If you’re one of the few you might be thinking ‘so what’, think about this: not since landing an NBA franchise has our city acquired such an esteemed, respected institution. Sure, we’ve attracted wonderful big businesses – AT&T comes to mind, and of course Toyota – but as we’ve witnessed, those kinds of accomplishments come and go, and even sometimes go elsewhere.
The CIA is a highly regarded non-profit institution dedicated to the mission of culinary excellence. We’re not talking about the culinary excellence you find only in “expensive” restaurants, but the kind of expertise discovered in your favorite neighborhood restaurant or the taqueria where you regularly score the best breakfast tacos.
Great leaders inspire, no matter what the genre – and the CIA is known as one of the leaders in the world of excellence when it comes to food and food service.
Whether a chef has been schooled at the CIA or not, the ones who pursue their passion with gusto aspire to the greatness the Culinary Institute of the Americas inspires.
San Antonio’s campus is specifically focusing on the intense flavors and uniqueness of Latin cuisines – regions long overlooked and underrated. As San Antonians, we all know and love Latin cuisine, and now thanks to the CIA, the rest of the world will be exposed to the fabulous foods of these regions.
Perhaps more importantly, the CIA in San Antonio will enable more of our many talented Hispanics to ascend to positions of leadership in the culinary world. A startling statistic at the opening ceremonies stated that upwards of 65% of wait staff and kitchen help are Hispanic in this country. Now, through scholarships, and the emphasis that will be focused on Latin cuisines, the goal is to elevate talent to that of leadership and ownership in the Latin culinary arts.
So yes, thank you to the many city leaders and behind-the-scenes folks who worked so diligently to bring the prestigious Culinary Institute of the Americas to the historic Pearl Brewery in our vibrant multicultural city. Most significantly, we all should salute and thank Kit Goldsbury, the “brainchild”, if you will, of this entire project, whose vision and determination has finally become an astonishing reality… today, October 9, 2010…the day that San Antonio was elevated to the world stage of the culinary arts.
BTW, my friend Ed Tijerina has a wonderful interview with Kit Goldsbury in Sunday’s Taste. To see some of the CIA alum chefs in action check our Chef Johnny Hernandez and Chef Andrew Weissman’s segments here.