San Antonio – Culinary Institute of America
A culinary tour of San Antonio would not be complete without a visit and mini-boot camp at the Culinary Institute of America. You might be familiar with the world famous Hyde Park , NY location but the Texas school features a much different curriculum highlighting Latin cuisines. Chef Brian West led us to the kitchens to prepare regional cuisines of Mexico. We were divided into teams and got busy preparing our dishes for lunch, which we tasted everyone’s delicious creations from our mini-boot camp. If you’ve ever wanted to experience working along side a renown Chef in a beautiful, fully outfitted professional kitchen- look into CIA boot camps. The CIA San Antonio Campus offers classes for cooking enthusiasts and foodies of all levels. I really enjoyed my day in the kitchen, tasted everything, and asked a lot of questions, learned tips and tricks that will enhance my cooking in my home kitchen. Chef Elizabeth Johnson treated us to a lecture on Mexican cooking by Celebrity Chef Melissa Guerra and a Peruvian Ceviche demonstration. Peruvian Ceviche only lets the fish cook in the citric acid for 5 minutes or less- much different from most Ceviche I’ve tried. We even had a visit to Melissa Guerra Tienda de Cocina- her cooking store. Check out her Latin Kitchen Market online at www.melissaguerra.com. You’ll even find recipes from her cookbooks!
Following our cooking, lecture, demonstration & tour of the CIA, we were invited to dine at Nao- New World Flavors. Derived from the Latin root “neo,” meaning to weave or intertwine, as well as the English root meaning something new, Nao is a celebration of tradition as well as innovation. The student-staffed restaurant at The Culinary Institute of America, San Antonio, Nao (pronounced Nay-O) is a culinary tapestry of Latin ingredients, traditions, and culture. A spectacular showcase for flavors of the New World, Nao’s menu features Latin American dishes rooted in tradition and creatively reinterpreted using new perspectives, ingredients, and techniques. Diners enjoy fresh, seasonal plates that pay homage to the great cuisines of Latin America in a warm and inviting atmosphere. This was haute cuisine where attention to every detail including service is mastered. What a treat! The website has the most gorgeous photos of food I’ve ever seen, Worth a peek- www.naorestaurant.com