ALMA-ITHQ: the partnership with the Quebec training centre has been renewed

The value of Italian cuisine, its agri-food heritage and food and wine culture have always been the cornerstones of the mission of ALMA, which has been training professionals in the hospitality industry since 2004. These values transcend national borders and are recognized worldwide, not only by institutions but also by training centres which, like ALMA, teach the art of cooking.

It is thanks to this shared set of values that over the years ALMA has been able to establish a network of partnerships with schools in over 20 countries, which now also includes the prestigious Institut de tourisme et d’hôtellerie du Québec (ITHQ), a Canadian centre of excellence for training in tourism, hospitality and restaurant services.

After the activities linking the two schools slowed down due to the COVID pandemic, all ongoing projects have now resumed and have been further strengthened by the Memorandum of Understanding just signed at the Reggia di Colorno.

ALMA’s President Enzo Malanca, General Manager Andrea Sinigaglia, and External Relations Manager Candida D’Elia welcomed the Honourable Liza Frulla and Paul Caccia, respectively General Director and Director of Communication and Business Development of ITHQ, who signed an agreement which for the next few years will see them involved in a number of shared educational and cultural projects.

In practical terms, after completing their training at the Canadian centre, young ITHQ students will have preferential access to ALMA’s course, designed for foreign students who want to specialize in Italian cuisine.

We are proud to have a prestigious partner like the Institut de Tourisme et d’Hôtellerie du Québec in our International Network – said ALMA’s President Enzo Malanca. “Canada is an important partner in ALMA’s international network and a country with which we have long shared educational and institutional projects but, above all, a vision. This new collaboration provides the possibility of sharing the values, art, and culture for which Italian culinary heritage is known.”

The relationship between ALMA and ITHQ is long-standing, – added Andrea Sinigaglia, General Manager – and it brings about fifteen students from Quebec every year. Now that the pandemic restrictions have been lifted, we can finally start again.

It is a mutually beneficial exchange that in the past has seen ALMA welcome ITHQ students seeking to specialize in and acquire a deeper understanding of Italian cuisine. “The Italian communities in Montreal and Toronto are among the largest in Canada,” pointed out Liza Frulla, Minister of Canadian Heritage from 2004 to 2006 and Member of the King’s Privy Council of Canada, “and in the cultural melting pot that characterizes our society, Italian cuisine is certainly the best loved one. It is a source of pride to us that we help to train the Chefs who will spread Italy’s culture and character through their work.

Gabriella Testa, a young Canadian of Italian origin and a current student in ALMA’s Pastry Techniques course, is experiencing first-hand the joint venture of these two institutions: “I am very happy to be here, I know that this is going to be an excellent professional opportunity for me. I am Canadian but also Italian, and that is why I have always considered this country my second home. I chose this school because I believe it’s the best choice I could make for my future career. I started the Pastry Techniques course three weeks ago, but that was enough to get me excited and eager to move on to the Advanced Course. In the future, I see myself returning to my hometown to open my own pastry shop and realize my dream. At the same time, I’m falling in love with Italy and the atmosphere here at ALMA, where I would like to continue my studies. If I had to describe all this with one word? Incredible! And for this, I thank my teacher, Chef Nicoletta Caragica, a special person as well as an outstanding teacher, who is helping me immensely on my journey.”

In addition to intercultural exchanges, the collaboration between the two schools will develop projects aimed at communicating and promoting Italian culture, such as those organized during Italian Cuisine Week in the World, an international event that saw Director Andrea Sinigaglia as a guest at ITHQ last November. “On that occasion,” explains Sinigaglia, “I was able to see the results of our collaboration: two of our graduates opened two of the most important restaurants in Montreal, and this fills us with pride.”

The day continued with a meeting at the offices of the Emilia-Romagna Regional Authority, where the delegation was welcomed by Renzo Armuzzi, from the Territorial Agriculture, Hunting, and Fishing Services in the Emilia-Romagna Region.


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