Hudson Valley Continuing Ed: Get Your Blenders in Gear!

  |  January 6, 2015

Upstaters are a curious bunch, in both senses of the word. “Curious” meaning we’re not afraid to get a little quirky, and “curious” in the sense that we are actively in search of opportunities to learn more about the world around us. Luckily, we don’t need to travel very far to brush up on our environmental science — the Hudson Valley provides the perfect backdrop for discovering the natural world simply by wandering around. Slightly less obvious, however, is the abundance of activities and classes available to lifelong learners in more structured settings. That’s why Upstater would like to officially present our new “Continuing Ed” series! Each post will feature a new opportunity for personal growth and development in the Hudson Valley, starting with the most mouth-watering boot camp you will ever attend. So grab your number two pencil and the paring knife that you’re not quite sure what to use for, and get ready for a lot of pictures of food…

Like this one!

Like this one!

How awesome are the boot camps offered by the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, you ask? Well, one indication that they might be worth your while is the recent post on listing the CIA’s array of Food Enthusiast Programs as one of their “Gifts of a Lifetime.” Still not convinced? What if we mention that this is a chance to spend anywhere from two to five days in the kitchen of your dreams without having to clean one single dish?

Now that we have your full attention, here are the nitty-gritty details:

A typical full-length day at the CIA Boot Camp at Hyde Park begins at around six in the morning. Your culinary education starts with a lecture component and a recipe review, followed by a solid three hours in the kitchen. Students are generally given some free time in the afternoon, and then the group convenes once last time for dinner, which may (depending on the day) take place in one of the Institute’s award-winning restaurants in Hyde Park.

The Boot Camp courses offered at the CIA’s Hyde Park location cover a huge variety of cuisines and specialties, from a two-day class focusing on grilling and bbq to a full workweek devoted to pastries. The instructors come equipped with years of experience, as well as an assortment of awards and recognitions that we have never heard of before, yet still find incredibly exciting (Honorable Mention in the Nestle Chocolate Olympics being one example).

There is no typical CIA Boot Camper! Previous classes have included newlyweds on honeymoon, wannabe grill masters, health nuts, and celebrities (Drew Barrymore, Cameron Diaz, and Reese Witherspoon made an appearance at the Napa Valley location last March, where they brushed up on their Italian cooking know-how).


Sure, it’s a tad bit extravagant, but you may wind up coming out ahead on this educational investment if the food you make yourself is suddenly better than that Italian place down the street…

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