Lulu McAllister ’12, Wine Director, Restaurant Nopa

Lulu McAllister

Certificate: Accelerated Wine and Beverage Campus: St. Helena, CA Hometown: San Francisco, CA All Roads Lead Back to San Francisco Lulu McAllister’s journey to becoming wine director for the critically acclaimed San Francisco restaurant Nopa took her from northern California to Texas Hill Country and back again. Lulu grew up in a family where food was very important. “My mom went to … [Read more...]

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

Prateek Sadhu ’11

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...]

Victoria Nodarse ’08, Chef, Chef Allen’s Consulting


Certificate: ACAP Campus: St. Helena, CA Hometown: Miami, FL The Best-Laid Plans… Victoria Nodarse knew from a very young age that she wanted to own a restaurant. So, with her family’s encouragement, she pursued a bachelor’s degree in marketing from Barry University in Miami Shores, FL and a master’s in hospitality management from Florida International University with that goal in … [Read more...]

Meg Santoni ’12, Catering Chef, Urban Kitchen Group


Certificate: ACAP Campus: St. Helena, CA Hometown: San Diego For the Love of Science How did a pre-med student with an interest in science and the inner workings of the human body come to study culinary arts at the CIA? For Meg Santoni ’12, cooking was a way to help defuse the stress of difficult classes in her chosen field of study at San Diego State University. “I found reading … [Read more...]

Dr. Julia Nordgren ’13

Dr. Julia Nordgren ’13

Certificate: ACAP Campus: St. Helena, CA Hometown: Guilford, CT Employing Food as Medicine In recent years, pediatrician Julia Nordgren began to notice an alarming trend. More and more children were encountering health problems usually found in adults and the elderly. “I was part of a larger practice as a general pediatrician for eight years and I saw so many instances of weight problems … [Read more...]

Jaime Lepe ’08, Catering Manager, Mexico Lindo and Tropical Mexican

Jaime Lepe ’08

Certificate: Accelerated Culinary Arts Program (ACAP) Hometown: Ontario, CA Building the Skills to Help the Family Business Thrive Jaime Lepe, Jr. ’08 grew up in the restaurant business. His father is president and treasurer of JML Mexican Restaurant, Inc. in Pomona, CA, which owns Mexico Lindo and Tropical Mexico restaurants. “Every day after school, I would be at the restaurant until … [Read more...]

Epsilon Sellas ’10, Culinary Development Assistant, Ruth’s Hospitality Group, Inc.

Epsilon Sellas ’10

Certificate: Accelerated Culinary Arts Program Major: Culinary Arts Campus:  St. Helena, CA Hometown: Winter Park, FL Education is the Key Epsilon Sellas’ desire for a culinary career was sparked by the requisite cooking class component of her hospitality major at the University of Central Florida. “I really liked working in the kitchen but knew I needed additional education,” she … [Read more...]

Angelo Sosa ’97, Executive Chef/Co-owner

Angelo Sosa ’97

Degree: Associate of Occupational Studies Major: Culinary Arts Campus: Hyde Park, NY Hometown: Durham, CT Executive Chef/Co-owner Añejo Tequilaria y Restaurante Angelo Sosa is executive chef/co-owner of Manhattan restaurant Añejo Tequilaria y Restaurante and Poppy Den, an Asian Gastropub, at Tivoli Village in Las Vegas. In March 2013, Sosa closed his popular Manhattan midtown spot, … [Read more...]

Christina Olivarez ’05, Executive Chef, Diego MGM Grand

From Cooking Secrets to Chopped

Degree: Associate of Occupational Studies Major: Culinary Arts Campus: Hyde Park, NY Hometown: San Jose, CA From Cooking Secrets to Chopped Occasionally, and fortuitously, a passion in life is revealed in one’s formative years. For Christina Olivarez ’05, executive chef at Diego in the MGM Grand Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, NV, hers was awakened as a young girl watching Saturday … [Read more...]

Corey Fair ’04, President/CEO, Butcher & Baker

Corey Fair '04

Degree: AOS Major: Culinary Arts Hometown: Fort Worth, TX Home on the Range…and in the Kitchen Growing up on a wild game ranch with a thriving vegetable garden, Corey Fair knew all about sustainability before the term became a media catch phrase. “We raised game and hunted every day,” says Corey. “We didn’t have a lot, so the garden provided vegetable and herbs. The first thing I … [Read more...]