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Flavor! Napa Valley Gets Cooking

A major autumn celebration lines up the top CIA toques and tastes.

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    CULINARY INSTITUTE OF AMERICA AT GREYSTONE: While various institutes of learning hold different reputations, few schools have the continued mystique of the CIA. Regardless of where its graduates may work after they get that diploma, and regardless of the shows that visit the picturesque campus, CIA will forever hold an aura that smells like rare bourbon and tastes like a nice cut of grain-fed beef. So Flavor! Napa Valley, the annual five-day, multi-event party that raises scholarship money for the institute, can be a bit of a peek behind the curtains. Don't expect, though, to have your hopes dashed as to what you thought it might be; rather, expect to see a lot of graduates of the program demoing and talking wine and leading tastings and providing a fuller experience of what the CIA is all about.

    DATES AND DETAILS: Flavor! Napa Valley always happens near Thanksgiving, which fits; it is about feasting and excellent libations. The 2012 dates are Wednesday, Nov. 14 through Sunday, Nov. 18 and the events include a culinary demo with the Forgiones (the emphasis is on seasonal, natch), blind wine tastings, a demo on selecting fresh produce with Thomas Keller, and a conservatory dinner.

    OTHER NAMES ON THE ROSTER: We did list the Forgiones and Thomas Keller above, but there are numerous CIA grads and stars of the stove who will not only be cameo-ing but teaching as well. People attendees will mingle and meet include Scott Conant, Cindy Pawlcyn, and Kerrin Laz.