Alexander Telinde

Alexander Telinde, culinary science bachelor's degree student at The Culinary Institute of America.
Alexander Telinde, culinary science bachelor’s degree student at The Culinary Institute of America

Major: Bachelor’s Degree in Culinary Science
Campus: Hyde Park, NY
Hometown: Virginia Beach, VA

How did you become interested in food?
I have always loved food—the idea of food, and the emotions expressed through food. I have many fond memories of making pasta with my grandparents or creating meals for family holidays. Food has been intertwined with traditions in my family and I love that feeling cooking a meal brings.

Why did you choose the CIA?
I chose the CIA because it was the best fit for me. I liked the campus and the focus on the food.

What do you like best about the CIA?
I really enjoy the connections I have made and the variety of classes I’ve been able to take during my time here.

Do you belong to any clubs or participate in any activities/sports on campus?
A little while back I was the president of Slow Foods for a term. It was an interesting experience. It takes a lot of work to get people involved and enjoying a club. It was fun to put on events, cook, and collaborate with people who you would not ordinarily collaborate with.

What is your favorite dish to make?
I really like to make chocolate chip cookies, because I love to eat them! They are my favorite dessert.

How has your CIA education prepared you for the business side of food?
Food costing is something ingrained in the program. In CIA’s associate program, there are tests and it is drilled in over and over. In the culinary science bachelor’s program at CIA, when you are making your own dishes there are strict real-life budgets we have to meet—no ifs, ands, or buts about it. That is really similar to real life, and an important concept to grasp.

What is the best lesson you’ve learned while at the CIA?
Connections are key. Make as many friends as you can here. When you leave school, you will have alumni connections all over the country and around the world.

What are your career goals and how will your CIA education help you get there?
I just want to work at the best restaurants I can possibly get into. I want to learn as much about food as I possibly can. CIA has given me the resources and the knowledge to pursue this dream and achieve it.

What advice would you give to a new student or someone who is considering attending the CIA?
Work hard. There will be things that challenge you in different ways than you might think—be the best you can be and get through it.