Secrets of the CIA
As I was preparing my column for Food & Wine's chefs issue, I thought, Who could be better to visit than Ferdinand Metz? For the past 18 years, Metz has presided over the two campuses (in Hyde Park, New York, and St. Helena, California) of the Culinary Institute of America, where some of the country's best-known chefs have learned the fundamentals of cooking.
Metz agreed to cook for me, and given his position, naturally I expected his food to be classical. But instead of rich, traditional dishes, he served me a light meal inspired by the menu at St. Andrew's Cafe, the health-conscious restaurant on the Hyde Park campus. As it turns out, that's the food he eats himself. Everything was delicious--and it was also simple and fast.