International Chefs

The CIA attracts students from around the globe. They come to our campuses in search of the best culinary education in the world—and that is exactly what they receive. While it is always hard to leave home to pursue a dream in an unfamiliar place, most CIA international students find a warm welcome when they get here. After graduation, many return home, bringing their new skills and exciting culinary vision to their native land. Others remain to continue their education in some of the top restaurants in the U.S. A number of our alumni are highlighted here. All are successful and glad they chose to come to the CIA.

Sean Kahlenberg ’04, Lecturing Instructor—Culinary Arts, The Culinary Institute of America

Traveling the world as a professional chef wasn’t in Sean Kahlenberg’s original plans while he was growing up in the small town of Wollongong, Australia. “I was an athlete, and when I was 16 I actually bought my own gym,” Sean recalls. “And then my friend and I bought two more.” At around that same time, however, an opportunity to apprentice at a local diner came up. “Some friends were running … [Read more...]

Prateek Sadhu ’11, Senior Sous Chef, Leela Palace Udaipur

Degree: Advanced Career Experience (ACE) Major: Culinary Arts Campus: Hyde Park, NY Hometown: Faridabad, Haryana, India From Foreign to Familiar When Prateek Sadhu ’11 traveled halfway across the globe to study at the CIA’s Hyde Park campus, his family was concerned. If a family member moves to another town, let alone another continent, there is always a fear that they will never come … [Read more...]

Kishi Arora ’04, Owner and Founder of Foodaholics

Can you stand blindfolded, smell a food, and then accurately list the ingredients found within? Kishi Aroora can. Maybe that's the reason she left her studies at the Shri Ram College of Commerce in India to attend the CIA in Hyde Park, NY. And maybe it's why she graduated with an AOS degree in baking and pastry arts with high honors and the International Student Endowed Scholarship. Whatever the … [Read more...]

William Wilo Benet ’85 Owner and Chef of Pikayo

When Wilo Benet first began his career, he played the drums to relax, enjoyed a round of golf on a sunny day, and took photographs of nature just for fun. But now that he is the head of a growing culinary empire, those three pastimes have become part of his work. A golf outing almost always includes talk of business ventures. His photos of wildlife have been commissioned by a local resort to … [Read more...]

Sonia Arias ’00, Owner and Executive Chef of Jaso

In success, as in many things, timing often plays a major role. You could say that Sonia Arias is blessed with impeccable culinary timing. From the instant she and Jared Reardon met and fell in love while BPS students at the CIA to the moment they opened the doors of their new restaurant, Jaso, they have made well-timed and well-thought-out career choices that are sure to lead to success. While … [Read more...]

Richard Sandoval ’91, Owner of Modern Mexican Restaurants

As chef and owner of Modern Mexican Restaurants, Richard Sandoval brings the vibrant flavors of Mexico to the world. The international restaurant group has more than a dozen locations in the United States, Mexico, and the United Arab Emirates. Growing up in Mexico City, the young Richard and his family would gather at his grandmother's table each Sunday for large, lively meals. He would often … [Read more...]

Enrique Olvera ’99, Owner of Grupo Enrique Olvera

Enrique Olvera ’99 is an international renowned chef and owner of Grupo Enrique Olvera. His restaurants include the award winning Pujol and three Eno gourmet coffee shops in Mexico City, Maiz de Mar in Playa de Carmen, Moxi at Hotel Matilda in San Miguel de Allende, and Cosme in the Flatiron district of New York City—his first restaurant outside of Mexico—which was design by the architect Alonso … [Read more...]