Culinary Institute of America
A half mile south of Hyde Park proper is the Culinary Institute of America, or CIA (1946 Campus Dr., off Rte. 9, 845/452-9600, www.ciachef.edu), the nation’s most prestigious cooking school, founded in 1946. Housed in a former Jesuit seminary overlooking the Hudson, the institute trains about 1,850 students at a time, in a 21-month program that includes courses in everything from pork butchering to purchasing. Between classes, the students hurry about campus dressed in traditional white chefs’ tunics and white-and-gray checked pants.
The CIA is open daily and visitors are welcome to stroll the grounds, browse the well-stocked Craig Claiborne Bookstore, take a tour (call for details; cost is $5), or eat in one of the five first-rate, student-staffed restaurants, all but one open by reservation only.
© Avalon Travel and Sascha Zuger from Moon New York State, 5th Edition