On Friday, September 8, six Monroe College Culinary Arts students will be flying to Italy to begin the second year of the college’s study abroad program at three prestigious culinary institutes in Parma, Europe’s culinary capital. This year the Study Abroad Program offered by the Monroe College Department of Hospitality Management and the Culinary Arts will also host four Paul Smith’s College students.
Coordinated in Italy by the Marco Polo Institute, the Study Abroad Program is held at the Barilla Institute, the University of Farrara, and the University of Lecce. According to Monroe College Dean Carol Genese, “The students who participated last year had an incredible experience. Not only did they come back with finely-tuned culinary skills, they really got a global perspective of the industry. Of course, they also benefited greatly from three months of European living.”
Once again the Study Abroad students will be focusing on advanced study in the culinary arts, food service, hospitality services, hotel and restaurant management, Italian language, culture and literature, and Italian product production and execution. “In our second year, we’ve expanded the program to include students from Paul Smith’s College,” said Chef Daniel Hinder, the Director of Culinary Arts at Monroe. “Ultimately, we’re going to bring students from additional colleges so they can learn not only how to cook, but to recognize the importance of language, culture, and traditions that make Italy distinctive.” During their fifteen-week stay, the Monroe students will take a full 15-credit load of courses including Cuisines of Europe and the Mediterranean and Food Writing Essentials. They will also be receiving advanced hands-on training at the various local restaurants in Parma, experiencing all aspects of back-of-the-house operations.
This year, each of the Monroe Study Abroad students were presented with scholarships from the college’s Craig Rutman Memorial Scholarship Fund, named for a beloved first director of the Monroe Culinary Program and the visionary behind the Study Abroad Program. “These students are part of Chef Rutman’s ongoing legacy where the acquisition of culinary skills is a passageway to broader, more enriched life experiences,” said Dean Genese.