The Culinary Institute of America has announced that an agreement to create a new scholarship in partnership with Stolt Sea Farm.
The agreement, signed on 5 June, will create a “Stolt Sea Farm Scholarship,” which will offer students monetary assistance at the Culinary Institute of America in addition to giving them the opportunity to travel to Stolt’s headquarters in Europe. As part of the arrangement, Stolt will also donate more than 2,250 pounds of fresh, farmed fish to the CIA.
“What they’re hoping, I think, through this partnership, is to expose their product to some of our students,” said Bruce Mattel, senior associate dean for culinary arts at the CIA. “It’s giving the future chefs a source for some of these premium products, and also allowing them to procure product that is sustainability raised and quality.”
Stolt Sea Farm will be donating three different kinds of fish to the CIA to be used in their programs: Turbot, sole, and sturgeon. Those three species will be used in culinary arts programs and in three restaurants that the CIA runs: The Bocuse, American Bounty, and the Caterina De Medici.
According to Mattel, the partnership will benefit students by allowing them access to high-quality, premium ingredients that they can experiment with to learn their trade.
“One of the great things about the partnership is getting all of the students on campus exposed to high quality species that are sustainably grown,” he said.
Founded in 1972, Stolt Sea Farm has attained GlobalGAP and Friend of The Sea certifications for their recirculating aquaculture system, growing 5,400 metric tons of turbot each year. Students receiving the scholarship will get a chance to see what that entails first-hand.
“They will get not only some funding towards their education, they will also get the opportunity to visit the farm in Spain, learn about recirculating aquaculture, and be sort of brand ambassadors potentially,” Mattel said.
Their sturgeon production is actually a byproduct of caviar production, and will allow the CIA to have a product that meshes well with their location in Hyde Park, New York.
“Even though it’s raised in California, it represents the Hudson Valley quite strongly,” Mattel said. “We’re going to be able to pair appropriate local products with these species and make some very special dishes in our public restaurant.”
Funding for the scholarship is being provided by Stolt, according to Manuela Gomez, marketing and business development manager for Stolt Sea Farm.
Mattel said it’s not just students who will benefit, the instructors as well are excited about access to the new ingredients.
“Turbot is one of the revered fish for chefs, not only is the flesh firm and mild and versatile, but the bones are excellent for stock,” he said. “It offers some more versatility in terms of cooking technique.”