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Learn more about research impacting the foodservice industry and the culinary arts and sciences.

The CIA Department of Culinary Science

Advancing the Culinary Arts and Sciences

The CIA Department of Culinary Science is a center for education and applied research established to foster innovation and support the foodservice industry, educators, and current and aspiring food professionals in the field of culinary arts and sciences.

The Department:

A major objective of the CIA Department of Culinary Science is to facilitate collaboration between chefs and scientists through food research and development, education, and outreach - all while advancing the understanding of ingredients, culinary techniques, food science, cuisines, consumers, and the ever-changing food industry.

The Department takes full advantage of the extensive intellectual and physical resources of the CIA at its Hyde Park, NY; St. Helena, CA (the CIA at Greystone); and San Antonio, TX campuses in its pursuit of its mission.

Menu R&D vs. the Culinary Arts and Sciences

What is the distinction between these two disciplines, and how are they related?

Menu R&D is the application of culinary science principles; it is the food research and development activities performed in support of creating new foods, menu concepts, and products for the foodservice industry. This cross-pollination of culinary arts and food science helps foodservice professionals understand consumers and deliver meals and products that meet their wants and needs.

The field of culinary arts and sciences is what The Culinary Institute of America is all about. At the very core of our mission as an educational institution are the techniques and traditions of the culinary arts. These, in turn, form the prism through which we approach the culinary sciences--the fundamental scientific principles behind food and cooking--along with a deep understanding of our customers - that are critical to advancing our collective knowledge.


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Featured Faculty

Jonathan A. Zearfoss, CEC, CCE, CCP, Professor - Culinary Arts and Science

Jonathan A. Zearfoss, CEC, CCE, CCP

Jonathan Zearfoss is a professor of culinary arts and science at The Culinary Institute of America (CIA). Chef Zearfoss is a senior faculty member in the college's culinary science baccalaureate major.

At the CIA, Chef Zearfoss has also taught Advanced Cooking, Culinary Skill Development, Product Knowledge, Introduction to Gastronomy, and Advanced Culinary Principles. He has been chef-instructor in the American Bounty Restaurant and St. Andrew's Cafe, two student-staffed restaurants on campus. He developed the CIA's advanced cooking curriculum. He was also content leader for the second edition of the CIA's classic text, The Techniques of Healthy Cooking, and is founding chair of the Faculty Council.

Chef Zearfoss is a Certified Executive Chef (CEC), Certified Culinary Educator (CCE), and Certified Culinary Professional (CCP). He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from the College of William & Mary. Zearfoss is editor of The Great Chefs of Virginia. The Virginia Chef's Association named him 1987 Chef of the Year.