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Pennsylvania Culinary Institute Commemorates Two Decades of Excellence; Students, faculty and guest chefs celebrate 20 years of culinary education in downtown Pittsburgh

PR Newswire
October 24, 2006

PITTSBURGH, Oct. 24 /PRNewswire/ -- This October, Pennsylvania Culinary Institute (PCI), part of Le Cordon Bleu Schools North America (LCBNA), and a member of the Career Education Corporation (Nasdaq: CECO) family of schools, is celebrating 20 years of excellence in culinary education. Located in the heart of Pittsburgh's Cultural District, the school has a rich history of providing aspiring chefs with hands-on classical training with culinary leaders from across the globe.

To kick off the anniversary celebration, Pennsylvania Culinary hosted an open house on Monday, October 2 at the Byham Theater in downtown Pittsburgh. Guests of honor included:

-- Dieter Kiessling, C.M.C., A.A.C. and Retired Director of Education for PCI -- Byron Bardy, C.M.C., A.A.C., H.O.G.T. and a Former Chef of H.J. Heinz Corporation

Chefs Kiessling and Bardy are two of five Chefs in the United States to pass the first American Culinary Federation (ACF) Certified Master Chef (CMC) Examination held 25 years ago on October 3, 1981.

Following the open house, Chefs Kiessling and Bardy joined the PCI Faculty on stage for the bi-annual commencement ceremony honoring graduates with the distinguished Le Cordon Bleu Diplome, in addition to receiving an Associate of Specialized Technology degree for the Le Cordon Bleu Culinary Arts program, the Le Cordon Bleu Pâtisserie and Baking program or the Le Cordon Bleu Hospitality & Restaurant Management program "Pennsylvania Culinary Institute and its students contribute significantly to Pittsburgh's vibrant atmosphere," said Jonathan Cox, Vice President of Operations for the Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership. "Students who come to the school to become chefs and hospitality professionals add to the eclectic mix of people and cultures that makes Pittsburgh such a lively place."

Originally founded in 1986 as a program of the Sawyer School in downtown Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania Culinary Institute quickly grew and within four years became a separate school under the newly formed entity, Pennsylvania Institute of Culinary Arts, Inc. In December 2001, Career Education Corporation purchased Pennsylvania Culinary Institute. By 2002, CEC incorporated into the school the world-renowned Le Cordon Bleu Culinary Arts Program, and the Le Cordon Bleu Pâtisserie and Baking program followed in 2003. The Le Cordon Bleu Hospitality & Restaurant Management program was added in 2004.

"Over the past two decades, PCI has established itself as the ideal destination for culinary education," said William Hunt, C.E.C., C.C.E., A.A.C. and Dean of the Le Cordon Bleu Culinary Arts program at the Pennsylvania Culinary Institute. "Throughout our history, PCI has been committed to developing and maintaining a faculty of expert chef instructors who stay on top of trends and cutting edge technology; to attracting students who share a passion for the art of cooking; and to providing our students with the education and skills they need to excel in the culinary and hospitality fields."

About Le Cordon Bleu Schools North America
Le Cordon Bleu Schools North America is the largest provider of quality culinary arts education. Few institutions possess the distinguished reputation of Le Cordon Bleu, which established its first culinary school in Paris in 1895. Today, Le Cordon Bleu operates schools in London , Tokyo , Ottawa and Sydney in addition to its Paris location, and offers programs in Australia, Mexico, and Brazil . There are currently 13 schools in the Le Cordon Bleu Schools North America network, offering programs in Le Cordon Bleu Culinary Arts, Le Cordon Bleu Pâtisserie & Baking, and Le Cordon Bleu Hospitality & Restaurant Management. For more information, please visit http://www.lecordonbleuschoolsusa.com.

About Career Education Corporation
The colleges, schools and universities that are part of the Career Education Corporation (CEC) family offer high quality education to more than 95,000 students across the world in a variety of career-oriented disciplines. The 80-plus campuses that serve these students are located throughout the U.S., Canada, France, the United Kingdom, and the United Arab Emirates and offer doctoral, master's, bachelor's, and associate degrees and diploma and certificate programs. Approximately one third of students attend the web-based virtual campuses of American InterContinental University Online and Colorado Technical University Online.

Career Education is an industry leader whose gold-standard brands are recognized globally. Those brands include, among others, the Le Cordon Bleu Schools North America; Harrington College of Design; Brooks Institute of Photography; Katharine Gibbs Schools; American InterContinental University; Colorado Technical University and Sanford-Brown Colleges and Institutes. The purpose of CEC, through its schools, its educators, and its employees is education -- their primary goal, to enable students to graduate successfully and pursue rewarding careers. For more information see http://www.careered.com. The company's website also has a detailed listing of individual campus locations and web links for its 80-plus colleges, schools and universities.

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