Tasting the place: The nation’s revered professional cooking school, the Culinary Institute of America, has opened a campus in San Antonio, only its second outside of New York and after the lauded outpost in the Napa Valley. The setting may be half the reason to go, as the school is housed on 20 acres just north of downtown within the handsome, restored 19th-Century buildings that were home to the former Pearl Brewery. The CIA’s new school, with world-class classrooms and kitchens, provides the perfect place to indulge your cooking passions.
Choice classes: In addition to its full-time culinary program, this CIA also offers its popular enthusiast classes, which are intensive, three-day programs for foodies, as well as one-day bootcamps.
The current menu: Upcoming classes include Bistros and Brasseries, March 20, a class for learning to make fine comfort food, such as beef stew with red wine, a creamy leek and cheese tart, and chocolate mousse. Chef demonstrations of omelets, crêpes, and sandwiches such as the croque monsieur, are promised, too, straight from the pages of the CIA’s famous cookbooks. The Italian Table, April 10, emphasizes antipasti, stews, braises and simple, authentic Italian dishes. Baking at Home – The Desserts, May 15, is a day of chef demos, lectures and kitchen work intended to boost your baking skills. Each class lasts from 9:30 a.m. until 2:30 p.m., costs $250 and includes a CIA apron and a copy of the relevant CIA cookbook.
Side-dishing: After class, wander the extended River Walk and explore nearby museums (do not miss the Southwest School of Art and Craft) and missions (the Sunday morning mariachi mass at Mission San Jose is a treat). Convenient lodging can be booked at The Watermark or the Valencia, both hotels on the River Walk, downtown.
For more info: Visit www.ciachef.edu/sanantonio.
June Naylor is State Fare Editor of EscapeHatchDallas. A Fort Worth-based food writer, cookbook author and restaurant critic, June has been a journalist on the Texas food scene for more than 20 years. Join her on one of her culinary adventures: TexasToastCulinaryTours.com.