20 Most Influential: The Culinary Institute of America

The CIA provides the tools operators need to meet customer demand for healthier foods and more authentic world cuisines.

The Culinary Institute of America
Hyde Park, N.Y.

No educational institution has done more in recent years to provide guidance for those in non-commercial foodservice than The Culinary Institute of America. Scores of operators have praised the CIA for its efforts to simultaneously provide the tools they need to meet customer demand for healthier foods and more authentic world cuisines and raise awareness of the quality of foodservice found in these segments.

The Worlds of Healthy Flavors Conference offers menu ideas revolving around wellness and world cuisines for both restaurateurs and non-commercial operators. Healthy Flavors, Healthy Kids has for the past two years gathered a select group of school foodservice professionals to talk about wellness and learn from professional chefs ways to make menus healthier.

“The role of the chef has become increasingly important in non-commercial foodservice,” says Tim Ryan, Ph.D., president of the CIA, in explaining the organization’s new programming. “Continuing education is one way we can support that role.”

Last year, the CIA also collaborated with FoodService Director to create The Goldies, an awards program that honors best practices in high-volume foodservices in four categories.
Most recently, the institution has also begun to educate its students in the opportunities that exist in non-commercial foodservice management. Food Management in the Healthcare Setting, a one-semester course designed for students who are seeking a four-year degree, was created 14 months ago. It exposes students to hospital foodservice, including on-site work with six local healthcare facilities. The class, which was designed for a maximum of 25 students, already has a waiting list for future semesters.


Foodservice Director has undertaken a bold initiative by identifying people who we believe are having the biggest impact on non-commercial foodservice. Our list may surprise you and should certainly intrigue you. Our honorees have backgrounds as varied as their personalities. They range from the father of the modern-day food truck to the wife of a sitting president. They include operators and suppliers, chefs and consultants, CEOs and civil servants. There are traditionalists and there are mavericks. Well-known names share space with hot newcomers. In all, 17 people, two groups of individuals and one institution compose the list. It’s time to meet FSD’s 20 Most Influential.