The Culinary Institute of America was founded back in 1946 (then based in New Haven, CT), as a program for World War II veterans to train in culinary arts. It’s come a long way since those early days, and is now recognized as one of the top international centers of culinary education, with campuses in Hyde Park, NY; San Antonio, TX; Singapore; and the Greystone campus in St. Helena, CA, in the heart of the Napa Valley wine country. It’s been called the Harvard of cooking schools.

At Greystone, in addition to the formal degree programs in culinary, baking, and pastry arts, there are cooking and wine classes (as well as demos and tastings) for food enthusiasts, and opportunities to taste the students’ labors at the Wine Spectator Restaurant at Greystone, the Bakery Café by illy, and the Conservatory at Greystone, which features a tasting menu prepared by students of American Food Studies: Farm-to-Table Cooking, led by culinary director and chef Larry Forgione. Greystone students truly know where their food comes from: Many of the foods they cook with come from the student-run organic and sustainable Lenich Garden launched in 2011.