Latin American cooking has come a long way since Diana Kennedy brought Mexican cooking to the American masses in her groundbreaking The Cuisines of Mexico, which was published 35 years ago. But while the Latino population in the United States has grown exponentially since that time, and the influence of Latino food traditions have become part of mainstream America, there has been little formal recognition of the importance of how Latinos have shaped the food and service industries.
But the Culinary Institute of America (CIA) and Texas philanthropist Kit Goldsbury aim to bring Latino food and aspiring chefs to the forefront in a new partnership titled “El Sueño” (“The Dream”) which will both prepare Latino students to enter the culinary field and provide education about the myriad cuisines of Latin America to CIA students.
Goldsbury, the former CEO and chair of Pace Foods, is pledging up to $28 million to the CIA to fund this initiative, with an additional $7 million earmarked for construction of a new facility called The Center for Foods of the Americas (CFA), which will be a branch campus of the CIA located in San Antonio, Tex. The lion’s share of the grant—$20 million—will go toward student scholarships. In addition to the new CFA, the CIA’s Hyde Park, New York, campus also will offer specializations in Latin American cuisines.