Points of View

Come to Italy with US: Alma Students Before the Gala

By FDL on

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Come to Italy with US: Alma Students Before the Gala

Seven young chefs arrived in Italy for a two week immersion at the prestigious Alma culinary school with scholarships funded during dinners held for the Year of Italian Culture in the U.S. They are portrayed here on top with Chef Massimo Bottura.

S.Pellegrino and Acqua Panna are ambassadors of the year-long event along with the ALMA culinary school. Last week two students kept a journal of their experience in Italy at the prestigious school, here is Sarah Brewer's entry for the past few days, just before tonight's special Gala where students will be cooking to celebrate the final step of the project Come to Italy with US.

From Sarah Brewer's Journal

"Leaving Modena after my experience with Massimo Bottura. I was overwhelmed with emotions. I felt that I had been given something to think deeply about, a past to recall, and a future to discover. It is difficult to explain with words this experience...I will try with some pictures!

When I awoke we were only few kilometers away from Acetaia Medici a wine company that makes traditional balsamic vinegar. They have been making balsamic for at least 4 generations. Balsamic made from grapes aged for at least 12 year before considered DOP balsamic. The youngest balsamic is 12-15 years of age and has a red seal. It was suggested to be used on fish, vegetables and shrimps. To me it tasted sweet and contained low notes. The next ranked from 20-25 years, labeled silver, was suggested for cheese, eggs, risotto and fish. The taste was sweet still, sit had a savory flare. The oldest aging is 25+ years and this was much thicker. It was suggested to pair with stronger cheeses and dessert. I think it would also enhance salads. The acidity seemed to last stronger.

The farm was beautiful and had some old tools displayed to help us understand how time has changed the world. It thrilled me know balsamic has been used a medicine for poor people. I enjoy learning about natural medicines. The next day we spent time in Tuscany and today, Monday…the gala dinner!"

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