No cloak-and-dagger stuff for this CIA. Unless the cloak is a chef’s coat, and the dagger is a chef’s knife. The Culinary Institute of America is the country’s leading school for training serious chefs, with four campuses – Hyde Park, NY (main), St. Helena, CA, San Antonio, and Singapore. Yeah, I don’t get Singapore, either.
The school was founded in 1946 to provide vocational education for returning war veterans. It’s an accredited college, offering Bachelor of Professional Studies and Associate of Occupational Studies degrees. It also provides continuing education courses for culinary professionals that lead to certification, with the highest level being Certified Executive Chef. And if you’re ever near Hyde Park (about 80 miles north of NYC, near Poughkeepsie), you can enjoy the students’ work at one of the Institute’s five restaurants.
The quality of the CIA is easily seen by the reputation of its graduates. Among those who’ve attended CIA are: Anthony Bourdain (Travel Channel), Richard Blais (Top Chef), Anne Burrell (Food Network), Marcel Desaulniers (Death By Chocolate), Harold Dieterle (Top Chef), Rocco DiSpirito (Rocco’s), Steve Ells (founder, Chipotle Mexican Grill), Duff Goldman (Ace of Cakes), Ilan Hall (Top Chef), Hung Huynh (Top Chef), Christina Machamer (Hell’s Kitchen), Sara Moulton (Good Morning America), Walter Scheib (White House Executive Chef), and Sherry Yard (Spago).