The Italian Culinary Program was launched at fourteen elite Chinese culinary schools

Shanghai, China, December 2023The Italian Culinary Program organized by the network of Italian Trade Agency Offices together with the Embassy and Consulates of Italy in the P.R.C. was concluded in November 2023. Following a successful 2021 and 2022 inauguration with twelve elite Chinese culinary schools, 2023 program’s edition is furthering the collaboration with fifteen schools, namely, Wenzhou Technician Institute, Yangzhou University, Jiangsu College of Tourism, Yangzhou Tourism & Business Vocational School, Yangzhou Life Technical School, Kunming University, Wuhan Business School, Guilin Tourism University, Guangxi Business School,  Guilin Tourism Vocational Secondary School, Nanning College of Vocational Technology, Beihai Vocational College,  Nanning third Vocational High School, Guangxi Second Light Industry Technician College and Hainan Technician College . Among them, we partnered for the second agreement with Yangzhou University after the first successful 2021 edition and Guilin Tourism University after the first successful 2022 edition.

Launched in 2021, the program aims to bring more authentic Italian Culinary Arts knowledge and experience to students and teachers at Chinese culinary schools. It is worth mentioning that Italy is the first European country per number of products protected as Geographical Indications and — with 26 products — the most represented country in the related Agreement signed between the European Union and China in September 2020. Hence, one component of the program is to bring products protected as Geographical Indications to Chinese culinary schools, so that the students and teachers can enjoy multi-sensory experiences with quality Italian agri-food.

The project is designed to cover a wide range of culinary topic with multisensorial activities from the video lessons of theoretical knowledge to offline practical demonstrations, building a solid foundation in the Italian cuisine for students at these schools from multiple dimensions. The first component of the Italian Culinary Program is a series of Italian culinary arts video lessons (“Masterclass”), created in collaboration with ALMA – The School of Italian Culinary Arts, and tailored specifically to students at Chinese culinary schools.

The second component is on campus workshop. Among the best Italian Chefs working in China demonstrated authentic Italian cooking to the students. The Chef selected a complete menu of signature Italian recipes from the Masterclass series, for instance, Chef Fabio Falanga demonstrated Walnut sauce Ricotta Tortelli, Gorgonzola Beetroot Risotto, Tuscan stewed Beef and Tiramisu in Wuhan, Kunming and Guilin, Chef Fabio Camilloni showcased Mondeghili, Pizza Fritta, Trofie al Pesto and Gelato in Yangzhou, Wenzhou and Nanning, while Chef Daniele Vacca taught the students how to make fresh pasta, different pizza and traditional bread, and gave students an in-person demonstration of the diversity of Italian culinary culture, characteristics of food with Italian Geographical Indications (GI), and the theoretical knowledge and process involved in these recipes.

Held at the SMEG Showroom in Shanghai this July, the two-day Italian Culinary Experience workshop, as the third component of the program, was offered to instructors at partner culinary schools, representing a special occasion to explain Italian PGI delicacies. Alma and ITA also invited Stefano Bacchelli, Executive Chef of DA VITTORIO SHANGHAI, a two Michelin-starred Italian restaurant in Shanghai, to cook and demonstrate Italian cuisine. The aim of the Italian Culinary Experience was to enable the instructors to impart more knowledge about Italian Culinary Arts to their students in their daily teaching.

During the workshop, professional lecturer of Italian gastronomy invited by the Italian Trade Agency gave a series of in-depth introductions, the topics are vertically about Italian ingredient segments, including Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Coffee, Wine, Gelato and Cheese, delivering vivid yet memorable knowledge.

From the online Masterclass series for students to the teachers’ program and the offline Italian culinary workshop, the Italian Culinary Program is truly designed to be all-encompassing and continues to empower teachers and students at relevant Chinese culinary schools.

Upon the completion of Nanning College of Vocational Technology as a conclusion of this year’s program, it saw a total of 2764 students from relevant majors take the Masterclass series and 2169 of them were awarded certificates from the Italian Trade Agency after the assessment. The Italian gastronomy culture lectures reached 1570 students, while the workshop reached 274 students.

The Italian Culinary Program has covered a total of 25 elite Chinese culinary schools, from Harbin to Haikou, giving students and teachers of relevant majors a real boost in their knowledge of Italian cuisine, serving the project manifesto: “Future chefs are the best Italian food ambassadors in China!


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