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.

More From FoodService Director

Managing Your Business
umass amherst food

Restaurateurs in Amherst, Mass., aren’t happy with UMass Dining .

Registered dietitian Dianne Sutherland told local NBC affiliate WWLP News in May that the high quality of food served on campus means students aren’t visiting neighborhood eateries as frequently as those businesses might like.

“Even our vendors who we work with, they get complaints from the restaurants that students are staying on campus,” she said. “They are already paying for the food; why should they [go] off campus to eat?” More than 19,000 Amherst students are on a meal plan—6,000 of whom live off campus...

Ideas and Innovation
lettuce eat dining

Forced to battle crumbling infrastructure and a constant churn of trends, sometimes the best way to save a foodservice operation is to change it entirely. As Steve Mangan, director of dining at the University of Michigan, puts it, “At some point when your building starts to fail, the cost of maintenance stands out.” But for operators with limited budgets, the challenge is discerning the right time to do so—and how far to take it.

At Jefferson High School, change came because little worked anymore. The Cedar Rapids, Iowa, school’s cafeteria hadn’t been updated since 1957; students...

Managing Your Business
farmer produce

The seeds of farm-to-table 2.0 have officially blown into noncommercial foodservice. Since the movement has caught the attention of the segment during the past decade, operators have broadened agricultural collaborations outside of just supply. As a result, a new strain of the movement has been created that treats farms as allies in events, training and innovative growing systems.

The 500-bed Overlook Medical Center in Summit, N.J., didn’t start out sourcing produce from local farms; instead, it administered its own growing programs, including an on-site garden and honeybee apiary...

Ideas and Innovation
fsd screenshot web

A full year has passed since we redesigned FoodService Director magazine, taking the publication from its longtime tabloid dimensions to a more convenient size and more creative design, and recasting the content to provide actionable, peer-to-peer insights and ideas for FSDs.

Now we are thrilled to announce that we’ve extended the makeover to our website as well. The new FoodServiceDirector.com has been redesigned to be more engaging and even easier to use. We’ve made it faster to find information, from recipes to HR best practices, that will help you run your facility better....

FSD Resources