Parma, from our correspondent
A week in which to learn about foods and wines of the Veneto, and
the related production and preparation methods, and how to apply
them in the modern era to a cuisine now reaching out worldwide. This
was what brought representatives of the Veneto Region to Alma, the
International School of Italian Cuisine launched just one month ago
at Colorno near Parma, in the splendid surroundings of the newly
renovated Ducal Palace (restored at a cost of 5 million euros), ahead
of the official opening on 15th March with ministers Moratti e Alemanno
To showcase the traditions and specialities of the Veneto, the Regional office
for agrifood policy and business organized an intensive information day on the
theme. The history and culture of our cuisine was illustrated by Gianpiero Rorato
in a lesson that students found particularly fascinating. Next, Giulio Liut,
director of Uvive, presented an overview of Veneto wines and their areas of production.
The students were then introduced by the director of Aprolav, Coghetto, to the
world of Veneto cheeses, not least with the help of tastings: classic Monte Veronese latteria,
from the Renart of Livinallongo to the imbriago of Collalbrigo, and the
brand new Castèl di Conegliano made by Perenzin.
Finally, Luca Giavi, director of the Consorzio del radicchio di Treviso, spoke
about Veneto radicchio lettuce, discussing all of the different varieties, and
their historical, morphological, nutritional and gastronomic aspects. Thereafter,
the week continued with a lesson by a celebrated Veneto chef from Verona Giancarlo
Perbellini, then sessions on techniques and recipes, and finally a course on
Veneto patisserie by the acclaimed Iginio Massari.
“The Emilia Romagna Regional authority was asked to involve the Veneto
Region on this project”, declared Elena Schiavon of the Veneto Office for
agrifood policy and business, led by executive Paolo Rosso, with which promotion
manager Stefano Sisto is also associated. “It is undoubtebly an important
strategic opportunity for us to raise the profile of our products, given that
the school is for individuals who are already professionals, and will become
prominent figures in the world of international catering and foodservice”.
The school occupies a facility with 3,000 m2 of floor space, including a main
hall, a restaurant and a library, as well as classrooms and some 80 cooking workstations.
Under the direction of Rector Gualtiero Marchesi and a permanent staff led by
Massimo Ferrari, the objective of Alma, in the words of Elisabetta Oppici who
looks afer relations with the business world, is “the attainment of excellence”.
This is a reference not only to the facility but also to the selection of the
teaching staff, who are among the leading chefs in Italy, and of the students — strictly
professional chefs who must meet stringent admission criteria. Among the courses
on offer, the most important is undoubtedly the “Master of Italian Cuisine” (duration
eleven months: six in the classroom from Monday to Friday, 09.00 to 18.00; the
remaining five in the brigades of the best Italian restaurants): the inaugural
course, now under way, has 18 participants including a Texan and two Englishmen,
all of whom have paid a fee of 11,000 euros. Then there are weekly courses of
excellence, costing 750 euros per module.
Following the visit of Veneto representatives
to Colorno, it will be the turn of the Friuli-Venezia Giulia Region to present
its products and personalities.