After 4 years of travel restriction imposed due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Taylor's Culinary Institute (TCI) has organized a culinary and gastronomic tour to Italy. The trip covered the visitations of iconic F&B products from Milan, Verona, Venice and Nizza in Italy. Altogether, 14 students from various Taylor's University schools gained valuable insight into the production of different types of food, culture and tourism of Italy.
The first destination was Milan, the group visited the Duomo di Milano, the main cathedral in Milan where the students were able to admire the great workmanship of the building. The group has also visited one of the 6 in the world ‘Starbucks Reserve Roastery’ and got to experience how Starbucks roast their beans in house with some exclusive coffee belong to the Milano roastery. Then, strolling at Viale Papiniano, one of the best open-air markets where they have all their fresh produce, local snacks, food and drinks.
The group ended their night with a memorable boat cruise experience in the Canal Naviglio Grande, home to the last of Milan’s arterial waterways. This romantic canal district has plenty of history, style and charm. After that the group proceeded to Verona by train from Milan Centrale built in 1864 which is one of the most beautiful train stations in Europe. After arriving in Verona, they visited Castel S. Pietro situated on top of a hill overlooking the town. For lunch, the group had an opportunity to taste the local red risotto and Italian pizza.
Finally, a visit to the fictitious home of Romeo & Juliet and behold her statue and “The Balcony.” While in Verona, the students also paid a visit to Venice which is located at the mouth of a huge lagoon which is being fed by two rivers. The group enjoyed a cup of coffee at a 90-year-old coffee shop, then they were off to a little corner shop for cicchetti, the Venetian way for stopping the cravings for food like Spanish tapas and a small glass of wine. The tour ended with a visit to Piazza San Marco-St. Mark’s Square, which is the principal public square of Venice.
After Verona, the group took a private bus to the region of Emilia-Romagna. They visited a factory which produces 3 famous and protected food items namely Parmigiano Reggiano, Prosciutto de Parma and Balsamico di Modena. From this visit, the students got to see and understand how the traditional cheeses are made in Italy, how long is the process and why are some of the cheeses are more expensive than the others. Students also had the chance to taste the different types of cheeses that paired with the Italian smoked/cured ham.
Afterward, the group arrived in the Piedmont region of Italy and started at a UNESCO World Heritage Site called the cellars of Bosca Winery in the town of Asti. The winery produces the famous Asti sparkling wines according to the Champagne method. The students experienced their underground cellar where they store the wine, and the bottles that are undergoing the fermentation/ageing process. Nevertheless, students also met Luigi-an Italian farmer and a small-time wine producer who own Bersano Wineries. Beside the wineries, there is a museum with old tools and equipment used for hundreds years to produce wine.
The last highlight of the trip was truffle hunting & tasting @ La Casa Del Trifulau with lunch. Students learned how truffle growers hunt the truffle with a dog and also given opportunity to taste freshly picked truffle. It was a fantastic experience! Finally, stopped by at the village of the famous Barolo wines and ended the evening by having a cooking class and farewell dinner at La Morra winery. Students were taught how to cook 5 dishes and they made their own fresh pasta.
All in all, it was a very rewarding, eventful and educational trip for all of them to expose themselves to interesting and different culture in person!