Culinary Institute of America Series Part 2

Culinary Institute of America Series Part 2Ready for another taste of the Culinary Institute of America? Mamiverse Food is taking you inside in this series where we meet Latino Student Chefs and learn some great new recipes to share with family and friends.

The Culinary Institute of America is located in Hyde Park, New York. Located on the grounds of a former Jesuit noviate, the historic aspects and look of the structures, as seen in this dining hall, are sometimes referred to as giving a “Hogwarts” type atmosphere.

Today, we meet C.I.A./Hyde Park Freshman Julio C. Ayala and learn how to make Asian-Style Noodle Salad with a Peanut-Orange Dressing; part of the C.IA.’s Menu for Healthy Kids Initiative.  As an added treat, we enter the C.I.A. kitchens to put the salad together (video below).

Culinary Institute of America Series Part 2-Julio AyalaREADY FOR A CULINARY CAREER
Mamiverse Food: There’s food history in your family?
Ayala: My mom managed two restaurants at the same time.  One was a Chinese Bistro and the other was Hispanic.

Mamiverse Food:  Your thoughts on Latino Chefs?
Ayala: There’s a slideshow that they show here at the school and they have a whole bunch of C.I.A alumni and there’s only one Latino chef in there. There are currently three Latinos in my class right now.  We kind of feed off each other.  We give each other little tricks and techniques.

Mamiverse Food: What tips can you share with the home cook?
Ayala: I go into so many houses where they crank everything on high and you can see it by the smoke in the pan; the fire that’s coming up.  If you just lower down the heat and take your time and see what’s happening, feel what’s happening it would prolong better taste.

Basting Secrets Revealed: Basting is what I taught my mom—taking out the pan and closing the oven to keep the heat in and then baste.

Read Related: Camarones Aquachile (Shrimp in “Fire Water”)

Now, the Recipe!

Full Servings of Whole Grains and Vegetables Kids Will Love
First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move initiative is raising awareness about the importance of making healthier choices and rallying support from parents, children, teachers, school administrators, and food service directors. A team at The Culinary Institute of America called Menu for Healthy Kids (MFHK) has been addressing these issues for the past two years by sending students on their externship field experience right into the schools to find out firsthand how the school lunch programs operate and to identify opportunities to help make a change for the better.

The CIA took a basic noodle salad recipe and made some changes that add to the flavor and eye appeal of the dish. To finish it, toss these delicious ingredients together with an Asian-inspired dressing made with orange juice, peanut butter, and a dash of soy sauce. You can also add a bit of chicken or seafood to make this into a main dish, if you like.

Additional Dressing Ideas
And, if you don’t eat peanuts, you can still enjoy this dressing by replacing the peanut butter with pureed white beans. Just use an equal amount of cooked or canned white beans such as cannellini, drain and rinse, and then put them into a food processor or blender and process until smooth.

Make a batch of this satisfying and refreshing salad to serve as an after-school snack, to pack in lunch boxes for an entrée, or to serve as a side dish at dinner. Healthier options like this salad are as easy to make as they are to enjoy.

For more information on Menu for Healthy Kids, great recipes, and tips on how you can get involved, please visit our website at

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Makes: 8-10 ServingsCulinary Institute of America Series Part 2-Asian Style Noodle Salad

1 TSP table salt
6 oz whole wheat spaghetti, uncooked
3 cups shredded peeled carrots
¾ cup fresh or frozen and thawed green peas
2 cups shredded red cabbage
¾ cup thinly sliced peeled cucumber
¾ cup seeded green bell pepper strips
½ cup fresh or frozen and thawed corn kernels
1 cup fresh or frozen and thawed broccoli florets
¾ cup thinly sliced red onion
1 cup Peanut-Orange Dressing (recipe follows)


  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat and add the salt.

  2. Add the spaghetti to the water and stir to submerge and separate the strands. Cook until al dente (not too soft) per the box instructions, about 8 minutes. Drain, rinse with cold water until chilled, and drain again. Transfer to a bowl.

  3. Mix all the vegetables with the noodles in the bowl.

  4. Add the dressing and toss until evenly coated. Keep refrigerated until ready to serve.

Makes: 1 Cup

1 TBSP soy sauce (reduced sodium if available)
2 TSP cornstarch
½ cup thawed frozen orange juice concentrate
¼ cup creamy peanut butter, reduced fat (you may substitute 1/4 cup pureed white beans)
¼ cup olive or canola oil
¼ cup water, as needed


  1. To make the dressing, stir the soy sauce and cornstarch together with a fork to make a slurry.

  2. Heat the orange juice concentrate over medium heat in a saucepan until it reaches a simmer. Once simmering, add the slurry and continue to cook until it boils and thickens, 2 to 3 minutes.

  3. Remove the orange mixture from the heat and combine with the peanut butter in a bowl.

  4. Whisk in the oil. Add water as necessary; dressing should be thick but not solid or firm.

Recipe Notes: One ¾-cup serving provides one serving (½ cup) of vegetables and ½ serving of whole grains/breads.
Nutrition Analysis per 6-ounce Serving: 236 calories, 8g protein, 30g carbohydrate, 11g fat, 2g saturated fat, 280mg sodium, 0mg cholesterol, 5g fiber.

Mario Bosquez

Learn more about Mario Bosquez.


  1. Thanks for posting this interview with Culinary Institute of America student Chief Ayala. The recipe shared seems like a vegetable filled dish. Thanks again.


  1. Culinary Institute America Hyde Park…

    [...] changes that add to the flavor and eye appeal of the dish. To finish it, toss t [...]…

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