The ever-expanding “Taste NY” program, a state government-led array of marketing moves meant to raise awareness of New York agricultural and beverage products, has reached the Culinary Institute of America (CIA). Governor Andrew Cuomo today announced that the CIA will begin working with the state Department of Agriculture & Markets on several initiatives to promote the program he introduced in 2013.
Among its efforts during the one-year deal, the CIA will develop what are being referred to as “Taste NY-branded boot camps,” host one-day cooking classes on campus, and produce a series of instructional cooking videos — all activities focusing on New York State products. In addition, a trio of farmer’s dinners will be held in the fall at the college’s American Bounty Restaurant.
“New York state boasts some of the best local products and goods around, and this partnership will further showcase all our food and beverage industries have to offer,” Cuomo said in a statement.
“The Culinary Institute of America is proud of our long history of supporting New York state products,” Tim Ryan, the college’s president, said in a statement. “I joined the faculty more than 30 years ago with a commitment to integrate the bounty of our state’s farms into the college’s curriculum before farm-to-table was even a term.”
The CIA says it spends nearly $1 million annually on products from New York State farms, including fruits, vegetables, eggs, dairy, meats, mushrooms, syrup and honey. It operates five on-campus, student-operated restaurants — The Bocuse Restaurant, Ristorante Caterina de’ Medici & Al Forno Trattoria, Pangea, Apple Pie Bakery Café and American Harvest. It also has campuses in California and Texas.
Since its inception, the “Taste NY” program was behind 58 events across the state, ranging from tasting events to farmer’s markets to vending machines offering state products. It also opened “Taste NY” stores at Grand Central Terminal in Manhattan, and at several Thruway rest stops and airports. The new CIA connection will be up for review after a year with an eye toward extending it to use more of the institution’s facilities, such as the Marriott Pavilion’s 800-seat theater and conference center on the campus.
Last month, the governor announced that nearly 300 restaurants — including those run by the CIA — across the state had taken the “Pride of NY Pledge,” almost tripling the number of restaurants actively supporting New York agricultural products and beverages since last year. The pledge is part of the “Taste NY” initiative and was created to increase the sourcing, marketing and education of New York-grown and made products. By signing the pledge, restaurants and chefs promised to expand their use of New York State products by 10 percent or more.
The Culinary Institute is located at 1946 Campus Drive in Hyde Park, Dutchess County, Phone: 845-452-9600.