As a part of the introduction to luxury course and overview of the luxury industry, on the 10th of October 2013, the Masters of Luxury Retail and Hospitality students gathered together outside the University with anticipation before the drive to Alba, Italy. For the majority of the students this was their first time visiting the province of Cuneo, not only this but also to experience Italian Gastronomy and wine tasting during truffles season.
Our first excursion was to the Wonderfall private chalet in Limone (http://wonderfallchalet.com/). This exclusive venue is available for rent throughout the year for occasions such as weddings and holidays with a large price tag attached to renting it. Benjamin Bouttemy and Harmony Kast-Lang were kind enough to take the IUM group on a remote tour of the grounds. The managers of the chalet organized a delicious Italian aperitif for us to taste the savors of Limone, including Piedmont meat. While at the same time allowing the students to explore the grounds of the luxury chalet that is in the Italian Alps with a helipad, 7 bedrooms, personal spa, striking landscape and architecture that gives the feeling of being unrestricted in the countryside.
On Friday we explored the concept of Slow Food, new food trends, and the evolution of gastronomy. Sergio Capaldo, the cofounder of “La Granda” and “Eataly”, fine foods and wine supermarket, kindly greeted us for the tour of the establishment where the staff knows the history of every free-range cow.
Next, the director of the “Universita’ Degli Studi delle Scienze Gastronomiche” in Pollenzo, welcomed the group for a tour of the beautiful academy. This institute exposed us to the advanced learning involved in building an organic relationship between gastronomy and agricultural science.
Following this educational tour, we were invited to visit the “Wine Bank” in the school and to taste La Granda beef at the Albergo Dell’Angenzia restaurant. The menu consisted of cold veal with tuna sauce and baked veal with middle cut breast, typical dishes of the Piedmont region: it was divine!
Later that evening, the students visited Conterno Fantino, a winery steeped in tradition based on top of a mountain overseeing the quaint town of Monforte d’Alba. Here, the students experienced wine tasting of Barbaresco, Nebbiolo, Monpra, and finally Barolo wines, and a tour of the highly impressive facility.
The final evening we dinned out together at the Moda restaurant in Monforte d’Alba before the students went out to enjoy the Italian nightlife! The morning of our departure we were blessed with a sunshiny day for the finishing moments of team building and a chance to do some last minute shopping in the picturesque town of Limone.
Ultimately, this was a wonderful learning trip for the IUM master students not only to expand their understanding of Italian gastronomy but also to have these memories for a lifetime.
Reported by Bonnie Rocher, Master in Luxury student 2014