Layla Saif, Head Garde Manger and Expeditor, The Hop, Beacon, NY

Layla Saif, CIA alumni, Culinary Arts

Degree: Associate in Occupational Studies Major: Culinary Arts Campus: Hyde Park, NY Layla Saif didn’t know what she wanted to be when she grew up. Her mother tried to help out by making suggestions. She proposed being a writer, the proud profession of Layla’s poet father and many of her aunts and uncles, but the idea didn’t seem to fit. She suggested Layla become a piano player, but … [Read more...]

Evan Bollers ’14, Junior Food Scientist, Signature Brands LLC

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Degree: Bachelor of Professional Studies Major: Culinary Science Campus: Hyde Park, NY Ever wonder how new foods get developed and who’s behind these innovative formulations and recipes? Oftentimes, there’s a CIA graduate involved—one like Evan Bollers. After graduating in 2014 with his bachelor’s degree in culinary science, Evan went straight to work for Ocala, FL-based Signature … [Read more...]

Carlton McCoy ’06, Master Sommelier, The Little Nell

Carlton McCoy ’06

Degree: BPS Major: Culinary Arts Hometown: Washington, DC The Value of Mentorship He’s a master sommelier and respected wine professional, and has recently been named to Forbes magazine’s prestigious “30 Under 30” list in the Food category. Clearly, Carlton McCoy has found success in the food and beverage world, and credits his many mentors along the way for his … [Read more...]

Jason Pfeifer ’06

Jason Pfeifer ’06, CIA Alumni

Degree: Associate in Occupational Studies Major: Culinary Arts Campus: Hyde Park, NY Hometown: Raleigh, NC Blazing a Trail in the Food World The list of chefs Jason Pfeifer has worked for reads like a “Who’s Who” of culinary giants—Michael Anthony at Gramercy Tavern, Thomas Keller and Jonathan Benno ’93 at Per Se, René Redzepi at Noma. Now he’s joined his own prestigious … [Read more...]

Adam Altnether ’07

Adam Altnether ’07

Degree: Bachelor of Culinary Arts Management Major: Culinary Arts Campus: Hyde Park, NY Hometown: St. Louis, MO The Fast Track to Success One look at Adam Altnether’s accelerated career track, and it’s easy to see why he’s been honored by Forbes magazine as part of its 2014 “30 Under 30” list in the Food category. As the co-owner and executive chef of Craft Restaurants in St. … [Read more...]

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...]