MONTREAL, JUNE 3, 2009- Seventeen students from the Professional Cooking Program at St. Pius X Culinary Institute in Ahuntsic visited Soverato, Calabria from April 24 to May 9. In collaboration with the Associazione Provinciale dei Cuochi Catanzaresi (APCC), these students were given the chance to experience Italian cuisine in its regional diversities and were placed within 10 restaurants and hotels across the city to experience Italy’s finest cuisine and cooking techniques.
The students also made a visit to nearby Serra San Bruno, Santa Caterina, and Guardavalle, which was not only cultural and historical, but also a unique experience in cooking. After only a few days, students became accustomed to Italian terms and expressions used in cooking. Some students were offered job positions at the various restaurants and hotels.
EMSB Director of Adult Education and Vocational Services Rosario Ortona and St. Pius X Principal Maryssa Barassi participated in the trip and put in a request for funding of this project with the “Éducation Internationale,” an organization which provides funding for vocational training. These students must have completed at least 50 percent of their program and wish to complete a stage or practicum outside the province of Quebec. They have most recently been notified that the project was accepted and that each of the 17 students will receive $1,000 towards their trip expenses. Montreal has a large Italian population and many restaurants featuring Italian cuisines. This trip allowed the participating students to elevate the quality and authenticity of Italian cuisine at home in Québec. “The trip was a great success from a cultural, pedagogical and professional point of view” said Mr. Ortona.
“All organized activities kept student-learning in the forefront” added Ms. Barassi. “This trip was beneficial in the enhancement of each student’s knowledge. Ultimately, it will increase employment opportunities and allow the students to develop different skills in true Mediterranean and Calabrian cuisine.”