When Faculty and Students Catch Fish

The Culinary Institute of America (CIA), the world’s premier culinary college, sent six of its distinguished faculty and degree program students to catch fish off the coast of Louisiana in Plaquemines Parish and experience firsthand the purity and taste of the region’s seafood.

The team of four chefs and two culinary arts students from the CIA’s Hyde Park, New York campus toured the Parish and sampled shrimp, crab, oysters, tuna, and snapper straight from its waters.

The two-day tour culminated in “A Celebration of America’s Best Seafood,” a four-course dinner at the historic Woodland Plantation.

The trip spotlighted Plaquemines Parish’s position as Louisiana’s Sportsman’s Paradise. “Plaquemines Parish is known as the premier fishing destination in the country,” said Plaquemines Parish president Billy Nungesser.

“Collaborating with The Culinary Institute of America made sense because of their own highly regarded reputation as the premier culinary college in the world, and the fact that their chefs and students only cook with the best ingredients.”

Founded in 1946, the CIA is an independent, not-for-profit college offering bachelor’s and associate degrees in culinary arts and baking and pastry arts as well as certificate programs in culinary arts, Latin cuisines, and wine and beverage studies.

“It was an all-star experience and the seafood was clean, fresh, and beautiful,” said certified master chef Brad Barnes, senior director of Continuing Education at The Culinary Institute of America. “The professionalism of the guides and the outstanding accommodations helped make this trip top-notch.”

The entire culinary experience was part of the Parish’s strategic marketing and communications campaign, “It’s Catching,” which focuses on the Parish’s strengths, including its unique culture and cuisine, abundant wildlife, and historic attractions, as well as its position as the premier destination for recreational and sports fishing.

“It’s Catching” launched in the spring of 2011 as part of the Louisiana Tourism Recovery Program, which is funded by the Louisiana Department of Culture, Recreation, and Tourism and BP, and refers to Plaquemines Parish as a place to “catch” rather than just “fish.”

The phrase can be seen in print and broadcast advertisements across the country, on outdoor billboards, and in online social media.

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Rakesh Raman