The Culinary Institute of America
Hyde Park NY 12538
Price$30 and under
- Mon: 8:30am-5pm
- Tue: 8:30am-5pm
- Wed: 8:30am-5pm
- Thu: 8:30am-5pm
- Fri: 8:30am-5pm
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Located on the banks of the Hudson River in a former monastery, the flagship campus of the Culinary Institute of America is one of the world's most famous culinary schools and has trained tens of thousands of professionals since it first opened its doors at this location in 1972. Students from all over the globe come to the CIA to study under the school's associate degree, bachelor's degree, or certificate programs.
But the biggest draw at the CIA is the selection of on campus restaurants. Open to the public, all the food at these establishments is cooked and served by the school's students. Amazingly, the entire staff at each restaurant turns over every six weeks to accommodate the next batch of hungry young culinary tastemakers studying at the institute.
How to get to The Culinary Institute of America
The CIA is located right on Route 9, just south of downtown Hyde Park. Parking is free; follow the "Visitor Parking" signs to find one of the parking garages set aside for those visiting the campus. The campus is also one of the stops on the Dutchess County LOOP bus system's "Route C" that travels between Poughkeepsie and Tivoli.
Best and worst times to go to The Culinary Institute of America
Public tours of the campus fill up fast in the summer, so don't wait until the day beforehand to schedule a tour. Those looking to get the most bang out of their dining buck should visit in late Fall or early Spring during Hudson Valley Restaurant Week, when the CIA's restaurants offer special prix fixe deals.
Admission to The Culinary Institute of America
The campus itself is free to visit. Campus tours conducted by current CIA students are offered to the general public on Mondays at 10 a.m. and Mondays through Fridays at 4 p.m. The cost of the tour is $6 per person; Reservations are required and can be made by calling 845-451-1588. Prospective students should contact the Admissions Department at 845-451-1068 for information on tours geared specifically towards them.
Must see/do at The Culinary Institute of America
Even before you step into a building, enjoy the view of the Hudson River from the 30,000 square foot terrace at Anton Plaza; conveniently located by the parking garage and in front of Roth Hall. After taking in the view, step inside Roth Hall to visit the campus bookstore for and impressive offering of culinary equipment and cookbooks, including the books written by CIA staff that the students themselves use.
Other places to visit near The Culinary Institute of America
Downtown Hyde Park is right up the road, and no visit to Hyde Park is complete without visiting the sprawling estate of Franklin D. Roosevelt. The site, which is also part of the National Parks Service, contains the former president's house, presidential library, museum, and even hiking trails that lead down to the Hudson River. Two miles up the road, the Vanderbilt Mansion offers a fascinating glimpse into the life of society's upper crust during the gilded age. And if the weather's warm, pull into the Hyde Park Drive-In Theater for nightly double-bills of first-run movies.
Insider tips for visitors to The Culinary Institute of America
The CIA isn't just for those who want a career in the culinary arts. The campus offers a variety of one-day and one-week "boot camp" classes aimed at the enthusiastic home cook in such diverse topics as baking, grilling, entertaining, and even one focused on the food of the Hudson Valley.
Author's bio: Brian PJ Cronin is a freelance journalist who lives in Beacon and writes about the Hudson Valley for numerous publications. You can find him online at brianpjcronin.com and on Twitter as @brianpjcronin.