Well, I have visited the Culinary Institute, Hyde Park Campus for my individual fieldtrip. It’s really close to Vassar. It is actually a 15 minutes’ drive away from Vassar. The CIA was really awesome in so many different ways. It is a non-profit private institute which gives a really good education on culinary and baking. Also, they are not just located in Hyde Park. They also have campuses in Singapore, St. Antonio Texas and St. Helena, California. The institute identify itself as the world’s premier culinary college. They have no other branches. They are focused on culinary arts, baking & pastry arts. There are 2000 students at a time. As you may guess, the education is mostly based on practice rather than theory. It is founded in 1964 and since then they have been providing a culinary education. They also have certificate programs. And besides being a college, the culinary institute is also a destination for tourists. It may be said that the tourism also promotes the culinary institute. Although it is a tourist destination, the institute has a no-photo policy indoors. But, when I told them that I am from Vassar and will write a blog post about the CIA, they let me take some pictures and even assigned a student for me. Here it is : Me and Chandler.
She gave me some informal information about the CIA. Her major is baking&pastry arts. So she was not into the culinary so much but definetly into baking. When I asked her what made her chose the CIA, she told me that it’s because the CIA is only focused on culinary and baking. And it’s also because it’s reputation and connections. Once a student graduates from the CIA, they have many options. The famous chef, cancer survivor Grant Achatz is also a Culinary Institute of America graduate. She also mentioned their study-abroad programs. They have the opportunity to go and explore different cultures and their food! [Spain, France, Italy and China ]
They also prepare their own food!!!! I find that really awesome! Here is the photo of their dining hall where they do their homeworks, eat or hangout.
By the way, there are also wine classes for studensts. And the New York State Law has a special regulation for culinary arts students. They can get wine classes even they are underage, because the classes have educational purposes.
Here it comes. They have fantastic restaurants. Actually I tried to book a table in one of them. But it appears like you should book a table a month before you actually go. This is crazy! But you can go to the Apple Pie Bakery Cafe without any reservation.
- American Bounty Restaurant
- The Bocuse Restaurant
- Ristorante Caterina de’ Medici.
- Apple Pie Bakery Cafe
Guess what I saw in the cafe. Crown Maple Syrup! [ And by the way it was cheaper]
I ate a grilled chicken sandwich with truffle French fries. Although the French fries were also good, I really liked the sandwich. Also the prices were reasonable.
The CIA is also promoting the culinary culture in the Hudson Valley. They are a member of the Hudson Valley Food&Beverage Alliance. And there is a center in the CIA for that purpose. I asked a few people about the Alliance but they did not have any information about it.
Anyway, there are so many things about the CIA. I just tried to give you an overview. If you are interested you can always go there or visit their web site.