Many of our articles have been about festivals, places to see, things to do…..there really is a lot of stuff going on as far as entertainment and cultural discovery are concerned. But, summer highlights apart, Bedonia is a normal town, with its normal everyday town life, and now that schools have begun the new year, we would like to spend a few words on one in particular, which has recently been attracting well-deserved attention.
Way up on the hill which overlooks Bedonia, rises the magnificent Basilica di San Marco (for those who are interested, there are previous articles on the subject), and on the other side of a beautiful tree-lined vale leading to the cemetery, lies a large structure which began life in another era as a boarding house for students who lived too far from town. In later years, whilst times were changing, the establishment took on a different function, offering professional training in the electrical and mechanical fields, thus preparing young people in what would later be a useful trade. After 2010, our teenagers were given further opportunity to master skills when the school took on an alternative address – that of hotel management and catering institute which, despite a very tentative start (and a little political controversy), proved to be an excellent move.
The first couple of years saw the enrolment of a significant number of youngsters who wished to approach the culinary world, and as each new school year began, enthusiasm grew and new classes formed. The programme is divided between all the standard subjects, and training both in the kitchens under the guide of expert cooks, and in the lounge for waiting techniques with a qualified instructor. Students are taught to deal with bookings and to converse with customers in English, since many aspire to perfecting their work abroad. They are often required to attend school in a suitable uniform (when training in the lounge), which, as well as giving them a professional appearance, encourages a feeling of responsibility.
Training however is not limited to the school premises; educational outings are often organised, during which students are given the chance to witness chefs at work, and in various occasions they have participated in show-cooking and workshops demonstrating a high level of achievement, even winning prizes. An example of this was earlier in the year, at the “Antica Corte Pallavicino”, a prestigious restaurant at Polesine, where participants were invited to invent their own exclusive “panino” (roll) with the best quality ingredients at their disposal.
Wedding buffet con Daniele Accardo, Mario Mafrica, e la partecipazione straordinaria di Alessio e Simone Ciancolini
Posted by Istituto enogastronomico alberghiero Bedonia on Sunday, September 22, 2019
Our students made an excellent impression on judges, coming through with flying colors.
As part of the academic programme, last winter the youngsters spent a period of trainee-ship in one of the various hotels/restaurants which had agreed to take them on, plunging them into the typical day-to-day routine of the real thing, in order to get a good idea of what this line of work entails. Furthermore, during the summer months, although they were not obligated to do so, some students jumped at the chance to do some more real-life training. In most cases unpaid, or at the very best, involving a small token of thanks for their contribution. But these aspiring chefs and Mâitres know that nothing can beat an actual working experience in order to learn the tricks of the trade! A deep insight of the workings behind the scenes, in a busy period, enabled these young people to understand whether it really is their cup of tea or not! None backed out.
In the meantime, the students have been called upon for their services in many different events around the area; just three days ago, the Prince and Princess of Borbone Parma honored our area with a visit, and they were received for lunch at the castle of Compiano (a neighbouring village). The buffet was prepared and professionally served by the students of the institute, looking all very dapper in their crisp black and white uniforms. They participated in last year’s truffle festival, as chefs and as waiters in the marquee restaurant, set up in the centre of Bedonia; they also had their own stand in an autumn festival, giving demonstrations and samplings to the public passing by. The latest event – and possibly a very emotional one for the students, took place last weekend, when one of their English teachers got married, and had them prepare and serve the wedding buffet…..a wonderful show of faith in her boys and girls, and, if the images are anything to go by, they did her proud!
A school which has put Bedonia on the map for yet another reason (as if we needed any more!).