Sunday, August 5, 2012

Why Hyde Park?

St. Helena, CA? Hyde Park, NY?? San Antonio, TX??? Singapore????

Decisions decisions... With all of these options, how can one possibly choose a CIA campus?

It's true, they do give future Chefs a lot of options when it comes to picking a place to study. Many other schools have options of where to study, but none offer such a wide range. I mean, studying in Singapore? That's pretty cool!

I made the choice to persue my degree at the CIA's Hyde Park Campus for a number of reasons. In the next month or so, you will not only hear my story, but the stories of CIA students from several of the different campuses. Hopefully this will help you decide which one is right for you!

My First Visit To The CIA, 5 Years Ago!

Why Hyde Park?

1. Most College-like Experience
 I started at the CIA right out of high school, so I was certainly looking for a college experience. Not many culinary schools offer that, since they are usually six month programs. The Hyde Park location is the most established, and has a wide array of collegiate sports, clubs, activities, and provides the same experince as one would have going to a normal college (except you are surround by people who are as obsessed with food as you are...which is an experience within itself!).

2. Oldest CIA Campus
The CIA used to be home to St. Andrews on the Hudson, a Jesuit Seminary, before it became the New Haven Restaurant Institute (a cooking academy for military vets), and then ultimately what it is today. Phew, that's a lot of history! This is reflected in the breathtaking grounds that our budding chefs walk on every day, and the amazing stained-glass windows that line the walls of our dining room, Farquharson Hall. All of this has made the Hyde Park campus the most notorious CIA location, and draws so many famous Chefs to work, present, and take classes here. It is an honor to be in the place where so much greatness took place, and not many college students can say that!

3. Proximity to NYC
"The City", as we call it, is only a 1hr and 30 minute train ride from the college, making it easy to explore, work, stage, and even extern in America's largest food city ever! It is so easy to take a train to NYC for a day trip to eat and explore. Plus, it is perfect for the job-seeking CIA student, especially when graduation time rolls around. Many students end up working in Manhattan's top restaurants for their externship or post graduation. 

4. All about the numbers!
Check this out... according to, the Hyde Park Campus has...
"41 professionally equipped kitchens and bakeshops;
five award-winning, student-staffed restaurants;
culinary demonstration theaters;
a dedicated wine lecture hall;
a center for the study of Italian food and wine;
a library with nearly 84,000 volumes;
and a storeroom filled to brimming with the finest ingredients, including many sourced from the bounty of the Hudson Valley."
Plus, there is current construction underway at the Hyde Park Campus! New student housing was recently added, the student rec center will soon be expanded, and a new ampitheatre/hall will be added for graduations and speakers. 

Overall, I am extremely happy with the decision I've made. The decision is yours, and you have to base it off of your own needs and wants. Either way, the choice to attend the CIA is the best one you could have made. The education you will recieve will get you further and send you where you want to go!

Stay hungry and curious,

Blayre :)

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