The Culinary Institute of America was founded in 1946 (then based in New Haven, Connecticut) 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, New York; San Antonio, Texas; Singapore; and the Greystone campus in St. Helena, California, in the heart of the Napa Valley wine country. It’s been called the Harvard of cooking schools. And chefs from Anthony Bourdain to Charlie Palmer to Grant Achatz are proud alumni.
On the Hyde Park campus, in New York’s Hudson Valley, more than 170 chef-instructors and professors put students through their paces toward bachelor’s or associate degrees in culinary arts, baking and pastry arts, culinary science, and applied food studies. And food enthusiasts from all over can tour the CIA and dine at student-staffed restaurants such as American Bounty (food from the Americas), Bocuse (French), Ristorante Caterina de’ Medici (Italian), and the informal Apple Pie Bakery Café. Or they can take classes, from one-day courses to week-long culinary Boot Camps.