Anyone who loves to cook has heard of The Culinary Institute of America (CIA). It is the premier culinary school of the United States and according to Paul Bocuse, “the best culinary school in the world.” What you may not know — I sadly did not — is that it is also the best food-lovers vacation as well! The CIA campus is best described as Hogwarts for chefs: from the buzz of food talk down every hall and corridor, the cathedral ceilings of their dining hall, to the scents that waft in every direction; there is a magical feel that must come from the dense concentration of master chefs and aspiring chefs all in one location. I felt a sense of home to a place I had never been before and I never wanted to leave. It is something every cooking enthusiast must experience for themselves.

Colavita Center

While you are at CIA, take a tour. The grounds are beautiful, the kitchens have big viewing windows (you won’t be able to resist peering in), and you can start oogling over the restaurants. Definitely stop in at Apple Pie Bakery, where you don’t need a reservation. Have some pastries and a latte and make sure to take extras to go.

Flamiche 2

(The Flamiche is incredible!)

desserts at Apple Pie Bakery
Dine at one of the four restaurants (American Bounty, Escoffier, Caterina de ‘Medici, St. Andrews Cafe). The best part, take a class! There are one-day food enthusiasts classes up to five day boot camps (at locations in San Antonio, TX; Napa Valley, CA; and Hyde Park, NY.) More about the surrounding area too in an upcoming post…

You might have to be a cooking geek to appreciate this video; well I am and I could have sat and talked cafe business all day with Matthew (manager at Apple Pie Bakery) and Jay Blotcher (CIA’s publicist). I wanted to share a little of that with you… AND, one lucky winner will get to go experience a class at the CIA!


Give-Away: and the CIA are giving away a one-day Food Enthusiast class! Your gift certificate (value $250) is redeemable throughout 2012! This class happens on Saturdays at the CIA’s Hyde Park campus from 9am to 2:30pm. Take a day-long cooking class and go home with a CIA toque, apron, and your newly-honed culinary skills! To view all 2012 weekend classes, visit CIA’s website.

How to Enter:

1. Check out all the food enthusiast programs at the CIA and leave a comment here (and a way for me to contact you) telling me which class or boot camp would be your dream to take.

2. You can have a second entry by checking out the long list of one-day classes and telling me which one you’d choose if you won. (Don’t worry, you can switch to a different one if you change your mind.)

3. You can have a third entry by submitting a third and separate comment letting me know that you’ve subscribed to the CIA mailing list.

One winner will be selected at random at 10:30am on Monday, January 30, 2012

*Note: I was not compensated for this post. Although I attended a sponsored press trip to the CIA where I got to watch a bit of a class, eat lunch with the class, and sample a few pastries from Apple Pie Bakery without charge. I approached them for the give-away because I really thought the CIA was just so awesome!!
bread class

This might be our best give away to date, so go for it!

The winner is #64! Congratulations to Jeannie!

posted by jessica at 12:03 PM Filed under Give-Aways, Restaurants, Travel. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.