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Culinary Institute !

“Make Food Your Life at the CIA”     – The Motto of the CIA  IMG_3846

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 andIMG_3871 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 opportunityIMG_3868 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.IMG_3866

IMG_3856You ask.. how come it’s a tourist destination

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 Restaurant1383288_10151899369065861_724104059_n
  • 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.







Woodstock & Kingston

Have you been to Woodstock?!

In the very first class, a question was posed. Remember?

Did someone say Woodstock? We have been there! Last week our first stop was Woodstock. And no, this time we were not at a farm but in a very cool small town.
Woodstock is known for many things. Unfortunately, 1969 Woodstock Music festival is not one of them. It was held in Catskills. Anyways, Woodstock may be the hippiest – or may be the most hippie looking- city in the Hudson Valley.

It was really interesting that almost every store we stopped by was very otantic, hippie and colorful! It is for sure that Woodstock is not mainstream at all. But beside of being georgeous, Woodstock was also artificial in some way. After a while, you sense the commodity culture. It seems like there is a set up for tourists. I think it is mostly because of the souvenir shops. In addition, even everywhere looks as hippie/hipster, there are not so much people who fit into the description. Nevertheless a city which is associated with music can not be boring/dissapointing at all.

This is the very first store we stopped by! Those miniature toys were amazing. But they were also pricey ( about 200-300 dollars)


This was a very nice cafe with very friendly people ! Do you see how colorful it is ?!


And this is the same cafe from inside.


And this was another store “Walkabout” in which we had a chance to talk about Woodstock with the owner [Bryn] of it.

She claimed that Woodstock have been changing since 9/11, new neighbors tries to modernize the city. [ she was not so happy about it.] She also stated that the best thing she likes about Woodstock is its accepting culture.And said

“If we did half the things they said we did we’d all be dead”   ~Bryn


After the excitement of Woodstock, we headed over to Kingston.

Photo Sep 27, 16 29 04

Kingston is a town filled with a mix of people. There are the self-proclaimed hipsters, the older generation, the tourists, and more. It is not a bustling scene, but it certainly has its attractions. In the center of town there is a street colored with all the colors of the rainbow. Our guide, Alex, took us down the main avenue to a meat market named Fleisher’s. All the meat here is all-natural, “head to tail”, fresh, and local. Though not a tourist destination, plenty of people from the big city are familiar with this small city because of Fleisher’s popularity.

Photo Sep 27, 16 38 22

Besides the market, another amenity of the town is the Backstage Studio Production. This run-down yet elaborate theater has been turned around by the up and coming youth. Alex showed us the ins and outs of the beautiful building, including the people who run the place. We learned that a handful of young adults are promoting an alternative lifestyle with their unofficial symbol of the red goat. It’s not a full on rebellion, but a statement of change for the better. A staple of the town’s history can be seen on October 4th, during the biannual Burning of Kingston Reenactment. This three day event chronicles the destruction of Kingston back in 1777, and this year it takes place just a week before the O+ Festival.

Inside of the BSP

Inside of the BSP

Kingston is a small town with a big heart. The people are friendly and hopeful for the future. It has its quirks (murals on the sides of buildings) and its neighborhood charm. And though it might not be on the top of the list when it comes to tourism in the Hudson Valley, Kingston makes my list of places I would love to revisit.



Amenia Trip !

Hi everyone !

My name is Cansu. I am a junior Media and Communication major. I am here as an exchange student. – I know that the selfie is very bad. Still I had to upload it.-This is my first time in the States and I am having a tough time adjusting to a new culture. I was born and raised in Istanbul, the biggest city in Turkey. Since my birth I am surrounded by huge apartments, traffic jam, pollution etc. By the way Istanbul’s population in 17 million. Almost twice as much as New York City’s. So in Istanbul it’s impossible to see a farmer’s market. -At least I haven’t seen one yet-   When I decided to live in Poughkeepsie -although I’m here for a short time- and attend Vassar College, I knew that it’s going to be very different.

And I made a commitment to myself :

I’m gonna visit a lot of places !

Thanks to my advisor who recommended this course. Our first stop was the little town of Amenia which has just 1 (one) traffic light – not kidding- and the farmer’s market. The wooden houses with flags and empty roads, all of them was quite unusual to me. But anyway, I have been enjoying the silence for almost 3 weeks now and I feel very relaxed.


There were farmers selling their organic or at least natural stuff. I enjoyed a lot ! The farmer’s market was not big actually it was vey small. There were approximately – I don’t remember exactly- 10 farmers I guess.


This is a nice lady’s stand who bakes home-made desserts! They look very delicious! I wish I wasn’t on diet and could have tasted them.



And this is a yoghurt/milk/ice cream -dairy products- stand. Stand’s owner told me that they are not “organic” but natural.


And this makes me really pissed off!IMG_3590

Dudes ! Baklava is not Greek. It’s Turkish. I mean it.

Check it out.