Chef's Blog

The Chinese Pantry

It’s a fact that Americans love eating Chinese food. There are over 40,000 Chinese restaurants in the U.S.; there are more Chinese restaurants than McDonald’s. You can probably name a favorite Chinese restaurant and a dish or two you love. It is also a fact that many cooks feel intimidated […]

Chef's Blog

In Defense of Spam

Early in the semester, CIA students in my Food Writing course read “On Chicken Tenders,” by Helen Rosner, published in 2015 in Guernica. In this amusing but sincere defense of a derided, children’s menu staple, Rosner effectively argues against those who look down on ordering, eating, and celebrating the “perfect” […]

Chef's Blog

It’s Easy Being Green

If you are lucky enough to spend time on our Hyde Park, New York campus, you might see the occasional green chef’s coat winding its way through campus. That could just be me, on my way to work as chef instructor in The Menus of Change Kitchen, where our motto […]

Chef's Blog

Three Sisters: If It Grows Together, It Goes Together

“If it grows together, it goes together.” This is the wisdom passed to me by my grandfather when we were harvesting squash, green beans, and tomatoes from his garden over 20 years ago (probably even 30 years ago, actually, but who’s counting!). He was referring to the idea that produce […]

Chef's Blog

The CIA’s New York Campus: Rich in Food and History

On normal days I meet with my students in classrooms or gardens. I’m a Professor in Applied Food Studies at The Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, NY, and my students are interested in sustainability and culture as well as cooking. We recreate historical recipes like Aztec amaranth cookies, […]

Chef's Blog

Adventures in Home Winemaking

Or, How Grapes From a World-Famous Vineyard Ended Up In My Garage When I tell people my husband and I are garage winemakers, the first thing they say is, “So you have a vineyard?” Well, no. We do live in Napa, but our backyard is tiny. There wasn’t even room […]

Chef's Blog

The Easy Rules for Cooking Game

For generations raised on more conventional meats, seafood, and poultry, the hearty, robust taste of venison, quail, rabbit, and other game meats provides welcome new flavor experiences that remind us, almost subliminally, of the cuisines of our ancestors. Many home cooks think of game as exotic, yet it has always […]

Chef's Blog

Sensational Soups, No Recipe Required

Soup season has arrived, and this month, we’re going to shake things up a bit, with a formula that will help you create sensational soups all season long—without a recipe.  Keep these three flavor components in mind, and you’ll be able turn any collection of ingredients into a restaurant-worthy soup.  […]

Chef's Blog

The Perfect Cup of Tea

We may be a coffee-drinking society, but you can’t underestimate the impact of the millennia-old tradition of drinking tea. And just like coffee, tea can be enjoyed in hundreds (if not thousands!) of ways—yes, even as a latte! All tea comes from the same plant, the Cameliasinensis. The way the […]

Chef's Blog

Cardamom—Fall’s Forgotten Flavor

No longer content to follow the cycles of the moon and the stars, we now identify the changing of seasons with the emergence of the pumpkin spice latte. In thousands of years, they’ll find the recipe carved on a rock in New Hampshire. Made from a mix of cinnamon, nutmeg, […]

Chef's Blog

Cook This Now to Eat Later

As the days get shorter and the to-do list grow longer, the winter brings a flurry of activities, homework, and year-end meetings. When your calendar is overwhelming, it is nice to be prepared with time-saving dinners made by a less-frazzled version of you. Here are some of our favorite make-ahead […]

Chef's Blog

Celebrate Apple Cider Donut Season with a Twist

And just like that, it is apple season! For those of us near our Hyde Park, New York campus, visiting our local apple orchards is an unmissable autumn tradition. Sure, you pick apples to bring home for snacks and pie, but most important is the season’s first apple cider donut. […]