The residents of Carolina Meadows can't keep a secret -- they're quite proud of their connections with the CIA.That's the Culinary Institute of America.Carolina Meadows' dining services include a cadre of talented kitchen personnel eager to demonstrate what they have learned from experience and training. And while that experience and training bears fruit at each meal, it was especially obvious at the recent annual Carolina Meadows CIA Dinner. The CIA expertise runs from the top on down. Mark Maxwell, the director of Dining Services since 1995, attended City and Guilds of London Hotel & Restaurant Management School in 1966, just two years before he received an associate degree in culinary arts at the Culinary Institute of America (CIA). Suzanne Speciale is a 1999 CIA graduate and Nick Murray graduated from the school in 1981. William Watlington, Mat Marks and Khalid Mallah have all taken CIA continuing education courses. Dining room staff also have many connections with local food-service institutions. Melissa Pope is a Guilford Community College Food Service grad; Christine Torain and Howard Baldwin graduated in 1991 from Alamance Community College Food Service. The new dining room manager, Michael Smith, came from the Chapel Hill Country Club.The CIA's motto is "The World's Culinary College." Founded in New Haven, Conn., in 1946, the CIA was later moved to its present 150-acre campus in Hyde Park, N.Y., overlooking the Hudson River. Dud Waldner, a past president of the Carolina Meadows Residents Association, is a Society of Fellows member of the prestigious Culinary Institute of America. In 2005 Grey Bailey, born in Chapel Hill, became the Meadows' chef de cuisine in charge of all Carolina Meadows' kitchen operations. Bailey has been intrigued by food since childhood. He graduated from The New England Culinary Institute in Montpelier, Vt. During restaurant internships from Bali to Biba's in Boston, he won the Best of Boston Award. While learning southwestern cuisine in Santa Fe and Boulder, Colo., Bailey won the grand prize for his Taos Pueblo model in chocolate. Adding international cuisine experience (and awards) to his resume, he was sous chef at London's La Patisserie St. Quentin. From 1994 to '96, Bailey absorbed oriental cooking as executive sous chef on Japanese television and "Great Chefs of Hawaii" television. "When we moved home to North Carolina, I wanted to be a hands-on chef catering to a restaurant-size clientele who would appreciate imagination and creativity in cuisine," Bailey said.The annual Carolina Meadows CIA dinners have added the handle "Recipe Secrets of the C.I.A.", the title of the Institute's official cookbook and textbook. Virginia Mure, CIA communications manager, sent posters and a 4-foot-by-6-foot CIA banner to decorate the dining rooms and lobby. One poster, illustrated with 12 colorful designer shapes, defined "Rondell as a coin-shaped slice of a cylindrical vegetable."A breakfront in the lobby displayed medals, awards, international menus and culinary memorabilia. Resident Peggy Kinnaird made dozens of miniature white chefs' toques for the fresh flower table decorations. The sold-out CIA dinners, by reservation only, included many Chapel Hill families/guests of residents.The dinner buffet this year featured an assortment of appetizers/hors d'oeuvres, Hudson Valley duck terrine with dried cherries, Belgian endive and radicchio salad with ratatouille vinaigrette, Mediterranean peppers with lemon thyme vinaigrette, smoked roasted tenderloin of beef on blini with juniper tapenade (at the Carving Station), whole roasted chicken over asparagus risotto, salmon/scallops with spring sorrel sauce, marinated grilled pork/pineapple kebab and fiddlehead ferns with mushrooms. A few of the dessert choices were assorted tortes/cakes, Sacher Tortes and pithiviers, warm ricotta-stuffed crepes with pineapple rum sauce, cherries jubilee ice cream sundaes and chocolate caramel mini tartlettes. Cost of the entire dinner was no secret: $17 (not including select wines).