Culinary Innovation Lab Interns Bring World Class Education to Sarasota


Students at the Paul Bocuse Institute in Lyon, France, are required to complete an intensive internship at the end of their degree programs. To two of these students, Juliette Ravinale and Ricardo Granda Pineda, USF Sarasota-Manatee (USFSM) presented the perfect opportunity.

Dr. Cihan Cobanoglu, dean of USFSM’s College of Hospitality & Tourism Leadership, guest lectured at the Paul Bocuse Institute in 2013. There, he mentored both Ravinale and Pineda and invited them to complete their final degree requirement at USFSM’s Culinary Innovation Lab (CIL).

Born in Monaco, 23-year-old Juliette Ravinale is interning alongside the chefs at the CIL to complete her bachelor’s degree in International Management from the Paul Bocuse Institute. She began her hospitality studies in Monaco, where she was given the opportunity to spend two years working for Prince Albert II and renowned French chef Joël Robuchon. Ravinale has also spent time working at Hotel Metropole in Monte-Carlo and under Chef Tom Kitchin, Scotland’s youngest Michelin-starred chef proprietor. “These were amazing professional and personal experiences for me,” said Ravinale. “I learned about very high quality standards of the service, the discipline, the passion for work and the respect for the products.”

Since Ravinale began her internship at USF Sarasota-Manatee, she acts as the intern assistant manager of USFSM’s CIL, aiding the chefs with their Introduction to Food and Restaurant and Event Planning classes, creating events, meeting with guests and establishing menus. Of special interest to her are the sustainability projects, marketing duties and event organization, which she would like to further develop in her future career.

“USFSM offered me a great professional opportunity by asking me to do my internship at the CIL,” said Ravinale. “Here the professional network is phenomenal and the intercultural management I am dealing with helps me to become stronger both socially and professionally.”

Ricardo Pineda, a native of Ecuador, is the second Paul Bocuse Institute student interning at the Culinary Innovation Lab. Pineda began his culinary studies at the Mausi Sebess Institute in Buenos Aires, Argentina, one of South America’s most recognized culinary institutes. After working many years in the hospitality industry, Pineda enrolled in Paul Bocuse Institute’s Culinary Management & Innovation master’s degree program.

Pineda spent 20 weeks interning at the CIL beginning in August 2014. His primary duties involved assisting USFSM instructors Garry Colpitts and Joe Askren with courses and activities at the CIL. During Colpitts’s Introduction to Food course, Pineda assisted with food setup, provided classroom support and guided the students through recipe execution. He also showcased his culinary and managerial skills by organizing and hosting public and private events at the CIL.

“This internship was very exciting for me,” said Pineda. “It gave me the opportunity to be in charge of an entire event’s organization, set up menus and food displays and perform a lot of public relations.”

After earning his master’s degree, Pineda plans to become a professional chef and own a self-sustainable restaurant that harvests its own food. He also hopes to apply his graduate studies toward researching and developing new and innovative restaurant concepts. “My concerns are about food supply and their nutritional aspects,” said Pineda. “I want to enhance the food system of the community where I live.”

Through these internship experiences, Ravinale and Pineda gained professional skillsets, valuable hands-on work experience and a unique international perspective that will serve them in their future hospitality careers.  “From my personal observation, I do recommend other students come to USFSM. It is great to have an intercultural experience and be taught by excellent professionals,” said Pineda. “There is a huge and promising future for the College of Hospitality & Tourism Leadership.”