Celebrate and Explore: The CIA at Copia Grand Opening

CIA at CopiaAt long last, Copia is back when Culinary Institute of America (CIA) at Copia has its Grand Opening Celebration on Saturday, February 18 and Sunday, February 19, officially debuting the ultimate Napa Valley destination for exploring, experiencing and enjoying the world of food and wine.  Discover what CIA at Copia has to offer between noon and 5 pm each day with both adult activities (wine tasting!) and family-fun activities (cookie decorating!).  The weekend’s other attractions include chef demonstrations, olive oil and vinegar tastings, and a workshop on cocktails.

The CIA at Copia is located in the heart of Napa’s Oxbow district at 500 1st Street in Napa.  The official ribbon-cutting ceremony is between 2:30 and 3 pm on February 18 featuring CIA President Dr. Tim Ryan and local officials Mayor Jill Techel, Mayor John Dunbar, Mayor Alan Galbraith, Supervisor Diane Dillon and Congressman Mike Thompson.

Store at CIA Copia

Store at CIA Copia

Explore the property by checking out classes at the Napa Valley Vintners Theater, book signings with CIA alumni in the Store at CIA Copia, food-related film shorts in the Copia Theater, and wine tastings in the Copia Atrium.  If event planning is in your future, come assess in person how well this venue can host your upcoming wedding, party, or business function.  For instant gratification, the Grand Opening is also an excellent opportunity to explore the Restaurant at CIA Copia offering lunch, dinner, and/or drinks at the bar.

CIA at Copia: Grand Opening Schedule

Here is the official schedule of events for Saturday, February 18 and Sunday, February 19:


  • Noon to 5 pm — Cookie decorating for the entire family, wine tastings, and film screenings
  • Noon to 12:20 pm — Workshop: Flavor versus Taste (free)
  • 1 to 3 pm Silver Oak book signing with Dominic Orsini ’95
  • 1 to 4 pm — Olive oil and vinegar tasting with Round Pond Estate
  • 1:15 to 2:15 pm — Cooking demo: Homemade Fresh Cheese ($30 per person)
  • 2:30 to 3 pm — Ribbon cutting with Dr. Tim Ryan ’77, president of the CIA
  • 3:15 to 3:35 pm — Cooking demo: How to Make Pâte à Choux (free)
  • 4:15 to 4:35 pm — Workshop: Classic Cocktails with a Twist (free)
  • 5:30 to 7 pm – Wine tasting class: Basic Flavor Interactions ($35 per person)


  • Noon to 5 pm – Wine tastings, film screenings, and Messermeister knife demo
  • Noon to 3 pm – Clif Family Winery food tasting
  • 12:30 to 12:50 pm – Workshop: Sauce It Up! (free)
  • 1:30 to 3 pm – Wine class: Nailed It! Cabernet Sauvignon ($50 per person)
  • 4:15 to 4:35 pm – Unveiling of the Bob & Margrit Mondavi sculpture

CIA at Copia:  The Restaurant

Restaurant at CIA Copia

Restaurant at CIA Copia

The Restaurant at CIA Copia is a destination for market-based, globally inspired cuisine that pairs perfectly with Napa Valley wines and craft cocktails.  Past diners at this location (as a different restaurant) may not recognize the place: the remodel extended the façade an additional 8 feet, the sleek setting now features earth tones and lighter woods, and the outdoor patio (in the restaurant’s olive grove) is an ideal spot for al fresco dining.

Compressed Beets with Point Reyes Blue Cheese

Compressed Beets with Point Reyes Blue Cheese

Led by CIA at Copia Executive Chef Cristophe Gerard, Chef de Cuisine Chris Aken and Chef Waldy Malouf, the restaurant presents a unique approach to dining.  A rotating array of tempting dishes are presented tableside to guests on carts and trays, and you just decide which ones appeal to you.  The server (and possible actual Chef for the dish) transfers the dish to your table and marks your menu to indicate what you chose (this, eventually, becomes the basis for your bill at the end).  Over the course of your evening you will see beverage trolleys with wines by the glass and cocktails, a variety of savory and sweet item carts, and there’s even a cow-shaped cheese cart called “Bessie.”

At a recent dinner, some of our favorite dishes were:

Apple and Cranberry Crumble

Apple and Cranberry Crumble

  • Rosemary Flatbread with Three Spreads (White Bean, Tzatziki, Harissa Hummus)
  • Compressed Beets with Point Reyes Blue Cheese
  • Charred Carrots with Cumin Yogurt
  • Fingerling Potatoes with Chorizo
  • Rack of Lamb with Pomegranate, Parsley and Mint Salad
  • Porcini-Crusted Hangar Steak with Bone Marrow
  • Apple and Cranberry Crumble with Cinnamon Ice Cream

Starting today, the Restaurant at CIA Copia will also offer lunch (but with an a la carte menu).  Next week, you can also treat your Valentine to a special four-course dinner on February 14 for $85 per person, with a 4-wine-pairing optional add-on for $45 per person.

Executive Chef Christophe Gerard

Executive Chef Christophe Gerard

Executive Chef Christophe Gerard is responsible for all of the culinary operations of the CIA at Copia food and beverage department, which includes operation of the full-service Restaurant at CIA Copia and special events.  A native of Chartres, France, who fine-tuned his culinary craft at Taillevent in Paris, Chef Gerard has also worked during his career in Paris, New York City, Orlando and Miami Beach.  He moved to Napa Valley in 2002 to open Angèle, and has also worked locally at Rubicon Estate (now Inglenook), FARM, The Lakehouse at Calistoga Ranch, Silverado Resort and Spa and Blue Note Napa.

For reservations, please call (707) 967-2555 or reserve online by going here.


CIA at Copia:  The Bar

The "Apple Blossom"

The “Apple Blossom”

Led by Beverage Manager Shannon Latting, the Restaurant at CIA Copia’s bar team takes great pride in their creations by making their own infusions, barrel-aging their own bitters and using many ingredients from the CIA’s own gardens. We personally recommend trying the Apple Blossom (Gin, Calvados, Apple) and the Pom Balaustine (Vodka, Pomegranate, Lemon).

During the Grand Opening Celebration weekend, the bar will be open 11 am to 10 pm on Saturday, and 11 am to 9 pm on Sunday.


CIA at Copia:  The Store

The Store at CIA CopiaShop to your heart’s content at The Store at CIA Copia, a culinary lifestyle store featuring cookbooks by CIA faculty, alumni and guest chefs.  Enhance your home library with Ad Hoc at Home, Bouchon Bakery, and/or the Model Bakery Cookbook if you don’t have them yet.  Or, you’ll also find cookbooks from Julia Child, Janet Fletcher, Ken Forkish, Tony Gemignani, Dorie Greenspan, Diana Kennedy, Christoper Kostow, Deborah Madison, Alice Medrich, Nancy Silverton and Alice Waters.

Beyond cookbooks, you’ll find The Store at CIA Copia also offering:

Mosser Glass

Mosser Glass

Store hours are 10:30 am to 6:00 pm each day, and they accept major credit cards including American Express and Discover.


CIA at Copia:  The Classes

Culinary demonstrations and public cooking and beverage classes take place at CIA at Copia in the 72-seat Napa Valley Vintner Theater (named in honor of the local nonprofit trade association).  Classes are taught by CIA instructors and expert guest lecturers, and range from demonstration-style to hands-on, and feature seasonally themed recipes ideal for recreating at home.

ProfiteroleUpcoming Classes include How to Make Eclairs & Their Cousins (February 25), How to Make Fresh Pasta (March 4) and Preserving: Beyond Canning (March 15).  In addition, every Sunday is “Family Funday” with interactive demonstration-style classes aimed at the whole family such as Pizza (March 5), Brunch Batters (March 12), Lunchbox Magic (March 19) and Mac & Cheese (March 26).

The Vintner Theater also offers Wine & Beer Tasting experiences, with curriculum including Bubbles for Every Occasion, How to Taste Wine in 90 Seconds and The History of Napa Valley in 8 Glasses.


CIA at Copia: Event Space

Restaurant at CIA Copia Private Dining Room

Private Dining Room

Looking for event space for a milestone birthday party, office quarterly award celebration, or maybe a June wedding?  Visit CIA at Copia during the Grand Opening Celebration to see how well it may fit your needs.  The central atrium can accommodate 800 guests in a standing reception, the mezzanine can host an event for up to 300 attendees, and the terraced and grassy amphitheater seats either 600 in rows or 375 at tables.  For smaller events, the main theater seats 250 and the Napa Valley Vintner Theater seats 72.  If that’s still too large, the restaurant has one private dining room that holds up to 12, and two private dining rooms that can each hold 18.


Once again, the Culinary Institute of America (CIA) at Copia has its Grand Opening Celebration on Saturday, February 18 and Sunday, February 19, between noon and 5 pm each day. Come check it out, do a little shopping, enjoy some wine tasting, and maybe wrap it all up with a fabulous meal at the new Restaurant at CIA Copia.  For more details about the CIA at Copia, please go here.

Founded in 1946, the Culinary Institute of America is the world’s premier culinary college.  Dedicated to developing leaders in foodservice and hospitality, the independent, not-for-profit CIA offers bachelor’s degree majors in management, culinary science and applied food studies; associate degrees in culinary arts and baking and pastry arts, and executive education through its Food Business school. The college also offers certificate programs and courses for professionals and enthusiasts.  The CIA’s worldwide network of 49,000 alumni includes innovators in every area of the food business.




Celebrate and Explore: The CIA at Copia Grand Opening — 1 Comment

  1. Thank you for providing all of this information on the reopening of Copia. I am sorry to have missed the grand opening. I’m glad to see that this nice facility will be in use again.

    I will be visiting soon. The cooking demonstrations sound like they would be fun.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *