Marine Hotel Association & Culinary Institute of America Team Up

Fine dining food on a table
Updated Published

The Marine Hotel Association (MHA) has partnered with CIA Consulting, a division of the Culinary Institute of America—the world's leading culinary school—to launch a professional training and development program for its cruise line members. Starting in October, the Culinary Professional Development Program will be available as scholarships to MHA Cruise Line members.

CIA chef instructors will conduct a five-day, hands-on training session for scholarship recipients nominated by the Marine Hotel Association. The first session will be held at the CIA’s New York campus, with a second session planned for June 2025 at the CIA’s Singapore campus.

This program aims to advance the careers of culinary professionals by teaching them about global flavors and how to implement these flavors in a plant-forward environment. The curriculum will cover topics such as yield and food waste, cost awareness, total product utilization, and sustainability.

CIA Consulting developed the program in collaboration with the MHA Culinary Council, which includes culinary leaders from the cruise industry.

“We are excited to team up with the MHA to make this program possible,” said David Kamen, director of client experience for CIA Consulting. “Ensuring that these culinary team members have proper training will not only help participating cruise lines improve food yield and reduce waste, but it will also help increase guest satisfaction by providing a global palette of vibrant and flavorful menu items.”

John McGirl, Chair of the MHA Scholarship Foundation and Chief People Officer at Starboard Cruise Services, expressed his enthusiasm: “We are delighted to be re-introducing the MHA scholarship program in 2024 with this new culinary-focused offering. The MHA has delivered thousands of scholarships to the industry over its 40 years of existence, and this is a natural evolution of the program to recognize the level of professional leadership in our culinarians onboard.”

Philippe Faucher, President of the MHA Board of Directors and Senior Vice President of The Apollo Group, shared his pride in the initiative: “I’m honored to be serving as both the Chair of the Culinary Council and the President of the Marine Hotel Association. I am immensely proud to witness the transformative impact our newly formed Culinary Council is making for our talented chefs on the high seas. Our mission at the MHA has always been to support the folks that make it happen onboard by fostering excellence within the maritime hospitality industry through various strategic associations. With the establishment of the Culinary Council, and together with the CIA, we have taken a monumental step forward in achieving this goal as we create unprecedented opportunities for culinary talent to thrive.”