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Aug 4, 2010 09:15 PM

CIA Boot Camp

I was wondering if anyone has done the CIA Basic Training bootcamp in Napa. I am finishing up graduate school and as a little present, my wife got me one of these classes. They're a lot of money, but its doable for a worthwhile experience. My question is, is what's its like and is it worthwhile.

My background is primarily as a home cook. I did an internship in highschool in a professional kitchen, worked in food service a bit, and lived with a pastry chef for a number of years, but most of my cooking is self taught via cookbooks and epicurious. I can usually tell if a recipe is going to be good, can adjust it to make it more to my tastes and rarely screw it up while cooking.

I would like to get to the next step - though not quite sure what that means. I suppose getting to a point where I can better take a bunch of random ingredients and whip something up on the fly that will be tasty - according to the wife my dinners fail when I try that.

So for anyone that has done these classes, will I learn that stuff? Or will I learn something else equally valuable? Is the basics the best course? Or maybe one of the themed course - say Wine Country Cuisine? I'm not looking to be a professional chef just a better home chef...

Sorry for the vague question but any thoughts welcome.



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  1. This has been written about in several threads/posts on cooking schools, if you'd like to search. I believe the board where you'll find the threads is General Chowhounding. Use Google for more precise search results if the search engine here doesn't yield results (it's not the best).