Historic women of the cia

BY: April Johnson, AOS Culinary

March is National Women’s History Month, where we take the time to remember the great women who have changed the world for the better.  Two of these women are Frances Roth and Katharine Angell, two powerhouse women who founded a school in New Haven, Connecticut that over the years would grow to become one of the best culinary schools in the nation.

Frances Roth was born in April of 1896. When she was 17, she attended law school at New York University. In 1925, Roth became the first female to pass the bar exam and be admitted to the Connecticut Bar Association. From 1925 to 1941 Frances served as the Assistant City Attorney in New Haven. In 1944, Roth’s daughter Norma also passed the bar exam, making them the first mother- daughter members of the Connecticut Bar Association. I had the opportunity to interview Nicole Semenchuk, the Archives and Digital Collections Specialist at the Hyde Park Campus. Semenchuk said, “She had everything going against her.  She was a single mother after her divorce, and just the time period she lived in was harder for her accomplish things with the way women were viewed at the time… she was very smart and capable.” In 1945, the New Haven Restaurant Association sought out Frances Roth to head up a culinary school in New Haven, and Roth accepted.

Katharine Angell was born in 1890 in Charlotte, North Carolina. She graduated from Queens College in Charlette and from 1910 to 1911 she attended Finch School in New York City. Katharine had six children with her first husband Paul Woodman who died in 1930. Katharine married James Rowland Angell, the president of Yale, in 1932. Semenchuk describes Angell as, “the social outgoing, funny hostess, who was more so the fundraiser for the school and was a huge part of the community.” In 1946 her and Frances Roth founded the New Haven Culinary Institute, which would become the Culinary Institute of America.

Frances Roth served as administrative director from 1946 to 1966. Semenchuk said that the role of administrative director is similar to the role of president. Angell served on the Board of Trustees as president and chairman from 1946 to 1966. Roth and Angell worked hard to make their culinary school run effectively and provide returning war veterans the proper skill set to get a job in the restaurant industry. Angell created the school’s first financial aid program, as well as helped start a culinary reference library for the students of the New Haven Culinary Institute. Due to the heavy promotion of the school from Angell and Roth and the concurrent attention the school recieved, the name of the New Haven Culinary Institute was soon changed to the Culinary Institute of America.  The school gained many students; only five years both women retired, the school moved its location to the current Hyde Park campus.

Katharine Angell described the goal of the CIA as, “to train young men and women to become expert cooks and chefs.” What many people do not realize is that our school had female students from the day it started. Nicole Semenchuk said, “There was at least one woman in every class, and there were two classes a year. The program was different back then; the program was nine months to a year.” There have always been women students at the CIA, even though women were outnumbered by men, since the school was founded to help returning World War II veterans attain stable jobs. Semenchuk also pointed out that there were female teachers at the CIA from the beginning too, except they taught academic classes like nutrition while there were only male chefs teaching cooking classes. Even Frances Roth would teach some academic classes that dealt with law.

Katharine Angell and Frances Roth were two powerhouse women who didn’t know at the time that the school they founded would completely change the restaurant industry. Over time, a baking program was started, and with all the attention the school received for providing such well-trained students, the restaurant industry was looked on with more prestige than before. Semenchuk described the work Roth and Angell did as, “leaving a culinary foot print.”

It is amazing to think of how far our school has come since its founding in 1946. We went from having once campus with one female per start date, to having four campuses and 16 different start dates at our Hyde Park Campus, For the first time, we have more  female students enrolled than males.  Our school has come a long way since its founding, but it would not be what it is today without the hard work and dedication of Frances Roth and Katharine Angell.


Kenka: A Taste of Japan in NYC

By Cindy Yuong, AOS Baking & Pastry

A wild and eccentric Japanese Izakaya restaurant can be found in St. Mark’s street of NYC’s East Village. Walking along the street at night, the restaurants along the strip seemed quite average, but once you got to Kenka, you could not pass by without at least pausing and looking back. The exterior of the restaurant is quite something – a huge blue sign spells out Kenka in Japanese, but a unique raccoon statue with glowing red eyes stands at the right side with a cotton candy machine and a head in the hole picture board on the left. A huge crowd gathers outside the doors waiting to get in.

The restaurant doesn’t take reservations, it only has a clipboard with a sign-up sheet in front of the doors. The host walks out once a table is cleared to check on the list and seat the next guests. During my wait, people spoke of previous visits to the restaurant, saying the wait could be either extremely short or long, but they would always come back for the food and atmosphere.

The interior may be a little more extreme than the exterior. Vintage Japanese flags, posters, pachinko machines and more line the walls of the restaurant as slightly obnoxious music blasts through the speakers. However, the experience is truly authentic as the host announces the party’s entrance and the entire staff yells “Irashaimase!” in welcoming just as they do when entering any building in Japan. Seating includes tables and benches in addition to countertop spots by the kitchen. Baskets are provided to place one’s belongings in at the foot of the table.

At Kenka, the menu itself is ginormous and action packed with a movie poster like specials booklet and items written in both Japanese and English. Kenka’s special menu offers a 20-minute jumbo curry eating challenge along with the likes pork brains and fried udon of intestines. Moving onto their regular menu, the dishes showcase Japan’s best street food offerings and classics of the nation. No sushi rolls can be seen, but rather authentic sashimi combos, grilled noodles and meat – anything ending in -yaki, fried foods, stews, and hot pots line the page with impressive pictures. Sashimi, oden, gyoza, okonomiyaki, takoyaki, teriyaki, katsudon – you name it, they have it. The bar also has extensive offerings including unique cocktail combos and an $8 pitcher of beer that restaurant goers rave about. Once ordered, the waiter brings the ticket over to the kitchen, calls out the order in Japanese, and gets an enthusiastic call back from the chefs.

When I found Kenka, I was in search of a Japanese restaurant to satisfy an okonomiyaki craving. Having had one from the land of okonomiyaki in Osaka, Japan, I definitely had high expectations for it. The okonomiyaki, which translates to “grilled as you like it,” is a Japanese savory pancake layered with batter, shredded cabbage, slices of meat, and various topppings, – came out on a sizzling plate, topped with bonito flakes, pickled red ginger, delicious okonomiyaki sauce, and a warm mayonnaise drizzle. It was not in completely distinct layers like the original one I had, but rather was all mixed into one batter and cooked. The pancake was thick and soft with shredded carrots, cabbage, and onion, strewn with chewy squid pieces, thin pork slices, and accented with umami filled toppings. Not what I had expected, but it hit the spot in all the right places.

Besides the okonomiyaki, I had also ordered a few other sides. The Gyu Tataki – rare beef with ponzu – came out first with a beautiful plate presentation: grilled beef atop raw shredded onions, with minced garlic, micro greens, sliced lemon and lettuce on the side. The slight bitterness of the garlic balanced out the tender meat splashed in ponzu sauce. Hotate Butter – grilled scallops in butter – was absolutely delicious. Perfectly crisp, large scallops steamed in its dish before melting in the mouth with its richness. To cleanse the palate, I had a side of Asa Zuke – traditional pickled vegetables: radish, carrot, cucumber and cabbage as I ate through the night. However, the fun doesn’t end right with the meal. With the check comes a small cup of candy sugar to spin on a chopstick in the cotton candy machine outside the door to take along as a souvenir.

Was it worth it to have found Kenka? Yes. Would it have been more fun with other people? Absolutely. The late night atmosphere of Kenka is not to be missed with all your friends looking for an adventure in the streets of East Village. Bring a hungry crowd, partake in a few wild food challenges while having a blast, and experience a small bit of Japan through the wild and crazy charms of Kenka. Do not miss out!




Pro Tips for National Nutrition Month



BY: Francesca Zani, AOS Culinary


March is National Nutrition Month.  It is very difficult to focus on diets and healthy eating habits when life is constantly moving. Most people know what basic nutrition entails; fruits, vegetables, grains, protein, dairy, and plenty of water. Physical therapist Dr. Justin Feldman, offers his patients advice on how to control nutrition in situations where physical health is concerned. Dr. Feldman is one of the Hudson Valley’s most popular physical therapists. He has offices located in Lagrange and Fishkill, and continues to use a number of techniques to help heal his patients. Feldman graduated from Ithaca College and then went on to further his work in the field. Throughout his career, he often came upon misleading information about nutrition and wanted to know the true facts. After taking online classes, Dr. Feldman received certification as a nutrition coach through Precision Nutrition. The program gave him the expertise to educate his patients in sports nutrition, without having to become a dietitian. He works with five to seven patients each day, seeing them once per week for an hour as opposed to two or three times weekly. Many of his patients are between the ages of twenty and sixty – “the weekend athletes”. His client programs are focused on manual therapy, nutrition and exercise.

Just a quick reminder of the basic nutritional guidelines we must follow daily according to the My Plate government guidelines;  two to three cups of vegetables, one to two cups of fruit, five to six ounces of protein, three cups of dairy, five to eight ounces of grains. These serving sizes may slightly change depending on the age group. Along with proper nutrition, we must drink plenty of water per day, which is challenging for many. “The nutrition each patient needs will help speed up their recovery,” notes Feldman. He spoke of athletes who get injured, avoid activity for weeks, gain weight, and have a difficult time getting back into their routine once recovered due to lack of nutrition. Active or not, this idea reveals how important it is to stay in tune with a nutritious diet.

Dr. Feldman noted that inflammatory foods can and will slow down the progression to healing. According to a Harvard Health Publication, examples of inflammatory foods include refined white flour, sugar products, fried foods, sodas and drinks with added sugar, processed meat and cheeses, and margarine. “What we should consume more of,” adds Dr. Feldman, “are avocados, fish oil, olive oil, tart cherry juice, beets, and turmeric, which decrease inflammation.”  During our interview, I asked Dr. Feldman if he had any healthy protein shake recipes. I discovered Feldman is not an advocate for powdered protein shakes and would rather see patients eating locally sourced food, whole fruits, and veggies. While clients are rehabilitating he offers them a challenge – “Try to go as many days in a row where you consume fourteen fruits and vegetables.” This is a health effort we all should seek in our lives!

Dr. Justin Feldman has many years of practice in sports therapy and nutrition. If you are interested in finding a center for physical therapy, he is the person you should consider visiting.



Beyond the Bottle: alcohol laws


Prohibition led to the decimation of the beverage industry, but it also dealt considerable damage to the restaurant industry. With a lack of revenue from liquor sales, food establishments struggled to generate enough revenue to support the bottom line. Jobs were lost. Crime drastically increased and states lost a revenue source. While it was considered to be a “noble experiment” it became widely regarded as a failure.  A few years later, the 21st amendment repealed prohibition and allowed for the recovery of the food and beverage industry.

The 21st amendment can be broken up into three sections. The first section of the amendment repealed the 18th amendment-the prohibition amendment. Jumping ahead, the third section states that the amendment must be properly ratified to take effect. Finally, the second section was then interpreted to give all the power of alcohol control over to the states. This means that each state has the right to decide for themselves how to control alcohol. Some states gave the power to decide to individual parishes, counties, and even towns. If a town or county decided to not allow the selling of alcohol, they are commonly referred to as “dry”. To this day there are over 200 counties that prohibit the selling of any type alcohol. This does not include the number of counties that have some sort of restriction on selling alcohol in some form or the numerous amount of dry towns.

With the continuation of dry areas, it hampers the opening of new business and innovation. It also brings barriers to existing companies. For example, in the town of Lynchburg, Tennessee it is illegal to purchase alcohol of any kind. This is particularly notable due to the fact that it is the town that Jack Daniels is produced. While visitors may purchase a commemorative bottle at the souvenir shop they cannot purchase Jack Daniels anywhere else in the county. This prevents local businesses from tapping into the tourist interests and serving mixed drinks featuring whisky.

However it is not just dry counties that can interfere with business. Oklahoma recently changed a law that stated that local breweries could not sell high point beer, any beer that’s not 3.2, on premise to customers. Before the law changed, local breweries had to deny customer requests to buy their product on premise. The breweries were also more pressed to make low point beer to improve their bottom line instead of creating micro brews of their choice. It also forced breweries to only sell samples of their high point brews on premise. However in August of last year, senate bill 424 allowed for breweries to sell full strength beer on premise. This helps breweries to be able to cater to their guests as well as increase profitability.

As in Oklahoma, alcohol laws around the nation are beginning to change and open up. While the change is headed to open up the laws and allow for a more progressive view on alcohol, it’s important to inform local lawmakers on the implications of their decisions. While alcohol is an integral part of the restaurant industry, it is also a controversial substance. This means that many groups will lobby for stronger alcohol control laws. In order to protect the best interests of the restaurant industry, restaurateurs and chefs need to be active participants in their local government. This way, the restaurant industry can continue to rely beverage sales as a substantial form of revenue.


As time continues to pass, the trends in the food industry seem to be marching forward in the plant-centric direction. As pulses were the focus of 2016, 2017 may have more plant-based foods at the center of the plate as more people realize their multitude of benefits. Food waste is also a huge topic in the food industry and learning to utilize an entire product is significant to keep waste to a minimum. This year, we will see more of cauliflower, plant roots and stems, purple veggies, ethnic foods, and food served in bowls amongst others. Continue reading “Food Trends to Soar in 2017”

It may be news to some current students, but CIA has just implemented a new dining plan which mimics a more traditional college meal plan. The new structure includes four different plans that students can purchase, each with different features. The first is the “base” plan, which is required by all students. This is the system of 20 points per day which we all are accustomed to. The change comes with the three other plans available which bundle gold points with the normal blue or green points. The residential, residential plus and the residential ultimate plans each have 20 points a day but then add 325, 650 and 1,000 gold points respectively. Each plan increases in price as you move towards more gold points. Students can also opt to buy more gold points to supplement their plan until the next semester. The Associate Director of Dining services, Peg Graham explains that the dining plan “is about the same, but now it is a sealed deal.” If the new plan isn’t much different, then why did dining services choose to change?


Continue reading “You Spoke, Dining Services Listened”