A couple of Saturdays ago, I had the opportunity to go to Napa to visit the newly opened Culinary Institute of America, CIA at Copia. CIA at Copia was previously a culinary museum before closing in 2008, but has now reopened as a center for food, wine, and art offering cooking demonstrations and wine tastings. During the reopening, I got to taste several wines from a variety of places, witnessed the 21 bottle salute for the re-grand opening of Copia, and tried some delicious cheeses. What I was most excited about was taking a cheese class! You better brie-lieve I had a gouda time! Excuse my cheesiness.
The newly opened CIA at Copia offers a number of classes everyday, whether it be a demonstration or a hands-on class. Some demonstrations offered are how to make chocolate eclairs, fresh pasta, and mac n cheese (seriously? Someone sign me up!). Like I mentioned earlier, I took a cheese demonstration class, and let me just say… I’ll never buy my own ricotta or mozzarella again! Classes are really affordable and informative. My friends told me they had taken a cheese class where they also had learned how to make ricotta and mozzarella. They paid $125. The class that day Copia was $30, but you can double check prices on Copia’s website here. THIRTY DOLLARS to never buy those cheeses again from a store and make my own fresh batch at home? Um. Hell yes.
Aside from classes, the venue is a beautiful place. A grass area in the back looks like a perfect place for a wedding and private rooms are also available to have a gathering. Tables are setup beautifully for any event.
Before the day ended, I was able to pair some cheeses with some wines. Here’s another picture of the cheese plate. Ain’t it pretty? The cheeses included were pecorino toscano, cypress grove midnight moon (made with goat’s milk), fiscalini bandage wrapped cheddar, and Cowgirl Creamery red hawk (this was my fave). The almonds were delicious too!
I’d definitely plan a day trip or maybe even a weekend in Napa and schedule a visit to the new CIA at Copia. Napa is a beautiful place to plan a special weekend with your significant other and I’d be elated if my boyfriend booked a hands-on class to attend together. AHEM!
Oh, on top of all that, CIA at Copia also has a restaurant. I didn’t get a chance to try anything on their menu, but I did get a glance of a really delicious looking burger as it was passing by under my nose…