Thursday, July 31, 2014

Culinary Research and Development Final Project


The food product development environment is dynamic and challenging and has become increasingly cross-disciplinary, technical, and global in scope. Research and Development teams need to follow a logical, structured, and evidence-based process while remaining adaptable and creative. Understanding how to work with and effectively articulate solutions to chefs, scientists, marketing experts, pilot plant managers/technicians, operators, and upper level management is part of being an effective and successful product developer. This Culinary R&D class project provides students with an opportunity to work in a team, on a real world challenge, through the product development process from ideation to prototype development.

Student teams were given “real world project briefs” that provide an R&D scenario as the context to explore principles of product development. Teams were given specific calorie, sodium, cost, consumer segments and other parameters and asked to address the following challenges and opportunities as part of the product development process:

·         People undergoing cancer treatments have significant dietary challenges and often find it difficult to maintain their necessary caloric intake during treatment. They often feel an aversion to certain aromas from ingredients such as garlic, onions, etc. Develop a product that meets their nutritional and sensory needs.
·         A food pantry would like to offer patrons more gluten-free options. Develop a gluten-free muffin that contains a half serving of fruit, and includes nuts/whole grains. The product will be par-baked in an off-site facility, frozen, distributed, and then finished baking in the regional food pantries.
·         Develop a vegetable and/or fruit based snack food that is savory, low in sodium, and low in calories from fat for school vending machines. The school district wants your team to develop two savory prototypes that have distinctly different flavor profiles and utilizes crops grown in New York State.
·         Create a healthy entrĂ©e school lunch item. It should be a “one pot dish” that can be frozen or thawed without negatively impacting quality. You should be able to serve it hot or cold.
·         Health-conscious consumers are looking to decrease their animal protein and sodium intake without sacrificing those savory flavors. You must develop a mushroom-based condiment that is stable at refrigeration temperatures for two weeks. The spread will be primarily used on sandwiches and with crackers.
·         An ice cream company wishes to revitalize its sales by offering a lower calorie option. Develop an ice cream that contains 15% less fat than the standard base composition for this company.

At the conclusion of this project, two prominent CIA alumni and CIA’s Director of Consulting kindly volunteered their time to serve as judges for the projects. Thank you to Jorge Collazo ’82, Head Chef for the NYC Department of Education, Kyle Shadix ’97, Corporate Executive Research Chef for PepsiCo Global R&D Beverage, and Ted Russin, MSc, Director of CIA Consulting.


Students who completed this project are pursuing their Bachelor’s Degree in Culinary Science. Learn more about this program.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Cook It In Your Mind First

by CIA Chef-Instructor John Reilly '88

When you first learn to cook it's all about following a recipe. As you grow and develop into a cook, you will start to rely on techniques, methods and ratios; you will put the recipes away and prepare dishes as an informed and educated cook.

Before you start to cook, you must be able to visualize the process.  You must map it out, strategize and plan.  It is at this point that you can go forward with great courage and passion.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Stars and Stripes 2014

By Ronnie Genee, Director for Residence Life
Every year The Culinary Institute of America holds its annual Stars and Stripes Weekend. This year we kicked off on Friday, June 27 with a movie in the new Marriot Pavilion. We showed Captain America: Winter Soldier and then sipped root beer floats outside on Heinz Plaza. (Appropriate, now that sassafras and other beverage-themed plants are growing on the plaza.)


It was a great start, but there was a lot more in store for Saturday and Sunday!

On Saturday, we treated the Hudson Valley to an amazing fireworks display that lasted over 20 minutes. Not to end the excitement early, we continued the evening with a DJ and dance on Anton Plaza from 10 PM – 1 AM. But what’s a CIA event without food? We served brownie sundaes on the plaza at midnight.



Just in case students didn’t have enough celebration, we also held our annual Stars and Stripes Block Party on Sunday from 12 -4 PM on our soccer field. With several clubs, organizations, and residence halls participating creating their own booths. We had field games, tie dye shirts by SPICE, eating contests, Stars and Stripes sunglasses, food tastings, and refreshments. Wait…there was more…we even brought to campus a stunt jump, water obstacle, sign making shop, and funnel cakes. We are also very grateful to have had the support of Smokehouse 220 for their generous support. They helped bring an amazing BBQ to the block party grilled by the RA staff of Hudson Hall.


Over the entire weekend, more than 600 students came to the various events. Everyone was excited to be with each other and celebrate an early Independence Day. And none of it would have been possible without the support of Student Activities, Recreation and Athletics, Residence Life, SPICE, and the leadership of the Stars and Stripes committee:  Elizabeth Zmarlicki – Student Activities Coordinator
Meka Harris – Resident Director of Rosenthal Hall
Ronnie Genee – Residence Director of Hudson Hall.

As always we look forward to next year’s Stars and Stripes and hope to see you there next time!

Check out our facebook photo album from Stars & Strips 2013.