Pure Imagination: Where Dreams Become Reality - Student Charity Event

Pure Imagination: Where Dreams Become Reality

A CIA Student-Run Charity Dining Event

Saturday, April 6, 2024 | 4 p.m.

Join us for a surrealistic evening inspired by the film Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, where we will take you on a journey through the unexpected, as we showcase gastronomy, innovation, and creativity.

Forget everything you thought you knew about food and prepare for a culinary adventure that seamlessly blends the marvels of molecular gastronomy with the boundless creativity of a child’s imagination.

Our menu is a playful journey beyond the ordinary and into a realm where flavors, textures, and presentations are transformed into delightful experiences. We have already said too much. Let us leave the rest to your imagination. Say yes, and join us down the red carpet to Farquharson Hall, where you will be met with a glimpse of your wildest dreams.

This student-planned, operated, and organized charity event celebrates and showcases what we, as the future leaders in the culinary world, have learned during our time at the CIA. Pure Imagination is executed by the graduating bachelor’s degree students at CIA.

The evening will benefit individuals and families who experience domestic violence. Grace Smith House provides shelter, advocacy, counseling, and education for victims and continues to raise the consciousness of the community regarding the seriousness of domestic violence. We chose this charity because we have seen the impact of their work—and to help them provide resources and support to even more families. The donations and proceeds from the event will allow the grace smith to expand their limitations on how many people they can house as well as provide resources for them. In addition to the Grace Smith House, a portion of the event’s proceeds will go towards the Love for Lade Perry Scholarship, created in memory and honor of Omolade “Lade” Perry, a 16-year U.S. Navy veteran and student in the CIA bachelor’s degree program, who passed away, unexpectedly, in March 2022.

Charity: Grace Smith House.
Scholarship: Love for Lade Perry Scholarship.
Date: Saturday, April 6, 2024.
Time: 4–8:30 p.m.
Location: Roth Hall, the Culinary Institute of America, 1946 Campus Drive, Hyde Park, NY 12538.
Dress Code: Show us elegance in the most formal way you know how (e.g. your best tuxedo, or your favorite gown).
Price: $150 per person.
Entertainment: TBD.
Additional Notes: Attendance is limited to 120 guests. CIA gift cards are not redeemable for this event.


This event has sold out. For questions about the event or to be added to the wait list, please call 845-905-4374.


Unable to attend but want to donate? Please visit the Grace Smith House or visit their Amazon wish list wish list to help someone in need.

Have questions? Call 845-905-4374, messages are checked daily.

If you would like to contribute to our pantry drive, we will be collecting donations for the Grace Smith House at the event. We ask that you only bring items listed or unfortunately we will have to turn your items away. We thank you in advance for understanding.

Sample Menu

An Everlasting Bloom

salmon mousse, sriracha caviar, pickled celery, and edible flowers

Sparkling Salad

charred fennel with carbonated blood orange segments, mustard vinaigrette, double cream feta, pickled red onions


rainbow candy ravioli with sweet potato filling, brown butter sauce, and brown butter powder

Pink River Falls

turbot, rainbow glazed carrots, beet beurre blanc

Essence of Cocoa

braised osso buco with beet and cocoa sauce with a rainbow potato gratin

The Tasting Room

cherry chocolate hazelnut petit gâteau

This event is presented by CIA bachelor’s degree students. These future stars in the hospitality industry are responsible for all of the evening’s planning and execution, from menu development to the overall ambiance and design of the event.