Cody Fitchett: Pie Day at the CIA

Cody Fitchett and classmate Camille Unruh baked some delicious pies in class at the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, N.Y. Courtesy photo
Cody Fitchett

Good morning everyone in the Shenandoah Valley! The sun is out and the birds are finally
chirping here in the beautiful state of New York.

First, I would like to start off by apologizing for not submitting an article last week. It was college finals time, so I was studying and practicing, and I totally missed my deadline for the paper. Thanks to my lovely editor at the Northern Virginia Daily, I am still able to write this article.

I passed my final and got an A in my culinary math class. Last week was also a busy week because I was packing to come home for Easter. So many things to do and not enough time in the day!

I have been here for eight weeks now, and have learned so many amazing techniques and have a whole new perspective on how the bakeshop should be approached. Sometimes I just sit in bed and think about how blessed I am to have this great opportunity. This school and experience is everything I could want it to be and more. Just the knowledge that the chefs they have here is unbelievable, and I’m getting to pick their brain every day.

Last week in baking class we had Pie Day, and now I mean who doesn’t love a good pie? The list of pies we had to prepare were apple, pumpkin, cherry, and chocolate. I must say all of our pies turned out great, thanks to my lovely partner Camile and her amazing pie dough, but no one can come close to the chocolate pie my grandmother Pauline makes.

During evaluation on Thursday, Camile and I were given compliments by our chef for our good-looking pies. After class on Thursday, I packed my bags and came home on Friday morning, but this trip was out of the ordinary. I brought with me my other best friend Kristen. She lives in Hawaii, so she couldn’t make it home for the holidays. I invited her to come home with me so that she could see what Shenandoah County is all about.

On Friday, I took her to see the beautiful mountains at the Woodstock tower and for dinner on Friday night we had fried chicken, fried bread, mash potatoes, and green beans.

Now my great aunt Linda and my grandma Barbara fixed this amazing meal and they deserve a shout out in this article. We also took the four-wheeler for a ride and I let Kristen drive for her first time. This was nothing less than hilarious!

On Sunday morning, we woke up at the crack of dawn to go to sunrise service and worship our amazing God and the day that changed the world forever. Every year, we go to my grandma’s house for Easter lunch and eat some amazing southern food that I’ve been missing from back home. We played a football game like we usually do and it was just a really nice weekend with the family that I missed so much!

As I traveled back to New York on Sunday evening, I thought about all the memories I just made and how I will¬† cherish them forever. Thanks to everyone who made my weekend home a success. Well, it’s time to go. I’m hungry and the fried chicken at Kitchen 12 is calling my name!

Cody Fitchett, of Fort Valley, is a recent graduate of Triplett Tech in Shenandoah County. He is sharing his thoughts here each week as he attends the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York. Email him at


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