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mar 20 2009

Napa Valley: The CIA's new cooking classes

Chef Andy Wild teaches a Saturday class on the foods of Greece (Courtesy Faith Echtermeyer/CIA)

The Culinary Institute of America has launched new cooking and wine classes at its Napa Valley location.

Saturdays at the CIA, with dates now through July, are hands-on, two-hour classes taught by faculty. The class subjects include Street Foods of the Middle East, Bold Flavors from Tuscany, and Flavors of the New Spanish Table. Class size caps at 12, and students work in teams to complete a few small dishes to share with a glass of wine, all with an expert chef helping along the way (and you also get to wear those cool hats). Classes are $75 per person and taught in the mornings.

The CIA also has new afternoon wine classes (also $75 per person), so it's feasible for you to spend an entire day at the CIA. If you make reservations ahead of time, you can eat a two-course lunch for $19 per person at the Institute's restaurant—that's about 30 percent off. Students also get 10 percent off at the CIA's store.

This location is an easy stop if you're tasting your way through Napa Valley (St. Helena is about half an hour from Napa itself). The Institute, founded in 1946, also has locations in New York and Texas—graduates include Anthony Bourdain, Cat Cora, and Harold Dieterle.

Reservations recommended, 707/967-2320, ciachef.edu

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Note:This story was accurate when it was published. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.

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