Eighteen years ago, 1992 the fall in the Hudson Valley was extraordinarily beautiful! Still being overwhelmed with such color having spent most of my life in California it was an experience that cannot be described in words.
But, not only was I thrilled being immersed in nature’s beauty it was also the anticipation and excitement to attend a Continuing Education Course at the Culinary Institute of America. Having read about this prestigious culinary school and having been thoroughly impressed I could not wait to get there.
The time spent was not only enjoyable due to the immense knowledge that walked the halls and classrooms, but the friendliness and professionalism of the chef-professors. Our very delightful Chef Henry Pate was particularly enjoyable, at the same time he did not accept any disrespectful or disruptive behavior in his classes. We all had to assume the position of a “chef.” With his leadership we went through various departments and produced a huge amount of work each day with great satisfaction.
During these past eighteen years of preparing for cooking classes in my home-based Maja’s Kitchen Cooking School, I often think of that time at the CIA. The time spent at this culinary school gave me the foundation that I needed to be confident while standing in front of a class, delivering information and inspiring students who wanted to learn to cook and bake.
It was a few weeks ago while traveling to Maine, my husband surprised me with a dinner reservation at the CIA and it’s beautiful “American Bounty Restaurant.” I was so delighted!!!!!!!
The menu was wonderful, the service impeccable and delightful at the same time. Students, as wait-staff are so knowledgeable and willing to share all they have learned, the chef-students behind the glass window so secure in every movement of their hands, while carrying a relaxed smile on their faces knowing that their work is perfection.
I started my dinner with an Avocado Bisque with Cilantro, which was a surprise and delightful in its flavors…….a touch of cilantro, a squeeze of lemon, a smidgen of salt and Cayenne Pepper and the smooth creamy flavor of Avocado cooled to the perfect degree. The Country Salad was full of flavor with grilled figs, Point Reyes Blue Cheese, and spiced Walnuts. The Herb Crusted Alaskan Halibut with Chanterelles, Fava Beans, and Spiced Almonds was exceptional in its delicacy.
We chose the Iron Horse Vineyards Un-Oaked Chardonnay, Green Valley of Russian River Valley, Sonoma County, California – to give the dinner a special embrace.
The Ice Cream filled Mini Profiteroles were the finishing touch to a very special dinner that included many wonderful memories from so many years ago of a time well spent at the Best Culinary School not only in America but the world.