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A history of The Culinary Institute of America: 1976-86

09 January, 2023
A history of The Culinary Institute of America: 1976-86.

The CIA had been home to student-run restaurants for years, but in 1982, Ryan and James Heywood, who’d graduated from the school in its New Haven days, took on a project that epitomised the new pride in and focus on American food with the development and launch of American Bounty restaurant which, as its name suggests, served a menu culled from American ingredients and traditions. And, in 1993, the Clinton Administration enlisted CIA graduate Walter Scheib, with a mandate to serve American food, even at important functions and to visiting dignitaries, a departure from the resolutely French cuisine previously served there.

The school also forged vital relationships with a few key figures in the New York City restaurant community who helped students secure positions in well-regarded French kitchens, where chefs had previously been sceptical of the capabilities of American whisks. As the young yanks proved their chops, the barriers between the old French guard and the new American upstarts began to dissolve and the possibilities for American food and American chefs seemed boundless.

Perhaps the icing on the cake was a global triumph: In his work with the American Culinary Federation, President Metz had also been a world-class culinary competitor and in 1984, a team from the CIA earned the International Culinary Olympics gold medal in the prestigious hot food category; the team included Dr Ryan, who would go on to become the school’s youngest president.

The Culinary Institute of America now cast a shadow across not just the country, but the world.

A history of The Culinary Institute of America: 1966-76.

A history of The Culinary Institute of America: 1966-76

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