Lian Pineda – Student Bio


Image of Lian Pineda, culinary arts student at the Culinary Institute of America.

“The reputation of the CIA is that it’s one of the best culinary schools in the world. I wanted to experience what it is like to be surrounded by top members of the industry.”

Major: Associate Degree in Culinary Arts
Campus: 
Hyde Park, NY
Hometown:
Chicago, IL

How did you become interested in food?
My family introduced me to the restaurant industry. If I am honest, it was not something I enjoyed in the beginning. I tried other side jobs to get a taste of my future career path, but in the end I realized food is where I belong.

Why did you choose the CIA?
The reputation of the CIA is that it’s one of the best culinary schools in the world. I wanted to experience what it is like to be surrounded by top members of the industry.

Photo of Lian Pineda, CIA culinary arts studentHow have scholarships and grants helped you reach your goal of getting a CIA education?
Financial aid has allowed me to pursue my goals. I am very grateful for the opportunities I have been given.

What do you like best about the CIA?
I come from one of the most diverse cities in the world, but this campus has allowed me to interact deeper with cultures than I would have ever thought, by far.

Do you belong to any clubs or participate in any activities on campus?
I participated in the LAAM (Latin American) club.

What is your favorite dish to make?
Because I am learning about so many ingredients, I don’t have a favorite—but so far everything is delicious in a taco.

How has your CIA education prepared you for the business side of food?
It has definitely given me many connections to work with in the future. Also, the program is very realistic; instructors are not shy to tell you about the downside of the industry and how to prepare.

What is the best lesson you’ve learned while at the CIA?
No matter how smart you think you are, there’s always someone who knows a little more. Never close yourself to new ideas.

What are your career goals and how will your CIA education help you get there?
I want to have my own restaurants in the future. During my younger years, I know I’ve had to educate myself in all areas of the industry, and CIA has taught me the basics to get started.

What advice would you give to a new student or someone who is considering attending the CIA?
Work before attending the CIA or any culinary school. We are expected to have a life plan right after high school, but most of the time it does not work like that. This way of life is not for everyone; make sure this is the right fit for you before committing.