We are honored to get in touch with the famous Italian culinary campus, Campus Etoile Academy, located in Tuscany region this time. With the help of our truffle partner, we are able to have a half-day visit to the campus where their students are in the last month of hard-studying for their final exam in the coming May for this semester.
Campus Etoile Academy is a very professional and certificated Italian culinary education institution which offers short-term and long-term cooking courses for Italian and international students. Regardless of ages and backgrounds, you can find people with different culture there however they all have the same goal to learn to be a professional Italian chef! Whatever short or long term courses, the students have to pass the theory learning and practical learning stages which enable them to achieve the knowledge and skills they need as a certified chef, and in their last step to get their certificate and graduate from the school, they will work in local Italian restaurants for months and to proof that they’ve been prepared well as a new chef.
It was an amazing tour that we were shown this very ancient and beautiful “stone castle” with the most modern equipment as a place for young chefs and professional teachers. We were told that each student will have their own set of cooking equipment from knives to pots and even oven! There are large, medium and small classrooms with different educational functions like for lectures, for pastry and bakery practice classes, and so on. We even jumped into a class which a small group of students were working hard.
The campus has a library with all ancient and modern cooking book collection in Italian, French and few other languages as well as a showcase of ancient cooking tools so that the students not only learn how to cook, but learn the culinary history and culture. Also, there is a wine showroom which is not used to train a sommelier but to give the basic wine and food pairing knowledge to the students, as in western culinary culture, wine is always playing the important role. To our surprise, the school provides standard residence area to students. The living condition is equal to a 3-star hotel which every two students can share one room with a very friendly price attached to the course fee.
We were also invited to attend a bigger class that afternoon. The topic of the class is truffle, and of course, trays of fresh seasonal truffle were shown in front of students. The truffle owner was invited to give this lecture with a full introduction covering the basic truffle knowledge about where and how it grows, how to tell the bad truffle from the good ones and to know the value of truffle, how to correctly preserve and to cook different types of truffle. As a professional and a qualified chef, this knowledge are critical for them as a successful chef is not only required to create the best dishes to their clients, but also to control the budget by leveraging the best deals according to the seasons and the selection of different ingredients.
It’s a short trip with rich information and knowledge for us, and we were also so proud that our partner was selected to give this invited courses and showcase their best products to a professional cooking school in Italy. We are looking forward this kind of top-quality and professional collaboration can happen in Asia in the near future.
Campus Etoile Academy has always supported to share and improve the Italian cuisine worldwide. They have sent their professional team to other countries for the special exchanging programs with famous restaurants and international hotel groups.