Culinary arts program heading to Italy

Students on the May 2014 Culinary Arts trip to Italy pose for a group photo in the central square of Florence.

MCCCs Culinary Arts Program will be traveling to Italy for 10 days at the end of May 2016.
Students who go on the trip can earn three credit hours in the Spring Semester.  
The trip is called, “A Taste of Italy,” and is similar to the first culinary study abroad trip, in May of 2014.
The trip is built around a variety of food and wine experiences, ranging from demonstrations to classes and, of course, eating at  great restaurants, said Chef Kevin Thomas, director of the Culinary Arts program. 
There also will be some time for traveling and sightseeing, he said.
The days are very busy, Thomas said. Sometimes students will go to more than one destination in a day.
“There is a lot of walking involved,” he said. 
Thomas estimated they walked more than 15 miles on the 2014 trip.
“The interaction with the people preparing the food in Italy is probably the most valuable part of the trip,” he said.
As of right now, there are 13 people signed up for the trip.
“When it’s all said and done, I’m expecting about 18-20 students signed up,” Thomas said.
Some students are graduating in April but are still coming on the trip to add to their degrees.
Thomas thinks it is a good experience for the students to taste and see first-hand the making of  Italian food.
In Italy, all the food is made fresh, he said. 
It’s called farm to table, and there is very little processed food like Americans are used to. 
“It is a trip of a lifetime,” Thomas said.
This is the first time the culinary study abroad trip offers course credit, Thomas said. 
Students will be required to keep a journal during the trip. They will keep notes and write down their impressions of the restaurants, wineries and markets they see.
To prepare for the trip, students have to research menus and food and wine pairings.
When they get back they will have a final exam, like any other class, Thomas said.