Culinary News from The Culinary Institute of America

The Restaurant at CIA Copia Now Open for Dinner

Napa, CA – The Culinary Institute of America (CIA), the world’s premier culinary college, announces today the official opening of The Restaurant at CIA Copia. Part of the larger CIA at Copia, the restaurant joins other offerings, such as daily cooking and beverage classes, wine tastings, and a lifestyle store specializing in home goods, providing guests with the ultimate Napa Valley destination for exploring, experiencing, and enjoying the world of food and wine. Led by Executive Chef Christophe Gerard, Chef de Cuisine Chris Kennedy Aken, and Waldy Malouf, CIA senior director of food and beverage operations, The Restaurant at CIA Copia offers a delicious, unique experience in the heart of Napa’s bustling Oxbow district.

Guests at The Restaurant at CIA Copia are invited to enjoy innovative, market-based, and globally inspired California cuisine that pairs perfectly with Napa Valley wines and craft cocktails. Front-of-house and back-of-house roles are blended to create a new approach to service. A rotating array of attractive, sharable dishes is offered tableside to guests and displayed on carts and trays by the cooks who created them. Guests are encouraged to take the dishes that appeal to them, and the cook marks their selection on their menu. Patrons have a chance to see all of the menu items, plus frequent specials, and meet every cook in the kitchen in the process. The number of dishes they select is tabulated at the conclusion of their dining experience. In addition to a variety of savory and sweet carts, The Restaurant at CIA Copia also boasts a one-of-a-kind cow-shaped cheese cart affectionately named “Bessie.”

Savory menu items include a variety of sharable dishes such as Chickpea “Truffles” and Housemade Burrata ($7); Roasted Chelsea Gem Oysters with Verjus ($12); Rainbow Trout, Pistachio, Sage Butter ($17); Charred Carrots, Cumin Yogurt ($4); Rack of Lamb, Parsley-Mint Salad ($19); and Porcini-Crusted Hangar Steak, Bone Marrow ($21). Desserts include Roasted Pineapple, Crème Fraîche Sorbet ($7); Pumpkin Cheesecake, Graham Cracker ($7); and Apple-Persimmon Pie for Two, Calvados Ice Cream ($16).

“I am thrilled to partner with Chef Malouf, Chef Aken, and the amazing team at CIA to open this brilliant new concept,” said Chef Gerard, who has worked as a chef in the Napa Valley for 14 years, holding leadership positions at Angéle, Silverado Resort & Spa, Calistoga Ranch, The Farm at the Carneros Inn, and Rubicon Estate. “Napa Valley has a special place in my heart, and I look forward to creating and serving food at The Restaurant at CIA Copia that is elegant and reflective of California’s adventurous spirit.”

“Everyone at CIA Copia strives to not only set, but raise the bar in the hospitality industry,” said Chef Malouf. “Innovation, service, and design are at the heart of this restaurant. As the leader in culinary arts and hospitality, we strive to offer our guests a memorable dining experience that proves why Napa Valley is considered one of the best food regions on the planet.”

The Restaurant at CIA Copia provides a range of exciting, quality beverages to complement the menu. The unique style of service creates an experience where a full spectrum of flavors can be enjoyed in one seating. The wines, beers, sakes, ciders, craft cocktails, and non-alcoholic options are fun, educational, and approachable. Beverage trolleys move through the dining room with wines by the glass and cocktail options, ensuring the perfect pairing is always readily available. The bottle list includes food-friendly wines that align with surprise dishes that might show up on the table. Additionally, the restaurant offers local craft beers on tap and a diverse selection of beers and ciders by the bottle.

The Restaurant at CIA Copia bar team, led by Beverage Manager Shannon Latting, takes great pride and ownership in the creative process by barrel-aging their own bitters and making their own infusions. The restaurant’s signature cocktails contain distinctive ingredients, including many from CIA’s own gardens. The beverage menu includes a variety of specialty cocktails for $12 including Barnum Was Right (Ransom Old Tom Gin, Luxardo Apricot Liqueur, and lemon); and non-alcoholic cocktails including the Pom Balaustine (pomegranate, lemon, and soda) for $6. Wines by the glass feature selections from Napa Valley and around the world, such as NV Gérard Bertrand Thomas Jefferson Crémant De Limoux Brut Rosé ($10); 2015 Charles Krug Sauvignon Blanc ($10); and 2015 Gunderloch ‘Fritz’ Rheinhessen Riesling ($12).

Modern yet timeless, the restaurant’s design offers a sleek and comfortable setting, with earth tones, hints of olive green, and lighter woods. In the just-completed remodel of the original Copia building, the façade was extended nearly eight feet from its original location, allowing the dining room and its custom artwork to seamlessly blend with the property’s breathtaking patio, gardens, and olive grove. Its sleek and comfortable atmosphere is perfect for a celebratory evening or to hang out with friends. Guests are welcome to have a drink at the bar or grab a couch in the lounge. The outdoor patio, situated in the restaurant’s olive grove, is the ideal spot for dining and imbibing al fresco. In the future, it will house a Wood Stone oven for pizza and other roasted dishes. Inspired by Versailles, and reminiscent of the south of France or Northern Italy, the gardens at CIA at Copia are a source of seasonal produce for the restaurant, overseen by CIA Farm Manager Matthew Gunn.

Chef Gerard, a native of Chartres, France, is experienced in some of the world’s most esteemed restaurants and is celebrated for bringing refreshing brightness, elegance, and nuance to contemporary French dishes. Chef Gerard moved to the Napa Valley in 2002 after working at renowned dining establishments in New York City, Miami Beach, and Orlando.

The Restaurant at CIA Copia is located at 500 First Street in Napa, and is open six days a week for dinner: Sunday and Tuesday through Thursday from 5:30 to 9 p.m., and Friday through Saturday from 5:30 to 10 p.m. The bar is open Friday through Sunday, noon until closing. For reservations and additional information, please call 707-967-2555 or visit

Photo Caption and Hi-Res Image:

Table host Jared Awender walks through the dining room of The Restaurant at CIA Copia with dinner plates for guests to select. This unique approach to restaurant service is a highlight of The Culinary Institute of America’s newest restaurant, now open in Napa, CA. (Photo credit: Victor Samuel Photography)
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Evita Broughton

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 campuses in New York, California, Texas, and Singapore.

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