Eight talented Miami Culinary Institute (MCI) students had the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to master the art of French cooking during a study abroad program in France this summer. They capped off their experience with initiation into the Chaîne des Rôtisseurs, the world’s oldest and most prestigious international food and wine society. This marks the first time the French chapter has accepted students from the United States into the prestigious organization.
The four-week summer program is part of an incredible culinary partnership between Miami Dade College and the prestigious Le Calabash Petit Conservatoire de la Cuisine. The MDC Office of International Education was awarded the “Partnerships for Innovation and Collaboration on Study Abroad” Grant by the French Embassy in the U.S. as part of the Transatlantic Friendship and Mobility Initiative. The program aims to prepare students for the global workforce as they learn about international cuisine and embed themselves in the culture.
Students worked alongside French chefs and local producers as they learned about the farm-to-table approach and food production, cooked in a chateau, dug up truffles on a farm, and even took French lessons. They also had lessons in French pastry making and discovered the essential role of the fromagerie in the nation of 246 cheeses.
Students were based in the Loire Valley and traveled across France, from Paris and Bordeaux to Hermitage and Lyon. At each stop, they learned about the region’s specialty, from oysters and chocolate to bread baking, bistro cooking and more. Their visit to Paris included a culinary tour of the city and the Rungis Food Market, the largest wholesale food market in the world.
“I want to thank you for giving me the opportunity to enjoy an amazing experience in France. I’m infinitely grateful,” said culinary student Anaida Fernandez. “The amount of knowledge and incredible experience I gained was huge. I’m sure this will open a lot of doors for me and will help me pursue a great career.”
“I am achieving things that I never thought possible,” said culinary student Emiliano Catano. “It has been an incredible experience, probably the best of my life.”
The students chronicled their journey on Instagram using the hashtag #MCIstudyabroad2017. For more information about this program and other international opportunities, contact the Office of International Education.
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