Latteria Perenzin

Parma, from our correspondent Giovanni Chiades

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 in attendance.
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.