HYDE PARK, N.Y. -- It's hard to believe that it has been 70 years since the Culinary Institute of America (CIA), the premier culinary college in the United States, first opened its doors and began sending top-notch chefs into the world to create cutting-edge and comfort food alike for the masses.
The institute was started in 1946 by Connecticut-based attorney Frances Roth along with Katharine Angell, who was married to then-Yale University President James Rowland Angell.
Roth, who was determined to establish a school that would become “the culinary center of the nation, turned her passion into a new vision for educating chefs.
On May 22, 1946, the New Haven Restaurant Institute opened its doors in downtown New Haven with a mission to train returning World War II veterans in the culinary arts, the Institute enrolled 50 students and employed a staff including a chef, a baker, and a dietitian.
In 1947, the college relocated to a 40-room estate near Yale University and changed its name to the Restaurant Institute of Connecticut.
The name was changed to The Culinary Institute of America in 1951 to reflect the student population. In 1972, as it continued to grow with a 1,000 students, the college relocated to its current campus, the former St. Andrew-on-Hudson in Hyde Park, a Jesuit seminary built in 1901.
To understand the institutes's success, all you have to do is turn on the television or visit a fashionable, hip restaurant and you will most likely find a CIA graduate at the helm or in the kitchen.
To further stress the school's importance in the culinary world, more than two dozen CIA graduates have been nominated for James Beard Foundation Awards for 2016.
Today, the school has more than 2,900 students from every state and 30 foreign countries enrolled in the college's associate degree programs in culinary arts and baking and pastry arts, in addition to its bachelor's degree programs in culinary arts management, baking and pastry arts management, and culinary science.
In addition to its main campus in Hyde Park, the college has branch campuses in St. Helena, Calif., San Antonio, Texas, and Singapore.
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