Advanced Italian

2 minute read
Mimi Murphy

What’s in a name? New York City’s French Culinary Institute (FCI), arguably the most comprehensive cooking school in the U.S., is acting on the modern American preference for Italian food by creating the Italian Culinary Academy. So henceforth the FCI will be known as the International Culinary Center, encompassing the French institute and the Italian academy in its expanded, state-of-the-art premises on Broadway and Grand.

Founded 21 years ago by American Dorothy Cann Hamilton, a vocational education and marketing expert and amateur epicure, the FCI was immediately successful in the world of Julia Child and Craig Claiborne—but times change. The FCI has recruited top names in the field for the Italian venture (including former Beppe and current Maremma chef Cesare Casella as dean of Italian Studies in New York City), and it has created a partnership with Italy’s prestigious, government-accredited International School of Italian Cuisine in Colorno, near Parma, whose rector is Italy’s first Michelin three-star chef, Gualtiero Marchesi.

Designed for professionals, the seven-month course strives for a panoply of the best in upscale Italian cuisine and American know-how in restaurant management. Up to 20 students will open the academy in January with 10 weeks in New York City, concentrating on intensive Italian language instruction and Italian cuisine techniques. The program then moves to the countryside outside Parma, where students spend nine weeks studying regional cuisine with Michelin-rated chefs at the 18th century Palazzo Ducale in Colorno. This bacchanal of typical products and wines, including visits to artisan producers and vineyards, is followed by a nine-week apprenticeship in a prestigious Italian restaurant and a finale in New York City for classes in kitchen management and final exams. Then it’s buon appetito! tel: (1-212) 219-8890;

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