Culinary News from The Culinary Institute of America

The CIA at Copia Welcomes New Director of Restaurants and Executive Chef: Polly Lappetito

Renowned Chef Joins the CIA in Napa’s Oxbow District

Napa, CA – The Culinary Institute of America announces Polly Lappetito as the new director of restaurants of the CIA at Copia and executive chef of The Restaurant at CIA Copia. In these roles, Chef Lappetito is responsible for The Restaurant at CIA Copia as well as additional venues to be announced in the coming months. The former executive chef at Ciccio Napa Valley, Chef Lappetito joins Chef de Cuisine Chris Kennedy Aken in The Restaurant to help the CIA realize its vision for Copia, and she is working with the team to put her personal touches on the menu and update the look and feel of the restaurant. Chef Lappetito describes her style as creative yet simple and approachable, which will be reflected in the menu, service, and style in the CIA at Copia’s dining experiences.

Chef Lappetito is known for her genuine approach to food, cooking, and people. Under her leadership, Ciccio was named one of the San Francisco Chronicle’s “Top 100 Bay Area Restaurants.” Prior to Ciccio, she was executive chef at the CIA’s Wine Spectator Greystone Restaurant in St. Helena. A former commercial fisherman in Alaska, Chef Lappetito is a Certified Hospitality Educator.

“Chef Lappetito has earned a great reputation within the culinary industry. I am excited to see her put her style and creativity to work in introducing to The Restaurant at CIA Copia the wonderful, delicious dishes for which she is known,” said Chef Waldy Malouf, CIA senior director of food and beverage operations. “Innovation and service have been the key ingredients to our success thus far, and Chef Lappetito will be instrumental in taking us to the next level and reinforcing why Napa Valley is considered one of the best food regions in the world.”

“I’m looking forward to working with Chef Malouf, Chef Aken, and the talented team at the CIA at Copia,” said Chef Lappetito. “The Culinary Institute of America gave me my start in my culinary career and holds a special place in my heart. I hope to continue its tradition of creating memorable dishes that convey the spirit of the Napa Valley.”

The gardens at CIA at Copia and the CIA farm in St. Helena are sources of seasonal produce for the restaurant. The restaurant is a part of the larger CIA at Copia facility and its offerings in Napa’s bustling Oxbow district, which also include daily cooking and beverage classes, wine tastings and The Store at CIA Copia. CIA at Copia also offers a range of meetings and event spaces, providing guests with the ultimate Napa Valley destination for exploring, experiencing, and enjoying the world of food and wine.

The Restaurant at CIA Copia is located at 500 First Street in downtown Napa, and is open seven days a week for lunch and dinner: Sunday through Thursday from 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m., and Friday and Saturday from 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. Happy hour runs Monday through Friday from 4 to 6 p.m. Brunch is served on Sundays from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. For reservations and additional information, please call 707-967-2555 or visit or

Photo Caption and Hi-Res Image:

Polly Lappetito has been appointed director of restaurants of the CIA at Copia and executive chef of The Restaurant of CIA Copia. (Photo credit: Victor M. Samuel Photography)
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Media Contact:

Evita Broughton

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 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. Its conferences and consulting services have made the CIA the think tank of the food industry, and its worldwide network of 49,000 alumni includes innovators in every area of the food business. The CIA has locations in New York, California, Texas, and Singapore.

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