SAN ANTONIO-The Culinary Institute of America is celebrating 10 years in San Antonio. Their mission to graduate qualified future chefs and restaurant owners remains on the front burner.

"I always tell my students it's my dream to be called and saying I'm going to open up my restaurant or my bakery," Amandy Carranza said.

Carranza works for the CIA in San Antonio. Students come the Pearl Brewery location to obtain an associate degree: Culinary arts or Baking and pastry arts.

Before the future chefs graduate they run the CIA Bakery Cafe at Nao and Nao. At the bakery cafe, the students rotate from front house management, to the savory kitchen and the bake shop.

"I really love baking since I was little. so doing this helps me improve my skills," Imani DeSouza said.

DeSouza wil graduate in a few weeks. Madelyn Rodriguez is also getting a degree. She said the CIA changed her life.

"A lof of us changed our dream from when we started," Rodriguez said. "I know for me it's a completely different world being here."

Rodriguez and DeSouza are among the students who have to take on the good and bad from real customers.

"Everybody's in customer service, right?" Carranza said. "So food is about making people happy pretty much."

They invited Neighborhood Eats to sample their breakfast and lunch fare. Of course, there would be no taste test without a pastry.

The taste test started with a pesto salad: The green leaf of a salad mixed with pasta, parmesan cheese, corn, pecans, radish and pesto sauce. Delicious!

Next on the sampler was the Philly 9. It's grilled steak, cheese sauce, onions, mushrooms and peppers. ¡Qué rico!

The same can be said for the marinaded Korean beef, kimchi and pickled veggies on flatbread called the K-town. Both plates come with the most delightful house made chips and plantains (Wish I could buy these in the store).

Brioche French toast with a dusting of powdered sugar, crawling with fresh berries and maple syrup was yet another savory part of the taste test. ¡Qué rico!

Neighborhood Eats took a care package of pastries back to work where they were devoured as quick as you can say sugar.

Breakfast and lunch at the CIA Bakery Cafe at Nao ranges from $5-$9.

That's this week's edition of Neighborhood Eats. If you have a suggestion for Marvin send him an email (, tweet (@Mhurstkens5) or post it on his Facebook page. #KENS5EATS