The Culinary Institute of America’s (CIA) new facility at Copia is quickly becoming a must-see hot spot for food and drink geeks. The 80,000 square foot facility, located next to the Oxbow Market in downtown Napa, brings culinary and beverage education to the people – up close and personal. Here are five reasons to geek out at the CIA at Copia.
Learn from the best: culinary and beverage classes from CIA instructors
The CIA is considered one of the world’s best culinary schools and now the public can tap the knowledge of CIA chefs and instructors through daily classes. Taking place in the 72-seat Napa Valley Vintners Theater, upcoming classes include how-to cook with wine, how to pair wine with food, the history of coffee, and a family-friendly, hands-on mac and cheese class. Classes start at $15.
Sharing is caring: indulge, with friends, in shareable seasonal cuisine
The Restaurant at CIA Copia offers seasonal, shareable cuisine created by a team led by French chef, Christophe Gerard. The dining experience is unique: cooks create shared plates and present them to your table, discussing each dish and helping you select what appeals to your palate and eyes. Menu offerings include Jerusalem Artichoke Crisps ($8), a 34 oz. Cowboy Ribeye ($95), and a cheese plate that is unlike any other you’ll ever experience (ask to meet Bessie!). They’re open for lunch and dinner.
Shop your way to the ultimate culinary lifestyle
After learning how to make your own cheese, you’ll need all the tools to do it and the Store at CIA Copia has it all. Many of the store’s offerings are hand-crafted in the US and Europe, including pottery from St. Helena ceramicist, Amanda Wright, gardening tools from UK-based Haws, and cutlery from Germany’s Messermeister. The store has a huge selection of culinary-themed books and also locally made wine and food.
Enjoy craft cocktails and wine from around the world
The bar at the Restaurant at CIA Copia includes an expansive beverage program, including wine and craft cocktails. They barrel-age their own bitters and make their own infusions. Cocktails include a Barrel Aged Sazerac (Sacred Bond Brandy, absinthe, bitters) and the Apple Blossom (Spring 44 Gin, Calvados and apple). Beers and wines from around the world are also offered, including from throughout Northern California and France. Grab a drink and wander the manicured gardens of the property, which provide ingredients for the restaurant and classes.
Check out the art and history of the food and wine world
The property includes a selection of commissioned artworks, including Fork by sculptor Gordon Heuther and a tribute to Bob and Margrit Mondavi, titled Is that Bob and Margrit?, which resides on the tower on the outside of the building (look up!). Check out the sparkle of the Gutenstein Family Decanter Collection and check back later this year for the opening Chuck Williams Culinary Arts Museum and the Wine Hall of Fame.
The CIA at Copia is open daily. 500 1st St., Napa. ciaatcopia.com.