COOKING IN ITALY
Learn with the Pros: Italian Culinary Institute for Foreigners
For the budding home chef or the professional looking to expand their skills, the Italian Culinary Institute for Foreigners may be a place to visit. The ICIF offers professional level trainings to Italian and International chefs but also offers courses for the aspiring foodie, often in the same class settings. While some trainings may take up to six months, the ICIF offers shorter options that serve both professional and foodie alike.
The Castle of Costigliole d’Asti serves as the impressive and relevant location for the ICIF training center in Piedmont. Built in the 14th and 15th centuries and once owned by a wine connoisseur, the Castle is now the headquarters and training ground for Italian and international chefs. Their faculty range in academics, journalists, professionals, renowned Italian Michelin starred chefs and Italian Association of Sommeliers members. When it comes to their training programs, their intention is to promote Italian cuisine and culture that reflects the values of local and regional ingredients, hospitality and lifestyle. They do this through various courses in types of cuisine to a Masters Course in Italian Cuisine.
For those desiring a deeper dive into Italian cuisine for their own personal enrichment, the Institute offers a short afternoon style courses and an in-depth culinary tour lasting three to six days at a time. Participants can also choose from various wine, bakery, chocolate and other classes that do not require a professional designation or training that are part of the ICIF coursework for professionals. Whether it is these classes or the specific classes for non-professionals, they are often taught by the same Master Chocolatiers and other professionals. And while many professionals teaching are Italian, the courses provide English translators.
Often designed for shorter durations for professionals who can’t be away from work, the ICIF creates trainings shorter in scope and current in their applications, like gluten-free Italian cooking. Their upcoming offering New Techniques and the Technological Innovations of Modern Cuisine offers the opportunity to use the latest technology under the skillful guide of master trainers. Students can choose to attend all three days or a single day of courses with topics such as molecular cuisine, vacuum cooking, low-temperature cooking, sensorial and organoleptic analysis with a cheese tasting session with an ONAF expert (National Organization of Cheese Taster), and the use of a Pacojet. One of the newest technologies, the Pacojet can create anything from fresh ice cream, finely chopped tartare, purees often in less than a minute, without unfreezing ingredients. Whether for an afternoon in wine tasting or learning to make the perfect Italian coffee, the ICIF creates the environment and provides the expertise to truly embrace Italy’s legendary cuisine.
Jennie Olson Six
Cultural Italy Staff Writer