The Culinary Institute of America: A history

Lawrence Timothy Ryan, University of Pennsylvania


The focus of this study is the history of The Culinary Institute of America—widely regarded as the best school of its kind in the world. This study traces the history of the institution, integrating it with the history of American postsecondary education and suggesting how its institutional history might inform its future directions. I have documented the history of the institution through primary and secondary documents and interviews with key actors associated with the CIA. In doing so, I have explored the significant events, people, organizations, developments, beliefs, attitudes, structures and processes that have shaped the CIA over the past 56 years. I examined the relationships and patterns that have helped to shape the present-day college and suggest how these explain the CIA's phenomenal success and influence its future directions. This study is important for the Institute community because it is the first recording of our history, and as such will help us to better understand our past and how that might influence and guide our future. It matters for postsecondary education generally, as it fills a significant gap in the literature, and may provide insights to others wishing to develop or strengthen their global institutional reputation.

Subject Area

Education history|Higher education

Recommended Citation

Ryan, Lawrence Timothy, "The Culinary Institute of America: A history" (2003). Dissertations available from ProQuest. AAI3084878.