Friday, August 8, 2014

Blood, Sweat, and Tears

Hello Readers, from me to you, I hope you enjoy a look inside the Culinary World!
-Timothy Fisher 

What does it truly mean to be a CIA student? 

It's an interesting question. Honestly, it's one that I feel never gets honestly or completely answered; whether it be because it takes awhile to really get it all down or that people just don't want to get into the nitty-gritty of the answer. Either way, the media has truly hyped up and glamorized our industry and now more than ever before has there been an overwhelming surge of prospective students looking to join our ranks at the CIA before entering the industry. 

There is quite a lot to consider before joining us that I would like to talk about, however this is not meant to be a deterrent, no, this is an account of what it takes.

Literally or metaphorically, blood, sweat, and tears go into every single day of what we do at the CIA. You might wake up for class at five in the morning or not until noon, but you will be in class for anywhere from six to eight to ten hours a day, five days a week. The expectation is that you will be ready for class early and stay late, your uniform has to be both clean and pressed, your knives absolutely must be sharp, formulas and ratios need to be memorized, your timeline and game-plan for every day is going to be inspected. We run year round, our summer break is only three weeks long with our holiday break lasting only two weeks. A three-day weekend is a gift to us.

There will be days where you leave the kitchen feeling defeated. There will be nights when you walk out onto Anton Plaza feeling like the king of the world as you look over the Hudson river. Every day your production will be evaluated, and you will be given constructive criticism that sometimes you genuinely do not want to hear.  You won’t always be told when you are doing things right, but then again... I’ve come to realize not being told you're doing anything wrong is quite a good thing. I can't even begin to explain how many times you will have to swallow your pride and say those two magic words, "Yes Chef".  Your feet will hurt, your back and body will ache, your passion and performance will be questioned weekly, the stress will become a reality.  

You will bleed, you will sweat, you will cry.

But you are not alone.

Throughout all of it, at the CIA, you will develop some of the most prodigious relationships imaginable. Your bad days might be some of their best, they'll be there to pick you up when you're down, watch you cry tears of joy when you succeed, and you better believe they will look to you when they drop the ball.  These people you meet will become friends, and then colleagues as you battle through the trenches, suffer defeat, and taste sweet victory over the course of the program.  You will dream up business plans and create possible futures with these people. You will experience some of the most amazing feelings in the world culminating in the moment you walk across that stage when you hear your name called to the sound of your friend's cheers. 

You will have something most students won't ever encounter during the educational process.  The Culinary Institute of America is the only residential college in the world that is solely focused on the Culinary and Baking & Pastry Arts. It doesn't matter if you want to be the next Top Chef, a three Michelin-Star restaurateur, the Wine and Beverage director for the Four seasons, or a Food-Network star. 

We all speak the same language: Passion  

It's something I can try to explain but it is something you will have to experience for yourself.  To truly understand it, you have to live it every day, through the blood, sweat, and tears.

I've asked a lot of my friends and colleagues if everything we go through for what we love to do is really worth it, if they would do it all over again.

Every single one answered the same way.  



  1. I like CIA and any day I read your articals I get motivated I wish to join this college.

    1. Brenda, that's great! Have you visited our website and requested more information?