As the Culinary Institute of America's San Antonio campus continues to grow, the college has opened its restaurant NAO: New World Flavors. Pronounced “nay-oh,” the student-staffed restaurant is a culinary tapestry of Latin ingredients, traditions, and culture.
The opening of NAO further solidifies San Antonio as an important culinary gateway to Latin America and an epicenter of Latin cuisine education. A spectacular showcase for flavors of the New World, NAO's menu features Latin American dishes rooted in tradition and creatively reinterpreted using new perspectives, ingredients, and techniques. Diners enjoy fresh, seasonal plates in a warm and inviting atmosphere, all at San Antonio's premier culinary education college. Dishes span Central and Latin America, the many regions of Mexico, and the islands of the Caribbean. The menu includes dishes like Causitas, a sushi-style Peruvian dish made of causa potato puree, crab, and botija olive rosemary-smoked mayonnaise; a "Stone Soup” made with thinly sliced shrimp and a spiced seafood broth served over wood-fired hot rocks; and Short Ribs Asado Negro braised with piloncillo sugar, sweet potato, Brazilian pequi fruit, and beet root salad. NAO’s executive chef Geronimo Lopez, a Venezuela native, oversees the restaurant and student participation.
The restaurant also hosts various visiting chef instructors from Latin America as part of their campus visit to teach students in the Latin Cuisines Certificate Program. NAO offers food lovers a unique monthly opportunity to taste the cuisines of these chefs, some of whom rarely cook for the public in the U.S. Some of Latin America's most celebrated chefs are on the roster such as critically acclaimed chef Pedro Miguel Schiaffino of Malabar in Lima, Peru, who served as the first visiting chef, bringing the bright flavors of the Peruvian Amazon to San Antonio.
Derived from the Latin root "neo," meaning to weave or intertwine, as well as the English root meaning something new, NAO is a celebration of tradition as well as innovation.
The CIA’s 30,000-square-foot campus opened in October 2010 at the historic Pearl Brewery. The San Antonio campus offers a broad, quality culinary education in a city considered a culinary gateway to Latin America. The campus recently began offering a unique Latin Cuisines Certificate Program in March 2012 for professionals. Certificates and an Associate Degree are offered for aspiring chefs, and food enthusiasts will find a diverse array of culinary boot camps and cooking classes. Custom classes can also be arranged for small group meetings. ciachef.edu/texas
The San Antonio Convention & Visitors Bureau, a department of the City of San Antonio, is funded through the hotel/motel occupancy tax. The bureau is a marketing, sales and service organization dedicated to the promotion of San Antonio as a meetings and visitor destination for the purpose of positively affecting the city's economy.