The Culinary Institute of America Napa Valley is the ultimate destination for foodies.
Housed in the former Christian Brothers Greystone winery, this West Coast campus of the famed CIA in New York started out with a sense of entitlement.
The century-old stone château was remodeled to include 15,000 square feet of state-of-the-art teaching kitchens, the Greystone Restaurant, a 125-seat demonstration auditorium, plus a retail store stocked with all kinds of gourmet goodies.
When it opened its doors in 1995, this California branch of the country's prestigious cooking school quickly became a world-class teaching facility. The Culinary Institute of America Napa Valley is where executive chefs-in-the-making come to sharpen their culinary skills in Wine Country.
Cooking vacation: If those words sound like an oxymoron to you, stop right here. However, if the idea of stepping into one of the top-rated culinary schools in the country for gourmet cooking classes makes your pulse quicken in anticipation, this is for you.
Indulge your passion -- and stretch your culinary skills -- with a 2-day or 5-day CIA Boot Camp Cooking Vacation. You'll learn from first-rate instructors who set the standard in Wine Country. There's even a Dessert Boot Camp. Oh, yes. It's on my bucket list.
Food and wine enthusiasts will also love the hands-on 2-hour or full-day cooking or wine classes offered here on the weekends. Get the schedule of classes for the Culinary Institute of America Napa Valley and make a reservation.
Want less of a commitment? Take a tour of the historic cooking school or watch a cooking demo. There are many ways to satisfy your inner foodie, whether you have a half hour to spare -- or a few days.
You know you're in for a special shopping treat when you step through the glass doors of the Marketplace.
Once inside, you'll be dazzled by the shiny stainless steel cookware, the vast selection of most-wanted -- and hard-to-find -- kitchen utensils, plus more cookbooks than you could shake a whisk at.
You have plenty here to tantalize your taste buds, too. Step up to the Flavor Bar for a tasting of premium olive oils. Or, treat yourself to a wine and cheese pairing and learn how they can complement each other.
Are you a chocolate fancier? Me, too. We love to nibble on these dark, luscious confections. But...do you know how cocoa is grown? What makes some chocolates better quality than others? You'll get the answers to these questions at the Chocolate Experience.
If these taste adventures leave you wanting more, you can buy gourmet ingredients here at the Spice Islands® Marketplace.
Greystone Restaurant is a destination in itself. Snag a table on the terrace and you'll enjoy picturesque views of the surrounding vineyards.
Is this your first visit to Greystone Restaurant? You'll want to sit inside where you'll watch student chefs whip, sautée, bake or grill in the open kitchens, lending a display of energy to the expansive dining room.
The menu changes so I can't tell you what you'll eat, but you will have lots of delectable choices with a heavy Mediterranean influence and fresh farm-to-table flavors. Whether you come for small bites with a glass of wine -- or for lunch or dinner -- you'll find the Greystone Restaurant at the Culinary Institute of America Napa Valley is a unique dining experience.