Crazy about the CIA!

So what do you guys think?

Mentioning the “CIA” is probably going to get the government to start bugging my website right? Whatever, more readers!

Wrong CIA anyway… Yesterday’s trip to the Culinary Institute of America up in Hyde Park New York was not only a learning experience, but it really was inspiring. Has anyone ever taken a tour of the school? I suggest you do if you ever have a free afternoon and feel like heading up to NY. After all the college tours I’ve gone on in my life, this one was the most fun… hm, I wonder why? 

This was one of the hallways where you could watch the different pastry and culinary students in action. Each prep kitchen had a big window so whether it was savory items for the Apple Pie Cafe – a student run cafe with fresh baked breads, pastry, and little lunch items – or watching all of their macaroons and cupcakes come together, it was right there in front of me!

 Everywhere on campus smelled UNBELIEVABLE. It truly was culinary heaven. Even outside on the grounds, it was like the food was being made right next to me. 

And everything about the grounds was picturesque. The building are set on over 100 acres right on the Hudson river. They have gardens full of lavender and fresh herbs and probably the most exciting tid bit is that their library is home to the biggest collection of food related texts next to the library of Congress. 

I could probably spend a year in there reading without even realizing it…

My mama and I wandered around the herb gardens before dinner at one of their students run restaurants. There are 5 different restaurants on campus, all open to the public, and as part of their classes, the students have to do everything from being in the kitchens to run the front of the house!

We went to the Italian restaurant – Caterina de Medici. 

1st course: a Rucola Salad with Strawberry and Parmigiano Cheese

There were then two pasta courses: An Orchiette with Lamb Ragu 

And a Spinach and Ricotta Baked Rolled Pasta.

My mom and I split every dish because we couldn’t decide on just one dish! 

The entree as a Lamb Stew with Saffron, fresh peas, carrots, onions, and cranberry beans! They might be my new favorite bean.

Our server, Adam, was adorable. I think he was very nervous, but he was from Louisanna, used y’all in every other sentence, and I just wanted to squeeze his cheeks and tell him he was doing a good job. 

Of course as always, dessert is what I am looking forward to the most. 

We choose a Ricotta and Sour Cherry Crostada and a Warm Chocolate Cake with a Strawberry Sauce. 

Totally wowed…. 

And wait, it wasn’t over yet. With each bill comes a plate of mignardise …. little desserts made in the pastry classes. 

… Even if the amazing smells, beautiful school, and tempting classes weren’t enough to make me apply to the CIA… a whole little world full of men that can cook MIGHT! What’s better than chef coats and checkered pants…. Told you I was crazy about this place.

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