The initial Culinary Enrichment and Innovation Program sponsored by Hormel Foods and taught at the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park was so successful they’ll be starting another one this fall. It’s free to working chefs, so it’s time to get going on your application.
The first group of chefs who participated in the Hormel Foods/CIA’s Culinary Enrichment and Innovation Program (CEIP) had their graduation ceremony at the CIA in Hyde Park last week. They were smart enough to get into the first class before others in the industry figured out what a good deal this was. CEIP provides a blend of lectures, in-kitchen and hands-on learning, with four intense three-day sessions spread over a period of 18 months. If chefs could buy this kind of mid-career training, it would be almost prohibitively expensive for all but a few, especially with the travel expenses involved.
But with Hormel’s sponsorship, all it costs the 16 chefs who are selected for CEIP is their time. The first group of graduates, the class of 2010, felt the experience was more than worth it.
“I didn’t realize how much of an educational experience this was going to be for us,” says Tim Recher, executive chef and director of outlets for the Hilton Alexandria Hotel, Alexandria, VA. “It’s very focused on learning how we can be better chefs, how we can be better executives and what we can do to grow.”
Course modules include global flavor traditions; the ethical responsibilities of preparing foods in a healthful, flavorful way; the principles of leadership and innovation; and menu R&D as a collaboration of culinary arts, consumer behavior, food science and management. Roundtable discussions with high-level foodservice industry leaders and one-on-one feedback from the CIA instructors who conduct this program are other highlights.
You can read the preview of the initial CEIP program we ran in July 2008 at restaurant-hospitality.com/news/cia-for-free. To find out more about the next one and apply to be in it, go to www.ceipinfo.com. The application deadline is June 15, 2010, with the program beginning in October 2010 and concluding in April 2012. The only requirements are that a chef must have at least five years of professional experience and must possess proven culinary and leadership skills. Good luck!