The 16th Academic Year of ALMA: special guest Chef Massimo Bottura



The management of the International School of Italian Cuisine ALMA announces important news at Auditorium Paganini in Parma before more than 700 guests. First and foremost, the international approach of the School with its new cooperation projects: from the Italian Cuisine Week in the World to the launch of the Italian Cuisine Market Monitor. The high point of the closing event was the lectio magistralis of Chef Massimo Bottura of Osteria Francescana.



Parma, October 8, 2019 – The 16th Academic Year of ALMA – The International School of Italian Cuisine has been officially opened. In the setting of Auditorium Paganini in Parma, the management of the School and teachers welcomed more than 700 guests, of which more than 400 students including aspiring chefs, pastry chefs, bakery chefs, sommeliers, maîtres and restaurant managers and an audience made up of dignitaries, industry players and journalists. Not only a Cooking School, but increasingly more a School of Italian Hospitality, a reference centre for education in all areas of hospitality and business management.

Institutional greetings from the stage of the Paganini Auditorium were followed by the speeches of Chairman Enzo Malanca, General Director Andrea Sinigaglia and Director of Education Matteo Berti. The outstanding afternoon was concluded by the lectio magistralis of the guest of honour, Chef Massimo Bottura of Osteria Francescana, top ranking restaurant worldwide and originator of the Food for Soul charity project.

Watch the video of Massimo Bottura’s speech with english subtitles>>

The opening of the Academic Year is the eagerly awaited occasion to announce news.  It was ALMA Chairman Enzo Malanca to describe the meaning of this growth in different directions: “ALMA has undergone an expansion process on several fronts in the last twelve months.  Internally, almost 1,200 new students have attended the school in the last year – 9.4% of whom come from other parts of the world – adding to the more than 10,000 of the previous years. In 93% of cases, they have found a job within six month of getting their degree. Furthermore, the number of international entities with which ALMA has established cooperation relations has increased to give continuity to the promotion of Made-in-Italy products and the Italian gastronomic culture.  A particularly significant moment from this point of view will be the Italian Cuisine Week in the World, from 18 to 24 November in which ALMA will play a starring role. The ALMA Ambassadors of the School will indeed carry out workshops and cooking shows in 10 countries, including: Brazil, Colombia, Egypt, India, Russia, China and Taiwan.  On the other hand, we would like to announce the beginning of two new great partnerships: with the University of Parma, for which I would like to thank the Rector Paolo Andrei and Professor Daniele Del Rio, and with Casa Artusi, an institution of our region with which we will soon start working. Moreover, our cooperation with the Hotelier Institutes all over Italy continues.  The highlight of this relationship is the Cooking Quiz, an event of entertainment and culture that last year involved almost 7,000 students”.

Andrea Sinigaglia, ALMA General Manager, began his speech by thanking also the 30 prestigious companies that took part in the Career Day, a must-attend appointment for the ALMA graduate community: “In addition to the extensive and solid high-level training experience, in practice ALMA supports its students in accessing the labour market, offering the opportunities to put them in contact with the most significant businesses in the sector”. The School is pursuing an ever more international perspective with an important project in collaboration with Deloitte: the Italian Cuisine Market Monitor. Mr. Sinigaglia explained: “This project shall be a starting point for the creation of a continuous observatory focused on the Italian food service sector at the global level, with specific reference to the role of Italian cuisine and catering around the world”. At the same time, on the institutional front, the collaboration with the Italian Trade Commission (ICE) and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation continues: “In this international dimension that is more and more significant for our School – Sinigaglia continues – the exchange with the Cooking Schools of ALMA’s international network is equally important. The purpose is growing the network of partners that are currently located in about twenty countries around the world”. Furthermore, a new project bearing the ALMA signature will be presented soon, the publication of the book “Terra di Pane”, dedicated to bread making: “This book is the result of the great joint effort of craftsmen, experts, historians, but especially professional bakers that talk about Italy from north to south through 90 types of bread. A book born from the desire to offer a tool, both theoretical and practical, useful for the knowledge and understanding of a food product whose history and nature is tightly bound to that of western people”. Sinigaglia’s speech ended with heartfelt thanks to all the MAM – Maestri d’Arte e Mestieri (Masters of Crafts and Professions) present, pointing out that 2020 will be even more important for ALMA, since it will see the additional appointment of 14 new Masters of hospitality and gastronomy.

Starting from this year, the course curricula will change again to be even more effective and to meet the demands of the labour market, obviously starting from sustainability, a cause we have been supporting from the very beginning – added Matteo Berti, Head of Education, in his speech – furthermore, we have recently inaugurated a new educational space that actually knocks down the barriers between the dining room and the kitchen enabling chefs to deal with serving their dishes.  Moreover, pizza, the undisputed Italian product, enters our educational curriculum thanks to the cooperation with important  professionals of the sector.  The Hall, Bar and Sommellerie Course will give more space to mixology, breakfast service and high cuisine accompanying the students to experience, as customers, a Three Michelin Star restaurant.   Also, the Master Sommelier ALMA-AIS evolves to be even more in line with contemporary needs thanks to a module on communication and digital marketing.  ALMA education is also this: a continuous evolution that leverages its consolidated experience rooting in critical thinking made up of awareness and responsibility”.

An excerpt of Massimo Bottura’s speech: “My passion for food comes from watching my grandma prepare Tortellini from under the table.  The amazement combined with curiosity has never disappeared, on the contrary, it has grown.  It has been the engine of the revolution with which we have changed this world.  We must always be aware of who we are and where we come from, and this is why my invitation to these young people is to celebrate the past in the most authentic way possible.  Creating something new will always be a homage to what preceded us; our task is to project into the future the best of our past filtered by critical and never nostalgic thinking.  Always remember that food is not only the quality of the ingredients, but also the quality of the ideas, we must rearrange ideas by rediscovering our dreams. Leave a window open to poetry, a space that is always open to the unexpected because inspiration may arrive from anywhere, at any time.  Have the courage of believing in this change and carrying it on with passion, commitment and imagination.  Sometimes beauty hurts because it demands sacrifice and hard work, but turning something ugly into something beautiful gives dignity to our sacrifice and efforts”.

MASSIMO BOTTURA - Lectio Magistralis


The gallery, the main topic of his speech and the video of his monologue with english subtitles, to live this important event together with us.




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