A group of culinary arts students spent 2-weeks in northern Italy on a study tour that saw them learning about cheeses, meats, vinegars, olive oil, wines and included a stay in the Ferrari Hotel.
Chef Khairul Anuar Muhamad and a group of students from the School of Hospitality, Tourism and Culinary Arts (HCTA/TCHT) recently embarked on a 2-week overseas study tour to Italy as part of their Diploma in Culinary Arts programme. The Great Italian Escape-MILAN 2016 culinary study tour which included the northern Italian regions of Lombardy Region (Milan), Piedmont Region (Alba, Mombaruzzo, Marrone, Barolo, Canelli & Barbaresco) and Emilia Romagna Region (Maranello, Modena & Parma). The trip started with a guided tour of the largest Italian food market in the world, which is called EATALY. The three-storey market comprises of a multitude of restaurants, an array of food and beverage counters as well as artisanal bakeries and a cooking school. EATALY’s concept is to consolidate all these regional artisanal products into one huge gourmet food hall.
In the Piedmont Region, the students began their tour by visiting the town of Mombaruzzo, where they visited one of the most famous grappa distilleries in the world “Distillerie Berta”. They toured the world famous “light and music show cellars” (a modern cellar concept that originated in Japan) where aging barrels of grappa (a spirit made from the skin of grapes) is infused with light and music vibrations to enhance the aging process. They also got the chance to enroll in a regional cooking class held at the scenic winery of “Agricola Gian Piero Vitticolore, Marrone”. The cooking classes were taught by the region’s best cooks, the “nonna’s” (which is Italian for grandmothers). One highlight of their stay in the Piedmont Region was the opportunity to visit seven vineyards and wineries. In each of the vineyards and wineries visited, the students were also given technical tastings handled by Certified WSET Sommeliers. The regional tour was complemented by visiting the home of Ferrari, Maranello.
The students also got the chance to visit Museo Ferrari, (the home of Ferrari cars) test drive various models of Ferraris as well as to stay in the Ferrari Hotel & Apartments. After the adrenalin rush and once they had got over all the excitement of the cars, the student’s culinary journey continued with a visit to Consorzio Produttori Latte (CPL) Parma, one of the 280 protected producers of “The undisputed King of Cheeses” Parmigiano Regiano. Here the students got to see the step-by-step process of making this world famous cheese from curd separation, to salting, to cellar aging. The students' last stop on their culinary tour of northern Italy was to the Medici Ermete Aceto Balsamico Tradizionale, Reggio Emilia where they got to see the overall process of making REAL traditional balsamic vinegar. REAL traditional balsamic vinegar is aged for at least 12 years, but can be aged longer up to 25 years or more.
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