The college has enjoyed a unique history characterized
by rapid expansion in its 56 years of service. The Culinary
Institute of America opened in 1946 as the New Haven
Restaurant Institute, a storefront cooking school in
downtown New Haven, CT, with an enrollment of 50 students
and a faculty consisting of a chef, a baker, and a dietitian.
The Institute, at that time a vocational training school
for World War II veterans, offered a 16-week program
featuring instruction in 78 popular menus of the day.
Members of the New Haven Restaurant Association sponsored
the original school, whose founders, Frances Roth and
Katharine Angell, served as its first director and chair
of the board, respectively.
As the foodservice industry grew, so did enrollment,
necessitating a move in 1947 to larger quarters: a 40-room
mansion adjacent to Yale University. The school's name
was changed to the Restaurant Institute of Connecticut;
in 1951 it became known as The Culinary Institute of
America, reflecting the diversity of the student population.
The educational program was expanded to two years, and
continuing education courses for industry professionals
were introduced. By the time of Mrs. Roth's retirement
in 1965, the school had increased its enrollment to
400 students and operated a $2 million facility.
In 1969, double-class sessions were initiated to accommodate
a backlog of applications, and an auxiliary campus was
leased, but with more than 1,000 students and with facilities
strained to the maximum, the school's administrators
launched a search for a new home. They found it in St.
Andrew-on-Hudson, a former Jesuit seminary in Hyde Park,
NY. The college purchased the five-story, 150-room building,
situated on 80 acres of land overlooking the Hudson
River, for $1 million in 1970. Two years and $4 million
in renovations later, the new school opened, with its
main building renamed Roth Hall.