Viraj Borkar ’10

Viraj Borkar ’10

Degree: Associate of Occupational Studies Major: Culinary Arts Campus: Hyde Park, NY Hometown: Pune, India Passion, Persistence, and Patience When Viraj Borkar ’10 was a young boy growing up in Pune, India, the thought of a future in food industry was simply unfathomable. Suffering from stomach issues that required strict dietary restrictions, food would inevitably put Viraj on a … [Read more...]

Michael Ferraro ’02, Executive Chef

Michael Ferraro ’02

Degree: Associate in Occupational Studies Major: Culinary Arts Campus: Hyde Park, NY Hometown: Stamford, CT A Lifelong Passion Chef Michael Ferraro has always loved food. That interest started early in his childhood and revolved around his family’s kitchen table. With Southern Italian parents, he was exposed to an authentic home cooking experience that often blended Italian and … [Read more...]

Gretchen Thomas ’05

Gretchen Thomas ’05

Degree: Bachelor of Professional Studies Major: Culinary Arts Management Campus: Hyde Park, NY Hometown: Owensburg, KY Speaking the Language of Wine If there’s one thing Gretchen Thomas has learned in her career as a wine professional, it’s that when it comes to wine, people around the world speak the same language. Her job as wine and spirits director for Barcelona Wine Bar has … [Read more...]

Greg Vernick ’05, Chef/Owner, Vernick Food & Drink

Greg Vernick ’05

Degree: Associate in Occupational Studies Major: Culinary Arts Campus: Hyde Park, NY Hometown:Cherry Hill, NJ Great Food, Pure and Simple Greg Vernick has been around food all his life. His mother ran Haddonfield Diet Shop in New Jersey, and his grandfather owned Philadelphia’s Friedman’s Market, a butcher shop and market inherited from Greg’s great-grandfather. So it was only … [Read more...]

Carolina Gomez ’11, Chef/Owner, Three Little Pigs Charcuterie & Salumi

Carolina Gomez ’11

Degree: Bachelor of Professional Studies Major: Culinary Arts Management Campus: Hyde Park, NY Hometown: Washington, DC Taking Care of Business Students often make valuable connections at The Culinary Institute of America, and that was especially true for Carolina Gomez. That’s where she met fellow student Jason Story ’11, who would not only become her husband, but her business … [Read more...]

Kamal Grant ’04, Chef/Owner, Sublime Doughnuts

Kamal Grant ’04

Degree: Associate in Occupational Studies Major: Baking & Pastry Arts Campus: Hyde Park, NY Hometown: Marietta, GA No Ordinary Doughnut Kamal Grant took a big chance with his business plan for his small bakery in Atlanta’s Westside neighborhood. The chef/owner of Sublime Doughnuts refused to serve the expected jelly, chocolate, or sugar varieties. Instead, Kamal held fast to his … [Read more...]

Peter Ziegelmeier ’00, Private Yacht Chef/Author

Peter Ziegelmeier ’00

Degree: Associate in Occupational Studies Major: Culinary Arts Campus: Hyde Park, NY Hometown: Lynbrook, NY Cooking on a the Waves Peter Ziegelmeier has what some people would call a dream job. As a private yacht chef, he is on call and ready to grab his knives for chartered voyages on the high seas. His clientele ranges from celebrities to titans of industry to media moguls—all of whom … [Read more...]

Amanda Freitag ’89, Judge, Food Network Chopped

Amanda Freitag ’89

It’s hard to believe that a Food Network Chopped judge and runner up on The Next Iron Chef could fail her first practical exam at the CIA, but it’s true. Standing in front of the chicken she was supposed to butcher and bone, Amanda froze. She couldn’t remember a thing! Right after the exam, she went and got 20 chickens and practiced butchering them in the dormitory kitchen until she could do … [Read more...]

Denis Callinan ’95, PC III, Executive Chef of Student Dining, The College of William and Mary

Denis Callinan ’95, PC III

Degree: Associate in Occupational Studies, CIA ProChef Certification Major: Culinary Arts Campus: Hyde Park, NY Hometown: Hopewell Junction, NY Taking Student Dining to the Next Level Residential dining has traditionally had a bad reputation. Lately, however, there has been a burgeoning nationwide movement to improve cafeteria fare. For an example of a vibrant, fresh, and delicious menu, … [Read more...]

Kyle Shadix ’96, CRC, MS, RD Pepsico Corporate Executive Research Chef

Kyle Shadix ’96

Degree: Associate in Occupational Studies Major: Baking and Pastry Arts Campus: Hyde Park, NY Hometown: Bremen, GA On the Road to Discovery Culinary arts, nutrition, and food science are coming together in ways that help innovative chefs create more flavorful, healthful, and delicious foods. Today, these chefs are found not only in the kitchens of the most cutting-edge restaurants, but … [Read more...]