Binghamton welcomes Culinary Institute of America students

In addition to the 18,000 students currently enrolled at Binghamton University, one more student is excited to come to campus this fall to gain hands-on experience and contribute to the campus community through a new externship program with Binghamton University Dining Services (BUDS). Chris Ortiz, a sophomore at the Culinary Institute of America (CIA), is pursuing a degree in applied food studies and hopes to work in high-scale food production in the future, feeding thousands of students every day at BUDS – an ideal externship site.

“I like the structure of college dining,” Ortiz said. “The predictability of coming into the kitchen knowing that you have to get X amount of food, X amount, X amount, X portion size, and all the ingredients in the kitchen—it just feels so natural to me.

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Fall 2022 is the first semester BUDS has served as an approved CIA external site, a process initiated by Campus Executive Chef Charlie Williams.

Williams said, “First and foremost, I wanted to strengthen our culinary operations on campus to provide the best quality food possible to our students, but I know this may lead to hiring some outsiders after they graduate. , our future leaders.” to be.”

Being a CIA external site is no easy task. BUDS had to create a 14-week course for the extern and submit a video of sample menus and daily operations to make the cut as one of the 2,000+ externship sites worldwide available to CIA students.

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During Ortiz’s externship, BUDS culinary professionals will provide him with mentorship and real-life experience in the culinary field, exposing him to a variety of positions in the kitchen, from entry-level to management roles. The goal of the externship, a requirement of his degree program, is to help Ortiz develop his skills in various areas and gain insight into what culinary field he would like to pursue in the future.

Ortiz’s culinary journey began when he was 12 years old when his middle school class visited Lehigh Vocational and Technical Institute (LCTI), a local vocational school in Schnecksville, Pa., to learn about the various academic programs available. He didn’t really connect with any of them until they got to the kitchen.

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He said that what caught his eye was “all the kitchen equipment” – he had to learn more! After graduating high school, Ortiz earned his ServSafe Food Protection Manager certification and S/P2 Culinary Skills certification from LCTI before beginning his course of study at the CIA.

Now that the partnership is firmly established, BUDS hopes to partner with the CIA to mentor more foreigners in the future.


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