Barbara Di Paterio
“The CIA is a family. Everybody is so welcoming, happy, and lifts you up every day. Whether it is someone running to open a door for you or a hello as you walk the halls. CIA is my home and I always feel like I am accepted.”
How did you become interested in food?
I first became interested in food when I was younger and watched Food Network every day instead of kids shows. My grandma dealt with diabetes but loved to cook and eat sweets. As I got older, my love for baking transformed into the love of baking for my grandma in a healthier way. I want to be able to accommodate everyone’s dietary needs.
Why did you choose the CIA?
I chose the CIA because it was my grandma’s and my dream. She always raved about the food here and how she used to eat at the old Bocuse (formerly Escoffier) Restaurant. I got accepted just a short month after she passed away so I was never able to tell her our dream came true.
How have scholarships and/or grants helped you reach your goal of getting a CIA education?
Scholarships have helped me tremendously. I put in a lot of hard work since I am the third child off to college. Both my parents work full-time and sacrificed a lot for me to come to my dream school.
What do you like best about the CIA?
The CIA is a family. Everybody is so welcoming, happy, and lifts you up every day. Whether it is someone running to open a door for you or a hello as you walk the halls. CIA is my home and I always feel like I am accepted.
Do you belong to any clubs or participate in any activities/sports on campus?
I’m on my way to becoming a tour guide! 🙂 I was also a part of the Coffee Club, and help out whenever I can at various sporting events or RA functions.
What is your favorite dish to make?
My favorite dish to make is lasagna because it is very versatile. You can make an all-vegetable lasagna, a classic meat and sauce, or pesto. The layers also show all the different stages you have to build up from to get the end result.
How has your CIA education prepared you for the business side of food?
With the hours of class and very short breaks, it has given me a glimpse of what the future will hold.
What are the best lessons you’ve learned while at the CIA?
The best lesson I have learned while at the CIA is to not be afraid of going after what you love. If you want to be something, go for it and do not let anybody stop that.
What are your career goals and how will your CIA education help you get there?
My career goals are to travel not only throughout the United States but to other countries. I want to work in the baking and pastry field and go for the Certified Master Baker test. I want to have a show on Food Network showcasing farm-to-table cooking and dietary restriction dishes. And I hope to end my career at The Culinary Institute of America teaching students the knowledge I have gained, while also still learning what is new from the students.
What advice would you give to a new student or someone who is considering attending the CIA?
The best advice I would give a student coming to the CIA is to get involved. Don’t wait until your last semester; go after everything, whether it be a club or job. Go to that event, join that club, and go to that workout class. Also become close with your chefs, respect them, and learn from them.