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CIA Consulting Team

Put Our Master Chef-Consultants on Your Team

When you partner with CIA Consulting, you will have a team of expert food and restaurant consultants working for you—including American Culinary Federation-Certified Master Chefs (CMCs). Each member of the CIA Consulting core team brings unparalleled insight and skills honed over years working in some of the world’s most prestigious restaurants, hotels, schools, and competition halls.

Supported by Renowned CIA Faculty
In addition to the CIA Consulting core team of food consultants, your project will benefit from the talents and thought leadership of the world-famous CIA faculty. With more than 140 acknowledged experts in culinary arts, table service, baking and pastry arts, wines, foodservice management, nutrition, and restaurant operations available, we can form a custom team of foodservice and restaurant consultants for your project. And you’ll discover that when you’re looking for professional culinary education for your staff, there is no one else with the depth and breadth of knowledge like CIA Consulting and The Culinary Institute of America.

Strengthened by Strategic Partnerships
Because developing the best solution for your business is our top priority, our chef-consultants work with other specialists both within the CIA and throughout the foodservice and hospitality industry. For example, we call on our colleagues in the CIA Department of Menu Research & Development for additional insights into food science, consumer behavior, and foodservice operations. And we collaborate with respected industry leaders such as The National Food Lab, whose product development, manufacturing, and commercialization expertise is invaluable.

Contact us to put our team of food consultants and partners on your team.


Project Resources


Prepared Foods

As seasoned food and restaurant industry consultants, we know about a lot of great sources of data and other information you can use for your projects. One such resource is Prepared Foods, “the industry’s leading product development magazine providing information on global new product introductions, culinary trends, ingredient technology, and practical applications.”
Core Team of Consultants
Scott Allmendinger Scott Allmendinger
Scott Allmendinger is the director of consulting at The Culinary Institute of America (CIA) in Hyde Park, NY. Mr. Allmendinger is responsible for driving sales and directing the college's relationship with the food industry, including consulting arrangements and custom programs. He also works closely with the CIA's industry clients on menu development projects and research & development programs. During more than four decades in the foodservice industry, Mr. Allmendinger has been a dishwasher, bus boy, chef, teacher, journalist, consultant, and media executive. Mr. Allmendinger rejoined the CIA in 2014 after a long career in food editorial and publishing. He served as executive vice president of CSP Business Media, publisher of print and online business-to-business (B2B) magazines such as Restaurant Business and Foodservice Director. He has been recognized by Forbes and Folio magazines for his work on food industry B2B websites and has served on several boards, including the Women's Foodservice Forum and the International Foodservice Editorial Council. During a previous stint at the CIA from 2002 to 2005, Mr. Allmendinger led initial development of the college's Industry Solutions Group (now CIA Consulting). He holds a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature from Middlebury College in Middlebury, VT.
Brad Barnes '87 Brad Barnes '87, CMC, CCA, AAC
CIA alumnus Brad Barnes is senior director of continuing education and the North American Association of Food Equipment Manufacturers professor at the CIA. Before returning to his alma mater in 2009, Chef Barnes was president of GigaChef, LLC, a consulting company for hotels and high-volume foodservice. He previously held executive chef positions for a variety of establishments, 64 Greenwich Avenue and Nancy Allen Rose Catering in Greenwich, CT. Active in the American Culinary Federation, Chef Barnes is chair of its Certified Master Chef Committee, a certified competition judge, and the recipient of several honors, including the ACF President's Award. The co-author of three books, he served as coach for Team USA at the Culinary Olympics in 2000, 2004, and 2008.
Mark Erickson '77 Mark Erickson '77, CMC
Mark Erickson is provost at The Culinary Institute of America. In this role Erickson oversees all aspects of the college's culinary programs including education, faculty, curriculum, governance, academic support functions, academic research, accreditation, assessment, branch campuses, food and beverage operations, and continuing education. His career in foodservice includes positions at some of the industry's most prestigious operations, from the Palace Hotel in Gstaad, Switzerland to the Greenbrier Hotel in White Sulphur Springs, WV to the Cherokee Town and Country Club in Atlanta, GA. In addition, Chef Erickson is the founder and co-owner of Woodsmoke Provisions, a producer of smoked and value-added seafood products for wholesale, retail, and airline catering distribution. He was a member of the gold medal-winning U.S. Culinary Olympic Teams in 1980, 1984, and 1988, and part of the U.S. team that won the 1986 Culinary World Cup. A CIA alumnus, Chef Erickson also holds a BS in Restaurant & Hotel Management from the University of New Haven and an MBA from Marist College in Poughkeepsie, NY.
Dr. Victor Gielisse Dr. Victor Gielisse, CMC, AAC, CFBE
Dr. Victor Gielisse is vice president of advancement & business development at The Culinary Institute of America. Chef Gielisse's responsibilities include all of the college's alumni relations and fund-raising initiatives as well as stewarding the CIA's relationship within the foodservice industry, including business development, consulting, custom training programs, industry outreach, licensing programming, and donor support opportunities. Dr. Gielisse's culinary expertise was honed in the kitchens of the Netherlands, Germany, Switzerland, Southern Africa, and the United States. He was chef/owner of the Ivy Award-winning Actuelle restaurant in Dallas, TX and president of the consulting firm CFT/Culinary Fast-Trac and Associates Inc. Chef Gielisse was also manager of the CIA's gold-medal-winning Culinary Team 2000 and a member of the 1984 U.S. Culinary Olympic Team and the 1986 U.S. National Team that won the first Culinary World Cup. His many industry honors include being named one of "The 50 New Taste Makers" by Nation's Restaurant News and "Best Seafood Chef in America" by Restaurant Business. The author of Cuisine Actuelle and In Good Taste, Chef Gielisse holds a BS, MBA, and DBA from California Coast University in Santa Ana, CA.
David Kamen David Kamen, PCIII, CHE
Chef David Kamen is a project manager for CIA Consulting. Prior to joining the CIA Consulting team, Chef Kamen served on the CIA faculty for 12 years, where he worked on training programs, recipe and concept development projects and certification plans with several large organizations such as Coke, Sodexo, Compass group, and the US Military. He has also served as speaker and presenter for many food service organization events and annual meetings. Chef Kamen holds an AOS degree from the CIA, and Bachelors degree from Empire State College. He has attained ProChef level III certification, and holds a Certified Hospitality Educator credential (CHE) from the American Hotel & Lodging Educational Institute. Chef Kamen has won numerous gold medals in both hot and cold food competitions throughout the United States.
David P. Kellaway David P. Kellaway, CMC, CCE
The managing director of the CIA, San Antonio, Certified Master Chef David Kellaway lends his expertise from more than 30 years in foodservice and hospitality to CIA Consulting clients. Before returning to the CIA—where he previously served as chairman of the Education Department at the Hyde Park campus—Chef Kellaway was corporate director of culinary operations for Station Casinos, Inc. in Las Vegas, NV. Other career highlights include positions at Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino and THEhotel and The Mirage Resort & Casino, all in Las Vegas; Salish Lodge at Snoqualmie Falls in Washington; and The Plaza Hotel in New York City. A veteran of international culinary competitions, the Houston, TX native boasts a long list of awards in both hot and cold food competition, from a Gold Medal of Le Société Culinaire Philanthropique to the Medal of the French Government.
Thomas Vaccaro Thomas L. Vaccaro '85, CMB, CEPC
Thomas Vaccaro is the dean of baking and pastry arts at The Culinary Institute of America (CIA). Chef Vaccaro is responsible for developing the college's baking and pastry arts curriculum, monitoring food quality and cost, evaluating faculty, and fostering student development. A 1985 alumnus of the CIA, Chef Vaccaro joined the college's administration in 2005. He returned to his alma mater from Atlantic City, where he was executive pastry chef at the Trump Plaza Hotel & Casino,Trumps Taj Mahal and the Tropicana Casino and Entertainment Resort. He was also executive pastry chef at the Waldorf-Astoria in New York City. Vaccaro is a Certified Executive Pastry Chef (CEPC) and a Certified Master Baker (CMB) He was the American Culinary Federation's National Pastry Chef of the Year in 2004 and he coached the U.S. Culinary Team to gold medals in the 2000 and 2004. Throughout his illustrious career, Vaccaro has earned gold medals in competitions around the world.