I recently started a new university south of Turin, called Gastronomic Sciences University in Pollenzo. I am super excited and love it already after one week. There are lots of foreign students from all over the world, everyone is interested in food studies, and many have previous experiences either working in restaurants, farms or some kind of food production, but want to go further and develop more knowledge and career opportunities. The Campus of the school is a Unesco site, it is situated in a SMALL town, whereas the mostly all students live in the next town over ( a 10 min drive ) called Bra.
At our lunch cafeteria we have chefs from all over the world that come and cook for us for a week. These are chefs that are renowned and often have Michelin stars. you have to book your meals online the day before so that food waste is contained.
The first week was awesome, we had orientation days, and then the big fair in Turin began: it is called SALONE DEL GUSTO – TERRA MADRE. it is a slow food fair that has place in Turin every two years. Farmers and food producers that are slow food members set up a stand to show / sell their products and offer tastings. These people come from All over the world. Also conferences and special events are organized during the whole 5 day period of the fair in various locations of the city.
This was the first year I went and I was speechless, it was so great to see all these people interested and fighting for the same cause. Food trucks were all over the city and so many international travelers just to see the fair.
I went to a couple of conferences in this beautiful theater (Carignano) and they were Soooo interesting! one was titled “Can Agroecology feed the world?” and the other ” The Garden Revolution” talking about urban gardening. And I got to meet Alice Waters too!
after this experience I will definitely never miss one of these fairs again. I highly recommend anyone to go see it. Food is not just what we eat, food is life, and there are so many aspects behind it (from environmental, social, political etc) that most people don’t acknowledge.