First Class of Chefs Graduate with CIA Latin Cuisines Certificate
Nine culinary professionals spent the past 30 weeks at The Culinary Institute of America (CIA), San Antonio learning about the cuisines of Latin America and preparing menus with leading chefs from many of the regions studied. A graduation ceremony on Saturday, October 27, 2012 marked the completion of the first class of the college's Latin Cuisines Certificate Program. Graduates then celebrated with a special luncheon at Nao, the newest restaurant on the CIA's San Antonio campus.
The Latin Cuisines Certificate Program immersed students in an in-depth, hands-on exploration of the unique ingredients, culinary techniques, and cultural traditions that span this rich part of the world. Studies included the cuisines and cultures from throughout the various regions of Central and South America and the Caribbean.
Leading Latin American chefs Pedro Miguel Schiaffino (Peru), Yara Roberts (Brazil), Eric Calderón (Bolivia), and Hubert O'Farrell (Argentina) each spent a week as instructors-in-residence, turning the campus into a culinary conservatory for the study and practice of their respective cuisines. The final two days of each week included special menus prepared by the visiting chef and students and served to customers at Nao.
Keynote speaker Nelson Millán is congratulated by Certified Master Chef David Kellaway, managing director of CIA San Antonio, following Chef Millán's address to the first graduates of the CIA's Latin Cuisines Certificate Program on October 27, 2012. (Photo credit: Darren Abate/CIA)"As the first class to complete this program, you represent a new breed of powerful culinarians who will open windows of great opportunities for yourself and those you will work with on the global stage," keynote speaker Nelson Millán of the San Antonio Country Club told the graduates. "This experience is guaranteed to put you a step ahead of the curve in the food world."
Chef Millán is a native of San Juan, Puerto Rico. He began his culinary career with Hilton Hotels, which allowed him the opportunity to travel the world while honing his culinary skills. He was later a chef at restaurants, hotels, and clubs in Puerto Rico, California, Florida, and Georgia before settling in San Antonio.
The graduation lunch at Nao featured dishes from several of the Latin American cuisines explored during the students' course of studies.
The second cohort of the Latin Cuisines Certificate Program begins in March 2013. Food professionals interested in this specialization that is rapidly gaining popularity on American menus can visit www.ciachef.edu/lccp
Photo 1: The nine
graduates of the initial Latin Cuisines Certificate Program at The Culinary
Institute of America, San Antonio at their graduation on October 27, 2012. (Photo credit: Darren Abate/CIA)
Photo 2: Keynote speaker
Nelson Millán is congratulated by Certified Master Chef David
managing director of CIA San Antonio, following Chef Millán's address
to the first graduates of the CIA's Latin Cuisines Certificate Program
on October 27, 2012. (Photo credit: Darren