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From the classroom to the Kitchen: How Our Program Prepares Graduates for Real-World Success

In the vibrant world of hospitality, the success of a restaurant hinges not only on its talented chefs but also on the skilled professionals working alongside them. Our Culinary Training Program takes immense pride in fostering the growth of aspiring cooks by providing them with a unique opportunity to learn from talented industry experts, thanks to an impressive lineup of volunteer chef trainers who work with our team each cycle to enrich AIW’s Culinary Training Program by sharing their experience and love of the industry with our trainees.

Chef Alessia Morabito, culinary consultant, private event chef, and culinary instructor brings over 10 years of experience working in diverse kitchens around Italy. In AIW’s CTP, she shares one of her greatest passions with our trainees: diverse cooking methods for white and red meats.

Learning objectives in Chef Alessia’s class include how to properly debone a chicken and utilize the entire bird efficiently for a no-waste kitchen. Further, they gain a deep understanding of beef, exploring the concept of meat doneness and tackling tough cuts. These skills, under chef Alessia's guidance, empower our graduates with preparation skills that will help them in meat-forward Modenese restaurants.

Chef Ettore Surdo, in charge of leading a large team in award-winning Osteria Francescana’s prep kitchen, shares one of his greatest passions with our trainees: seafood.

Under his guidance, our trainees acquire a diverse skill set that encompasses fish cleaning, proper tools utilization, hygiene practices, and storage techniques. Additionally, they learn various cooking methods specific to fish. These comprehensive skills equip our graduates to clean and prepare seafood for an array of different kinds of cooking methods. While in the kitchen, the culinary classes are also a great moment for instilling non-technical skills that will serve our trainees in their future jobs: for Ettore, he says “I don’t mind working with a new team member who has little experience, I can teach them; what really stands out is someone with great work ethic- I see this in the new members who know how to properly stock the refrigerators and magazzino…who see a cardboard box on the floor, and pick it up as they pass. It’s the attitude that makes the difference.”

Chef Michele di Già, head baker of award-winning Osteria Francescana imparts a lifetime of love for the art of bread-making.

With Michele, trainees are introduced to the intricacies of different flours and their uses. They learn the basics of bread-making using beer yeast and explore the nuances of chemical leavens. Additionally, they delve into the art of fried dough, expanding their bread making repertoire.

Out of the classroom, and into the kitchen

Beyond weekly classes with our talented guest Chefs,, our trainees gain invaluable real work experience by completing 300+ hours of work experience as cooks in the Roots kitchen during their traineeship. This practical exposure allows them to apply their skills in a real-world setting, honing their abilities and adapting to the fast-paced nature of a professional kitchen, and practicing working with a kitchen brigade from the dish station throughout the different stations of a professional kitchen.

Our culinary training program stands as a gateway for aspiring chefs to unlock their full potential. By collaborating with esteemed chefs such as Ettore Surdo, Alessia Morabito, and Michele di Già, we provide our trainees with a strong foundation that can be applied to an array of different kinds of restaurants. . We encourage employers and restaurateurs to engage with our program, fostering a symbiotic relationship that empowers our graduates and helps us to design a culinary training program that meets the needs of the industry. Together, we can shape and inspire a new generation of diverse chefs.

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