The Best place to visit in Poughkeepsie – Culinary Institute of America

Irrashaimase いっらしゃいませ

Let KAISEKI obsession begins ❤

CIA’s new student org “Preservation” hosted its second event “Preserve X Japan” with 8 course Kaiseki dinner. This student org is exploring various preservation techniques in the world – 1st event was Nordic Scandinavian, 2nd was Japanese, and 3rd will be American barbeque. The org aims to educate its student members as well as customers of the events about food, especially preservation. It does not necessarily try to copy the preservation techniques but experiment them in its own way.

Through the event, I felt like I not only experienced
different county’s food but also learned
its culture/perspective beyond the dish.
The students explained the course one by one
about the ingredients, techniques, and
their intentions as well. It naturally made me
ponder more about the details in the dish
and the nation’s food culture –
What is the wasabi creme’s role(?) in this dish?
Why is Japan popular with pretty, good-looking,
and savory desserts? What influenced its dessert culture?

Kaiseki is a traditional Japanese style of 10 course fine dining, which is usually served to important visitors/customers. In this event, Preservation explained that it put a lot of effort on alcohol pairing ($10 per person) – with amuse bouche, sashimi & tempura, and shabu shabu courses and it was free to refill.
****To me, who doesn’t drink alcohol, DESSERT was the best though… XD (dessert photos at the bottom of the post)


Amuse Bouche <Appetizer>
(From left to right in the picture)

Sunomono : seaweed salad with sliced cucumber
*Japanese style of cucumber salad
**the creme inside offset the strong cucumber taste and was really savory

Tuna Tartare : with fried potato chip and wasabi creme fraiche sauce
(personally, tuna tartare’s flavor was the richest and most interesting)
*they explained that they tried to make the tuna tartare with sushi quality

Rice cube : Seasoned rice mixed with takuan and fukujinzuke
*takuan is the authentic japanese pickle made out of radish, and they added vinegar to make sushi rice
**the quality of rice was not very good
and I think it’s probably because of time management
which is really tough to take care of during these kinds of events

Chawangmushi : Japanese egg custard with savory garnished
*this was also really good: they used lemongrass dashi and steamed it
**Dashi has been preserved with one formal technique in this event


Soup: salmon roulade
with sencha broth, umeboshi, shichimi, sliced callion,
sauteed shallots, and shiitake

#The broth kind of tasted like miso soup to me
(since I didn’t know what sencha was),
but apparently sencha is a type of tea leaf.
On top of salmon, there’s a reddish saucy thing
(under scallions) which is umeboshi,
japanese salt plum/pickled plum –
it was very soft and added a lot of rich taste


big eye tuna, amberjack (hamachi), and octopus

To enhance the richness of sashimi, they paired this with
dry, mild sake – Jun Mai Tai
Tuna sashimi with vegetables on the side – salary, carrot, vegetables

Preservation technique : pickled ginger and cucumber

#Hamachi was as soft as tuna …!
(Or is it supposed to be like that?)
I loved the pickles and shallots…
and wasabi was so cute lol


Grilled fish
Miso-marinated mackerel with ponzu sauce and rice

#It was the best mackerel I’ve ever had ❤
And as soon as the rolled scallion popped
in my mouth, it was so refreshing and great.

##The outer grilled part was crispy and rich.
The inner part almost tasted like it was steamed or
extremely slightly grilled – the color was quite transparent
(not white as it would be when it’s fully cooked).
Also, miso marination made the flavor so much softer and sweeter.


Deep-fried shrimp, kabocha squash, lotus root, shiso leaf, eggplant, and shiitake mushroom.

This one was paired with beer (Beer goes well with fried food 🙂 )
CIA student explained that eastern tempura is different from western style.
The flour used in eastern tempura is much finer and they chilled the batter sauce with ice.

#shittake mushroom was so gooooood


Shabu shabu

Shabu Shabu is a very unique dish. Not re-heatable, not microwavable. It has its own time and moment. Pork is thinly sliced and is supposed to be cooked asap with broth, which would throughly sipped through; swirling sound that derives from this pork getting cooked with broth is ‘Shabu shabu’. (Is it true or joke?)

Anyway, Shabu Shabu pork was exceptionally pink
and the student said that bright pink color
in shabu shabu pork is often
referred to as cherry blossom.
Along with cherry blossom,
which symbolizes the end of winter
and beginning of spring, green vegetables
in the broth even more enhance its meaning.

Main idea of SHABU SHABU was to showcase freshness of seasonality of food –focus on food and ingredients. Broth was simple but full of tasty ingredients.

#AND OMG I loved Natto sauce ❤ ❤ I was keep eating it
by itself even after the students took my shabu shabu dish lol… 
Natto sauce usually has a strong flavor so they toned it down
with butter and made it creamy, which actually goes
along well with natto’s natural creamy quality.




Wasabi-asparagus panna cotta with peach sorbet and yuzu granita

The students paired the desserts with tea – this one came out with bitter tea called sencha tea
(a type of Japanese green tea, which was used in the SOUP course)
Preservation technique
on dessert: utilizing marmalade technique, using dessert to clean your palette after main dish; yuzu overrides quickly and has citric taste (good with soft and creamy panna cotta)

*granita: semi-frozen dessert made from sugar, water and various flavorings. Originally from Sicily, it is available all over Italy in somewhat different forms.
**panna cotta: an Italian dessert of sweetened cream thickened with gelatin and molded. The cream may be aromatized with rum, coffee, vanilla, or other flavorings.

#I know that non-reddish color may decrease
your appetite, but this dessert had a very
unique combination of different tastes:
Crispy and peanut-kind-of-sweet crumb (leftmost),
sweet-sour peach sorbet, creamy and
mild Wasabi-asparagus panna cotta, and
fizz/lemon-ish sour yuzu granita (rightmost)

dessert cookiemurang

Nerikiri, petit doriyaki, black sesame + apple jam + meringue

This 2nd dessert, wagashi, was served with softer oolong tea 🙂
* Wagashi are traditional Japanese (plant-ingredient based) confections, often served with tea

#Doriyaki was not very soft… but Nerikiri had
a very unique taste of jam inside. AND the best one
was black sesame meringue..!! It was supposed to be
black sesame macaroon but they messed up with
the macaroon batter so this one came out.
Yet, I was actually glad because it seemed like
this might have more black sesame cream
than the macaroon hehe ❤ The cream was exceptionally
soft, sweet, and rich… I usually didn’t like meringue
but this combination made me speechless @__@

ANYONE who visits Poughkeespie should
stop by this culinary school, CIA.
Although this event does not happen everyday,
these amazing students chefs work at CIA restaurants
Apple pie bakery (pastries, light meals, coffee/tea),
Egg (student-price lunch/dinner), and
other high-end 3 course restaurants (Bounty/Bocuse and etc.)

Take a quick food tour XD

Bounty restaurant
(Hudson Valley Restaurant week March 7-20, 2016 )

Menus we ordered… : Charred shrimp, Local lamb roulade, Duck Broth** / Prime NY Strip Steak**, Long island Duck Breast, Highland Farms Venison Loin / Chicken and Waffles **, Milk Chocolate Mousse**, Vanilla Bean Cheesecake*

*Leave a note for special day when you make a reservation (Open Table)
* / ** : Recommended dish

Apple pie bakery


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