Featuring 4,000 Rare Culinary Artifacts
from Chuck Williams’s Personal Collection
Napa, CA – Chuck Williams had a passion for quality, useful
cookware and cooking tools, and it was this passion that led to the opening of
the first Williams-Sonoma store in Sonoma, CA in 1956. During his years of
global travels in search of products to introduce to the American public, he
accumulated an assortment of items he particularly treasured. This personal
collection is the inspiration for the Chuck Williams Culinary Arts Museum at The CIA at Copia in Downtown Napa. The public can enjoy the new museum seven days a week from 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is
the second floor of The CIA at Copia, the museum
features over 4,000 rare artifacts of specialty cookware, including baking and
culinary tools, appliances, and tableware. As The CIA at Copia strives to offer the most interesting and informative
gastronomic experiences, this comprehensive culinary collection is yet another
way to showcase and celebrate the craftsmanship, beauty, and diversity of
cookware and kitchen tools.
Some standout pieces displayed
at the museum include whimsical tureens shaped like boar’s heads, rabbits, or
lambs and curiosities like a duck press that will remind you of the ingenuity
of the chefs who created it centuries ago. After visiting the museum, guests can
visit The Store at CIA Copia where various one-of-a-kind items represented in
the museum can be purchased.
“Chuck Williams was an
entrepreneur and visionary, and his passion for both simple and exquisite items
have, for generations, influenced the way America cooks, eats, and entertains,”
says Thomas Bensel, managing director of CIA
California. “This collection brings to life the evolution of
a wide range of cookware, food preparation tools, and serve ware since
the mid-18th century.”
Williams discovered his own
fascination with the utility and craftsmanship of cookware and culinary tools
while on a trip to Europe in 1953. He returned often to scour shops,
restaurants, and factories for high-quality items that eventually led him to
open the first Williams-Sonoma. The items now serve as a way to understand the
history of cooking, the creativity of chefs, and how functionality and
decorative arts can join to create practical, yet beautiful items.
For decades, Chuck Williams
directly supported the mission of The Culinary Institute of America, enhancing
culinary education for generations. Williams, who died in 2015 at age 100,
helped launch the careers of many young culinarians through scholarships at the
CIA and the Williams Center for Flavor Discovery at the college’s Greystone campus in St. Helena,
CA is named in his honor. Now, through his generous
support, along with his friends and former Williams-Sonoma associates Wade Bentson and James West—who completed and curated this
extensive exhibit—culinary enthusiasts can enjoy it for free.
The Chuck Williams Culinary
Arts Museum is the latest installment in The CIA at Copia Happenings, following the Le Petit Chef 3D™ dinner series and exhibition “France is a Feast: The Photographic Journey of Paul
and Julia Child” that launched in March 2019.
The CIA at Copia will celebrate the museum’s opening with an official dedication ceremony on
June 4 at 6 p.m. To attend, please contact Kendal@ballantinespr.com. For more information, visit our website.
Photo Caption and Hi-Res Image:
The Chuck Williams Culinary Arts Museum at The CIA at Copia features more than 4,000 culinary artifacts from the
personal collection of the Williams-Sonoma founder. (Photo credit: Michael Grassia/CIA)
View hi-res image >
Anne Girvin, CIA
Assistant Director—Strategic Marketing, Branch Campuses
About The Culinary Institute of America:
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 master’s, bachelor’s, and associate degrees with majors in culinary arts, baking & pastry arts, food business management, hospitality management, culinary science, and applied food studies. The college also offers executive education, certificate programs, and courses for professionals and enthusiasts. Its conferences, leadership initiatives, and consulting services have made the CIA the think tank of the food industry and its worldwide network of more than 50,000 alumni includes innovators in every area of the food world. The CIA has locations in New York, California, Texas, and Singapore.
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