argentina, and Brazil.
  • Familiarize yourself with the cuisines from Brazil’s five principal culinary and geographic regions.
  • Prepare and sample a variety of authentic South American dishes.

The CIA will provide you with two chef’s uniforms (jacket, pants, neckerchief), chef’s toques, side towels, and aprons.  Those with culinary talents at any level will find plenty of valuable information at this workshop.

The class will be from 7 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. each day. The cost is $1,750. To make reservations (and only a limited number may enroll) call 800-888-7850 or Click HERE to register online.





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CIA: Video Podcast with Steve McHugh of Lüke

Check out a new video podcast from the CIA, with Steve McHugh, executive chef of Lüke San Antonio.

During the podcast, McHugh speaks about his experiences working with chef John Besh (owner of Lüke in New Orleans), the process of opening Lüke here in San Antonio, and the myriad of culinary resources that exist within this city.

“San Antonio is a tourist destination for people seeking history and culture,” says McHugh. “Within the last 10 years the city has also become a culinary destination. What visitors find when they eat in the restaurants here is cuisine rich with Latin and German influences.”

Steve McHugh of Luke featured on CIA video podcast.

McHugh partnered with Besh, a renowned New Orleans chef, to open Lüke on San Antonio’s River Walk in 2010.

Thirteen years earlier, he had graduated with his associate degree in culinary arts from The Culinary Institute of America’s flagship campus in Hyde Park, NY—the same program Besh completed in 1992.

McHugh also takes the opportunity to reflect on how his CIA education prepared him for the challenge of working alongside Besh. In addition, he speaks about the CIA expanding its San Antonio offerings to now include a full associate degree program in culinary arts, and what the college’s presence means for the city.

“I think the CIA opening up here in San Antonio is going to do a lot for the city,” says McHugh. “Having these students and graduates available right here to bring into our restaurants is a great asset to all of us.”

The first class for the CIA San Antonio associate degree program starts on August 22, 2011. For more information about the program, or to learn more about upcoming admissions information sessions, visit

To view the video, connect here to YouTube page.

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Brazilian Pork Cracklins (Torresmo)

Pork belly strip is first trimmed, then soaked, smoked and finally fried, says chef Rodrigo Oliveira.

Applying time and expertise to that inexpensive cut of pork called pork belly gives the cook a reward that is not just crisped fat (cracklins) but meaty as well. This recipe was presented recently by Brazilian chef/restaurateur Rodrigo Oliveira at the 2010 Latin Flavors, American Kitchens symposium at the Culinary Institute of America, San Antonio.

Brazilian Pork Cracklins (Torresmo)

11 pounds pork belly, with meat
5 quarts and 2 cups water
1 1/4 cups coarse salt
5 tablespoons baking soda
Lard, for frying, as needed

Wedges of fresh lime

Cut the pork belly into 1-inch thick (or wide) strips. Combine the water, salt and baking soda and stir until dissolved.  Soak the pork belly in the water mixture for 12 hours or overnight.

Set a smoker to 149 degrees and smoke the pork belly for 6 hours. The pork belly should be firm to the touch and lightly browned when it is finished.

Cut the smoked pork belly into 2-inch long pieces; discard the ends and remove any excess fat.  To ensure even cooking, take care to portion carefully to avoid separating the sides of the pork belly.

Heat lard to 302 degrees and fry pork belly pieces for 8 minutes; drain on a wire rack. Increase the temperature of the lard to 374 degrees and fry the pork belly a second time for 3 minutes, until crispy. You can make a slit between the skin and the first layer of meat, too, to ensure the skin gets extra crisp.

Serve warm with lime wedges.

Makes about 40 portions. (Recipe can easily be reduced by half.)

From Rodrigo Oliveira, Mocotó, Rio de Janiero/Culinary Institute of America

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Culinary Institute Opens With Music, Confetti and Great Eats

CIA president Tim Ryan (left) and Pearl Brewery owner Kit Goldsbury celebrate the opening of the new San Antonio culinary facility.

Urban 15 performs before the ribbon-cutting.

The celebration at the Pearl Brewery Saturday was pure San Antonio. The smoky scent of pit barbecue made everyone think of food, while the music, dancers, a festive crowd and even confetti made up the rest of the picture.

Hundreds of San Antonians gathered for the official opening and offered an enthusiastic welcome to the Culinary Institute of America, San Antonio.

The school is quickly becoming “the artistic, the cultural and the intellectual center of San Antonio,” Mayor Julián Castro said. “We’re sizzling right now and this is a great component of it,” with a good deal more to come.

The development of a culinary school at the Pearl Brewery started several years ago when local developer Kit Goldsbury and his business, Silver Ventures, purchased the vacated historic property that encompasses some 22 acres. Goldsbury’s partnering with the CIA was at the epicenter of his vision for the property.

Kit Goldsbury (right) and Mayon Julian Castro pose for a picture while CIA president Tim Ryan (left) and David Kellaway, managing director of the CIA's San Antonio campus, look on.

Goldsbury, clad in his trademark jeans, with a ball cap on his head, was audibly moved as he took the podium on stage. “I thought I was going to cry up there,” he said after the ribbon-cutting.  But he was smiling while he said it. “It’s been quite a journey.”

“It’s a great day,” said Ken Halliday, Silver Ventures’ CEO. “It’s a dream come true … But the most exciting thing is looking around and seeing the whole community turn out to share it.”

Hundreds of San Antonians and guests came to celebrate the CIA opening.

Goldsbury and CIA president Tim Ryan performed the ribbon-cutting ceremony on a long string of red jalapeño peppers to the sound of a loud blast followed by a shower of colorful confetti which  rained down on them. The Urban 15 dance group began the ceremony by leading a parade of CIA graduates in white coats and toques through the stage area.

Ryan credited Goldsbury’s dream, or El Sueño, as it has come to be called, with making the school a reality. But the work is only just beginning.

In today’s cities, Latin workers make up anywhere from 25 to 75 percent of the workforce, yet few of those are owners or chefs, Ryan said. Bringing them through the CIA, under Goldsbury’s scholarship program, will help change that.

At the same time, the San Antonio campus will help “elevate Latin American cuisines to its rightful place with the top cuisines of the world,” he added.

The recent Latin Flavors, American Kitchens symposium stressed that by bringing in chefs from Chile, Brazil, Mexico, and Guadeloupe alongside celebrity chefs, such as Rick Bayless and Mark Miller, to explore traditional Latin cooking techniques and exciting flavors

Rick Bayless' pit-roasted Pork Pibil was hand-shredded and tucked into tacos with pickled red onion.

When the official ceremony ended, lines formed for the tender tacos of spicy Pork Pibil and pickled red onions, a specialty of the Yucatan area of Mexico. The pork, in a marinade of achiote and blood orange juice, was pit roasted all night.

There were also lines for Brazilian churrasco-style meats, including a fire-roasted lamb, as well as Mexican-style black beans from Francisco Javier Cárdenas, ceviche from Cuban-born chef Maricel Presilla and wild mushrooms sautéed with a touch of the Chilean spice, merkén, from Santiago’s Christán Correa.

Visiting chef Francisco Javier Cárdenas from San Miguel de Allende serves up his special Mexican black beans.

Local restaurants also got into the act, with the RK Group offering huitlacoche-stuffed tortillas and Las Ramblas offering lobster chorizo and pickled squid. CIA graduate Johnny Hernandez also offered some treats from his restaurant, La Gloria, which is also located on the Pearl Brewery campus.

One of the biggest treats for the throngs that showed up was a free cooking demonstration from Bayless, author of numerous cookbooks on Mexican cooking and star of the TV series, “Mexico — One Plate at a Time.” Folks packed the tent in which he cooked and then waited patiently as he signed copies of his cookbooks.

But it seemed to be the world of tastes that people enjoyed most. And that’s what the new CIA, San Antonio campus promises to provide for many years to come.

Photographs by John Griffin and Bonnie Walker

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CIA Grand Opening Saturday

The Culinary Institute of America, San Antonio, celebrates its official opening of the newly expanded campus Saturday.

10-foot CIA chef's toque heralds culinary events.

Live entertainment and competitions, a healthy snack competition among high school teams, demonstrations and tastings, as well as exhibits will highlight the daylong event. You may also join the tours, from 11 a.m.- 3 p.m.,  and sample snacks from the outdoor kitchen.

The Pearl Farmers Market will go on as usual, in the breezeway and behind the Full Goods building as usual, from 9 a.m.- 1 p.m. The ribbon-cutting ceremony will begin at 10:30 a.m.  The CIA is in the Pearl Brewery, 312 Pearl Parkway.

Schedule of Events:

9 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. High School Healthy Snack Competition
10:30 a.m. – 11 a.m. Ribbon Cutting Ceremony
11 a.m. – 3 p.m. New Campus Tours
11 a.m. – 2 p.m. Demos and Tastings from Outdoor Kitchen
11:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. Guest Chef Demonstrations and Tastings
9 a.m. – 3 p.m. Live Entertainment
9 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. Food and Beverage Exhibits
9 a.m. – 1 p.m. Pearl Farmers’ Market

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Sign of Progress: CIA Logo Now Graces Front of School

Sign is in place at Culinary Institute Wednesday. Photograph by Elizabeth Johnson-Kossick, CIA.

It took two or three crane trucks, lots of workmen and interested onlookers to get the new, 20-by-20-foot square Culinary Institute of America, San Antonio,  sign up on the newly expanded school this afternoon.

“It looks fabulous,” said one white-coated CIA student, taking photos during the placement. Under a hot sun, the sign-raising also raised some sweat on brows, but a light breeze started up just as the sign was finally being hoisted into the air.

To everyone’s relief, the breeze calmed down, so the sign, with a base made of perforated metal, didn’t try to take off. It was slowly placed in its final position above the front entrance to the San Antonio campus of the CIA.

Classes begin this month. The new school will be celebrated at an opening on Oct. 9.  Check out the CIA website for more information.

Huge sign travels via crane from ground to building.

Sign approaches final positioning over front of the institute.

Photographs by Bonnie Walker

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