Web Extra: River Walk
While researching her November story on the San Antonio River Walk’s new Museum Reach extension, Senior Editor Lori Moffatt learned why culinary trendsetters have their eyes on San Antonio. After all, there are only three campuses of the esteemed Culinary Institute of America: In New York, California, and Texas—the latter in San Antonio. And only the CIA campus in San Antonio offers a focus on Latin American cuisines and influences. A grand opening of the expanded campus will take place October 9, with celebrations continuing throughout fall.
“The CIA in San Antonio officially came into being in May 2007,” says Stephan Hengst, the CIA’s communications director. “Prior to that, there was a culinary school there—called the Center for the Foods of Americas—which was created by Christopher ‘Kit’ Goldsbury, who was married to the daughter of the founder of Pace Picante sauce.
'Saturdays are already lots of fun, with the Farmer’s Market. But starting with our grand opening, we’re going to have another tradition at the Pearl—a Saturday-afternoon pig roast at the barbacoa. We’re erecting a giant, mission-style bell, and we’ll ring it when the pig is ready. Then we’ll make tacos for everybody.'
“Kit realized that he had made a lot of money thanks to the popularity of Latin-American food an culture in the United States. But when he looked closely at the culture, he realized that while the restaurant business was full of Latin-American workers, there were disproportionately few Latinos in leadership positions. He saw that there was a scarcity of resources when it came to education. So he wanted to open a culinary school in San Antonio.
“Kit called the CIA to propose the idea. But the CIA didn’t have the resources. So Kit decided to build the school himself, and hired the CIA as a consulting entity. In 2007, though, he gave the CIA a $35-million gift. He gave us the building at the Pearl, the property and equipment, and $20 million worth of scholarships.
“The original facility was 5,000 square feet, but this fall, we’re debuting our expanded, 30,000-square-foot campus. The new facilities will be comparable in size to our campus in California, and the additional space will allow us to expand our offerings to culinary enthusiasts—opposed to aspiring chefs—starting in September.
“Also, sometime in November or December, we’re opening a new café. It doesn’t have a name yet, but it will focus on the indigenous baked goods of Latin America. For example, Peru has a unique baking and food culture that many people don’t know about, so we’ll be bringing that to the forefront.
“One thing that makes our Texas campus unique is that it’s the only CIA facility with a dedicated Latin-American foods kitchen. Not only do we have an inside kitchen—with a wood-burning oven, masa grinders, a restaurant-scale comal, and other equipment, but we also have an outdoor kitchen with a parilla grill and a traditional barbacoa pit.
“Saturdays are already lots of fun, with the Farmer’s Market. But starting with our grand opening, we’re going to have another tradition at the Pearl—a Saturday-afternoon pig roast at the barbacoa. We’re erecting a giant, mission-style bell, and we’ll ring it when the pig is ready. Then we’ll make tacos for everybody.”
For details about the Pearl and about the CIA campus, see www.pearlbrewery.com.