Piper Shores Now an Approved Externship Site for the Culinary Institute of America 

Piper Shores has achieved a significant milestone by becoming an approved externship site for the Culinary Institute of America (CIA). This recent development not only reflects Piper Shores’ commitment to culinary excellence but also highlights the evolving landscape of educational partnerships within the senior living industry. 

Corey Seigel, a CIA graduate and Piper Shores’ Food and Nutrition Director with over 33 years of industry experience, saw an opportunity for Piper Shores to be an approved externship site. He initiated the process by crafting a tailored curriculum, aligning it with Piper Shores’ culinary uniqueness for a valuable learning experience for aspiring chefs. 

The CIA Approval Process

Becoming an approved externship site for the CIA is no small feat. Seigel explained the rigorous approval process, emphasizing the significance of developing a tailored curriculum that aligns with Piper Shores’ distinctive culinary offerings. The CIA takes an in-depth look at applicant resumes to ensure that the senior management team possesses the expertise required to mentor and educate emerging culinary professionals. The approval process involved presenting a video (see below) showcasing the up-to-date kitchens and layouts and demonstrating Piper Shores’ commitment to the students’ education. 

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Mutually Beneficial Relationship

Seigel highlighted the transformation of the internship program, from one historically focused on cheap labor to one that provides a mutually beneficial relationship. This shift reflects a commitment to fostering a positive and supportive learning environment. 

Benefits for Piper Shores and Students

For Piper Shores, the benefits of hosting CIA externs are twofold. Corey emphasized the value of working with individuals who are not only skilled but also career-minded. These students bring a diverse skill set and a passion for their chosen profession. On the students’ side, the internship provides exposure to a unique segment of the culinary industry—senior living. It offers a broad spectrum of experiences that allow them to work on different facets of cooking, from diverse menus to various kitchen processes. 

Unique Culinary Experience at Piper Shores

Piper Shores stands out as a culinary destination, offering a diverse and evolving menu with four kitchens across its campus. Unlike traditional restaurants that specialize in a particular cuisine, the culinary environment at Piper Shores allows students to explore and create dishes ranging from seasonal-inspired meals to classics. The culinary team, consisting of 22 people led by Executive Chef Randy Cruse, brings a wealth of experience, including restaurant ownership, hotel work, and local restaurants expertise, providing students with a well-rounded educational experience. 

The Application Process and Flexibility

Prospective interns can apply through the CIA’s database, where Piper Shores is listed as an approved externship site. The application process is flexible, accommodating students on various schedules due to the CIA’s unique class structure. With the option for year-round internships, students can align their externship with their curriculum, creating a seamless integration between education and real-world experience. 

Long-Term Investment in Emerging Professionals

Seigel emphasizes that the CIA externship program is a long-term investment in the future of Piper Shores. While not a short-term recruitment strategy, it aims to attract career-minded individuals who may choose to return to Piper Shores after completing their education. The program fosters a relationship of shared learning, with the hope that interns will bring fresh perspectives while gaining valuable experiences. 

For Piper Shores, this collaboration is not only a feather in their cap, but it also positions the community as an attractive destination for emerging culinary professionals seeking a unique and diverse learning experience. As Piper Shores continues to invest in the future of the culinary industry, this partnership serves as a testament to the community’s commitment to excellence and innovation.