Current Students: Sharing their day-to-day lives at the CIA.
Chelsea Hughes is originally from a small town located in the Sierra Foothills of Northern California that is focused on eating natural, organic, and local foods, as well as catering to those with food allergies and special diets. Living in this health-conscious town helped with her transition to a gluten-free diet when she discovered that she was severely gluten-intolerant three years ago. Rather than becoming discouraged about having to understand and learn how to bake gluten-free goods, Chelsea saw it as a challenge to overcome and has thrown herself into researching and experimenting with gluten-free baking since then. She is now applying her knowledge of gluten-free food at The Culinary Institute of America where she is a current second-term Baking & Pastry Arts student at the CIA's California Campus. Chelsea shares some of her experiences from school and recipes on her blog, The Celiac Baker.
Katie Fenton (known as Fen) grew up in the small town of North Haven, Connecticut. Aside a devoted passion for food, writing was what seemed an arbitrary dream to grasp. After graduating with an associate degree in the Culinary Arts Program at the CIA, Katie believed that there was a bigger place to fill in this ever-changing food world. A member of the first graduating class in the Applied Food Studies Major, Fen discovered a true calling in food writing--an adventure well worth setting on for. Fen is also a writer for the school newspaper, La Papillote, a passionate blogger, and an avid user of an antique typewriter in spare time. Fen hopes to cast a shadow of inspiration upon readers craving to learn more about a life of food. Check out Fen's blog: accordingtofen.weebly.com
Hello, my name is Becky Rodriguez, and I am so excited that I have the opportunity to share my story while studying here at The Culinary Institute of America. I am a Baking and Pastry student, and upon completing my associate degree, I plan on going for my Bachelor's Degree in Management or CulinaryScience with a concentration in Advanced Concepts in Baking and Pastry. I am a transfer student, and previously studied at a university in Berea, OH; but I spent my life growing up in Brunswick, OH. Along with baking, I have many other interests. I have played piano for fifteen years, saxophone for ten years; competed in volleyball, basketball, soccer, and softball all from a young age; and I love art, especially when I get to paint and sketch. I currently work at the CIA as a facility assistant for the Student Commons. I am also a tour guide, a volunteer for the welcome team, participate in intramural sports, and now recently a blogger. A long-term goal of mine is to own my own bakery/café, so I can share my love of food and creativity with my customers. I am a very passionate person; I love to learn and grow with every piece of knowledge I obtain, and from the stressful to exciting moments in and out of the kitchen, I love every minute of what I do.
Emilio is originally from Puebla, Mexico but grew-up in Spartanburg, SC. He is currently in the Associate Degree Program studying Culinary Arts and plans on completing the bachelor’s degree program at the CIA as well. Having grown up in a family that loved to cook and dine, Emilio has always had a passion for food but did not realize that it was his true “calling” until after having spent a year at a different school. What attracted Emilio to the CIA was both the reputation as well as the high-quality education and level of professionalism. Apart from cooking Emilio enjoys reading, skiing and is a staff writer for La Papillote.
Kristin is originally from New Jersey. She earned her associate degree in Baking and Pastry Arts and was part of the first Culinary Science class. She graduated with her bachelor's degree in 2014. Kristin also participated as a member of the Lady Steels Intercollegiate Volleyball Team, held a seat on the Dean’s Council, and was involved in other school sponsored activities. Before the CIA, Kristin attended another college until deciding to follow her passions and study food. She was always fascinated by math and science but looked for ways to combine them with her love of art and food. It was not until TV shows such as “Good Eats” with Alton Brown that she discovered how scientific food actually was.
Leah came here because she loved food. It was a simple reason that she has clung to during her time here as a student. Loving food includes an appreciation, knowledge, respect, communication, and education of anything related to food. As a senior in the Bachelor's program, she has had three rich years to experience the ups and downs of CIA. There have been far more ups than there have been downs, and that's why she sticks around. As a blogger, she wants to share both the good and bad because honesty is the best policy. If you ask her about the best decision she ever made she'll tell you, "choosing CIA."
Previous Bloggers, Now Proud CIA Grads!
Timothy graduated with his Bachelor's Degree in Culinary Arts Management in early 2015. While growing up in the sun of Santa Clara, CA, he never wanted to be anything but a Chef. Making the decision to come to the CIA was only a matter of time.
After spending almost three years at the CIA and completing his externship at Google Headquarters in Mountain View, CA, his love for food and cooking has only grown. Between the kitchen, classes, and working as a tour guide for the school he has realized that just cooking is not his only calling. Utilizing the bachelor’s program as a stepping stone, he is looking into the service and management side of the industry including special event planning.
Morgan graduated from the Baking and Pastry Program at the CIA. She's originally from Virginia, but most recently she's lived in Harrisburg, PA. Attending culinary school was always her dream, but she took care of "plan b" first by getting a Business degree from Washington College in Chestertown, MD in 2012. She is passionate about fair trade ingredients, all things chocolate, and the art of cake decorating. To help save money for school she began a small wedding and specialty cake business out of her very generous parents' kitchen. Check out her website here for more info!
Meet Stephanie! She is originally from central Pennsylvania. She earned her Bachelor's Degree in Culinary Arts Management in July 2014. She found her passion in food media after the fact, having already begun life at the CIA under the sole idea that she just really liked food and everything to do with it. With the right mindset, plenty of setbacks, and a knack for taking the road less traveled, she landed her extern at the now defunct San Francisco Chronicle’s test kitchen. There, she confirmed her desire to move in the direction of a media based career in food including food writing, recipe testing, and food styling.
To be focused in food media as much as Stephanie is, means to have been involved in every aspect available to her on campus. She has held such positions as Editor-in-Chief of the tri-weekly school newspaper, LaPapillote, worked in the publishing department, and continued her path with venture into student blogging.