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Dutchess County: New York's New Culinary Capital

Date Published: January 1, 1970

It’s the start of the growing season here in Dutchess County in the heart of New York’s Hudson Valley, which means mouthwatering, farm-to-table treats—and a great time to visit. Only 1.5 hours by Amtrak and Metro-North or a 90-mile drive from New York City, explore regional restaurants led by skillful chefs, craft breweries pouring inventive beers and farms offering the fruits of their labor. Farm-to-table was a way of life before it was a trend. In fact, New York and the middle colonies were known as the original breadbasket colonies.

A Variety of Cuisine. One Standard of Excellence.
Historic Hyde Park is home to the world’s premier culinary college, The Culinary Institute of America (CIA), whose graduates lead kitchens in some of the finest restaurants around the globe—and right here in Dutchess County. Visitors to the CIA can get a behind-the-scenes look with an interactive tour, dine at four student-run restaurants, or take part in a culinary boot camp. Find CIA chefs creating world-class cuisine in Dutchess with the CIA Chef Finder, a free digital passport that provides an insider’s guide to finding these talented culinarians.

Fun Fact: Celebrity chefs like Grant Achatz, David Burke, Amanda Freitag and the late Anthony Bourdain honed their skills at the CIA.

Embark on an agricultural adventure.
Dutchess County’s rich agricultural heritage produces some of the finest, freshest farm-to-table fare available, supplying ingredients on menus across the region using forward-thinking sustainable practices. From produce to meats and dairy products to prepared foods—enjoy the flavors of the Hudson Valley at a variety of dining destinations, local farmers markets and specialty stores. The summer season is full of unique agricultural experiences, including pick-your-own activities and llama and alpaca hikes. The Farm Finder, a free mobile passport program, helps you find farms that are open for tours, you-pick, shopping and more. Don’t forget signature events at the Dutchess County Fairgrounds like the Hudson Valley Wine & Food Festival, NYS Sheep & Wool Festival, and the local favorite—the Dutchess County Fair, the second largest in New York State.

Fun fact: The CIA purchased 1,989,900 local eggs in 2022 for their student-run kitchens and restaurants.

Meet the keepers of the craft.
Dutchess County is home to some of the Hudson Valley’s finest craft breweries, distilleries, wineries, meaderies and cideries where grain-to-glass and tree-to-bottle is the norm. Farms like Branchwater Farms Distillery use heritage corn, wheat and other ingredients grown to make triple-distilled gin, flavorful fruit brandies and other spirits. Treasury Cider uses apples from its Fishkill Farms’ orchards to make hard cider. Plan Bee Farm Brewery is a shining example of a licensed New York State farm brewery, as 100% of their ingredients are grown within New York. In addition, Plan Bee cultivates hops, fruit and honey onsite for use in brewing. Millbrook Vineyards & Winery was the first vineyard in the Hudson Valley dedicated exclusively to the production of vinifera grapes. Milea Estate Vineyard explores the rich history of Hudson Valley winemaking, producing vintages from heritage varietals grown only here. Quench your thirst for true artisanal brilliance and sample some of the best craft beers, cideries, wines, spirits and meads in the county with the Taste Finderhttps://dutchesstourism.com/taste-finder. With 1-day, 3-day and 90-day passes, visitors can save up to 77% on tastings and other perks. 

Fun Fact: The Hudson Valley is the country’s oldest wine-making region. Dutchess County has three wineries—Millbrook Vineyards & Winery, Milea Estate Vineyard and Clinton Vineyards.

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