PFP and CIA Collaborate on Farm-to-Table Brunch

Join The Culinary Institute of America and Poughkeepsie Farm Project for a farm-to-table brunch in celebration of PFP’s 20th Anniversary

On June 1, the Student Garden Club and the Sustainability Club at the CIA, and their instructor Brian Kaywork, Head Chef at American Bounty Restaurant, will skillfully transform farm fresh produce into a delicious three-course brunch experience.

Here, we invite you to meet the chefs, in their own words:

David Cruz

Growing up in Poughkeepsie wasn’t always so simple and easy. I would have never imagined myself attending such prestigious school 3 years ago; and to be in my last semester majoring in Applied Food Studies Bachelor's program is a dream come true. Not only for myself but for my parents who came to the states for a better life for my siblings and I. My interest in food has become focused mainly on educating those around me about where their food comes from. It is crucial to understand this concept as a chef and student at the Culinary Institute of America. As a chef in the industry for over 5 years, working at several restaurants including, The Poughkeepsie Ice House, Mercatos Osteria Enoteca in Red Hook, South Seas Island Resort in Florida, The Egg at CIA with Restaurant Associates, and current Sous Chef at Nic L Inn in Poughkeepsie has definitely had its ups and downs but has shaped into the chef I am today. Moving forward, I see myself educating young children, and my community on the importance of a sustainable food system. With organizations like Poughkeepsie Farm Project, it has been proving that education on food can help food insecure families while providing essential knowledge on how to self sustain oneself through growing it yourself. Awareness, knowledge, and passion will help me start my own educational farm one day, where all will be welcomed and immersed into the concept of farm to table; enabling people to cook for themselves and stray away from non nutritional and processed foods.

Alex Shao

Coming to the United States, I was unaware of the opportunities that I would soon be exposed to. Growing up and going to culinary high school in Singapore, I was mainly exposed to Asian and some basic French cuisine. I never imagined the diversity in culture and ingredients I would find here, and the level at which chefs are elevating the cuisines of the world. I eventually did my externship at Per Se in New York City, where I realized the importance of finesse and sense of urgency needed in a restaurant. Through the Culinary Science Bachelor’s program at the CIA, I was given the precious opportunity to further develop and enhance my culinary skill by learning the science behind cooking and different modern cooking methods. Moving forward, I would like to work on developing more skills and gaining more experience to take my cooking to the next level. Detail, dedication, and delivery, will help me stay focused in the kitchen and shape me to be the chef I want to be.

Dylan Leary

After growing up in St. Petersburg, FL and working in restaurants throughout high school, I went to Northeastern University to pursue Food Science through Chemical Engineering. After a year, I transferred to the CIA, where I’m working towards my Associates in Culinary Arts and Bachelors in Applied Food Studies. Here, I serve as the President of the Student Government and the Chair of the Student Sustainability Committee. In my free time, I run a nonprofit organization planning work with chefs, farmers, and doctors in rural Uganda.

Katy Cassady

Growing up surrounded by Midwest agriculture and local food businesses I learned how to love the more rustic side of the culinary industry. I worked for local apple orchards, meat distributors, and MN farmers markets at first, and then grew into the restaurant side of the industry later on. My primary focus has always been to bring the beauty of locality and sustainability to everyone I encounter. CIA has helped me to improve upon this focus and expand my food sustainability network through committees and classes. I am now a candidate for the CIA’s Applied Food Studies program and an involved member in the Campus-Wide and Student Sustainability Committees as well as a barista and bartender on campus.

Elizabeth Pope

I have always had a passion for food and cooking, but it took me awhile to truly appreciate the journey that the food made to get to my cutting board. My family wasn’t very in touch with fresh foods, and so I got what I could while living in Westchester, New York. Right before coming to The CIA, I was able to go to the farmer’s market in Union Square, and that started my journey into fresh and local foods. Now at school, I am appreciative of the different chefs and students that allow me to see the value in all products. With these stronger values, I can start to implement a love for food and sustainability into my Business Management degree, as I work to open and strengthen the Innovation Kitchen with my classmates. When i’m not working on our restaurant, I work as the maitre d’ at the Bocuse restaurant where I try to encourage students to showcase the dishes and the dining experience.

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20th Anniversary Farm-to-Table Brunch

June 1, 11am - 2pm

Environmental Cooperative at the Vassar Barns

50 Vassar Farm Lane

Poughkeepsie NY 12603

Tickets $75 / person

(845) 516-1100