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Dutchess Tourism Launches CIA Chef Finder

Updated: Aug 14, 2023

Chef Charlie Webb of Hudson and Packard

Dutchess Tourism, Inc., the official destination marketing organization for Dutchess County, launched the “CIA Chef Finder™,” a new program in collaboration with The Culinary Institute of America (CIA) that aims to celebrate CIA-trained chefs who create world-class cuisine and dining experiences in the heart of New York’s Hudson Valley. Using Bandwango’s Destination Experience Engine (DXE), this free, mobile-exclusive passport is a collection of 35 curated restaurants, bakeries and more — including the CIA’s campus restaurants.

“We’re a foodie destination!” said Dutchess Tourism President & CEO Melaine Rottkamp who noted that in 2021, visitors spent $185.5 million on food and beverage in the county. “Dutchess has the privilege of being home to The Culinary Institute of America—the world’s premier culinary college,” she added. “We’re proud to team up with the CIA to showcase the tremendous contributions their alumni have made to the dining scene here in Dutchess.”

With this free pass, Dutchess Tourism invites visitors and residents to check in at participating locations to earn points and win prizes from The CIA. When people sign up for the pass at, a link, which opens the passport, will be sent to their mobile phone. They can then add a shortcut to their home screen, for easy access at any time. There is never anything to download and no apps to take up space on a user’s phone. Prizes include a CIA Experience Tour for two, a gift certificate for use at the CIA’s Apple Pie Bakery Café, and entry into a drawing for one free single-day cooking class at the New York campus, located in Hyde Park, NY. A selection of businesses are also offering deals and discounts to redeem during your visit, which earn passholders bonus points.

"Bandwango is thrilled to partner with Dutchess Tourism in showcasing the Hudson Valley's culinary excellence through their innovative CIA Chef Finder™ passport program,” said Erin Griss, director of marketing for Bandwango. “We believe that their collaboration with The Culinary Institute of America and their alumni will not only elevate the region's dining scene but also inspire visitors to explore and savor every moment of their journey."

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