youonce it was the famous chiringuito in Mexico. Now, for many people, the famous “plan B” is a restauranta diving adventure not until you have learned the trade well and done the right number of apprenticeships.
So many of these dreamers pass Accademia Italiana Chef, professional cooking school and a private body committed to the research and protection of professional restoration with offices in Milan, Florence, Pisa, Bologna, Rome, Genoa and Lecce. Each year they come to all seven school locations trained hundreds of professionals from the catering world who will find virtually secure employment. Regardless of age. Because this is precisely one of the most important characteristics of Accademia Italiana Chef: here, also thanks to the participation in academic courses one day a week and internships with times agreed with the host structure ( so even only on weekends or in the evening after 5 p.m.), everyone, even those who have a job they cannot leave immediately, have the opportunity to undertake a path that will lead them to change their lives. Because the dreams of everyone, from the very young to those over 40, 50 or 60, can still be crowned and no one, thanks to this opportunity, is sentenced to life after starting a course of study or a job that none satisfies him more.
Many Italian Chef Academy courses
Arnaldo, the graphic designer turned vegetarian cook
As it happened to Arnaldo Amlesu, 64 years oldthis he taught at the IED in Milan. Then one day, tired of being a graphic designer, he enrolled in the Italian Chef Academy, he became a cook and in 2020 he managed to open a restaurant in Montalbo di Ziano, to Piacentino: “In a phase where my profession was showing the first signs of fatigue and less creativity, I thought I had to find new stimuli and acquire new knowledge – says Amlesu -. I felt there was a link, a hidden link that linked my old job as a creator to my new job as a chef, but I still didn’t understand which one. But I was sure there were. I felt the same magical attraction which, as a child, had led me almost without realizing it to go from studying aeronautical design to the more fascinating and mysterious ones of advertising communication and, after a diploma with honors, to propel me into the world of agencies. This time the attraction was the kitchen. But it wasn’t a betrayal: I felt this was the next step, I felt I had to understand, I had to understand. I had to learn new things“.
The opportunity to change his life, despite his young age, came from the Italian Academy of Chefs, which allowed him to do an internship in a restaurant in the Piacenza region and pass the Academy exam with all notes. . Indeed, with the academic award reserved for very few. Today, Arnaldo is the chef and owner of the Estro restaurant., a veritable temple of vegetarian cuisine: “My restaurant’s kitchen does not use products of animal origin. At my house, animals are welcome and can enter safely, except in the pots – he explains laughing -. The philosophy of my kitchen is vegan, but none of my recipes are from a vegan cookbook. I don’t use tofu, which I don’t like, I hate seitan, which is harmful due to excessive gluten, and I don’t like fake salamis, stews or burgers, which now also abound in discount shelves. On the other hand, I love vegetables and I like to discover innovative and complex cooking techniques and processes, which know how to give completely new flavors and textures. It is enough to insist and above all to make mistakes, to understand the right paths also and above all from errors”.
Fabrizio and the dream come true of cooking in Brazil
The experience at the Italian Chef Academy was also life-changing for the 47-year-old Fabrizio Baccini, who today works as a cook in Brazil: “I understood that I would have had the opportunity to turn my great passion for cooking into work when I met the Italian Chef Academy online – says Baccini -. At that moment, I immediately started thinking about it seriously and after facing and concluding the academic journey, I had the push and the courage to take up this profession seriously. Ever since I started taking classes at the Academy, my thought, as well as my dream, has been to be able to work abroad. Before arriving in Brazil, where I am now, I also worked and lived in London and worked for the winter season in France, on the border with Italy. These experiences brought me a lot as a person and as a cook, because they allowed me to approach customs and cultures different from mine, giving me the opportunity to continuously enrich and improve my wealth of knowledge and recipes. My dream? To be able to open, one day, a small restaurant of Italian cuisine here in Brazil, a country that I have fallen deeply in love with”.
On the right, Fabrice Baccini
Marta, 50 years old and the greenhouse that becomes a bistro
Marta Cerliani50 years of Cesano Maderno, until 2017 as an architectwith Accademia Italiana Chef, he instead realized two dreams: his own and that of his son Giorgio, who in 2017, returning from a long summer vacation-study-internship in Australia, expressed his intention of wanting to open a farm in the Alto Lario of Lake Como after completing his studies as a gardener, also creating a direct link between his agricultural production and a bistro-greenhouse-florist or similar where to source fresh, organic and local raw materials. At the end of her studies (which culminated in the diploma with 100/100 and the academic award), Marta began a fruitful collaboration with the guys from Orchidee del Lario, an open ice cream parlor in the last bay of a greenhouse of orchids, facing the edge of Lake Gravedona. By his side, of course, there is also his son Giorgio, who has found work among the plants and flowers in this same room. “In a few years I will see myself in our restaurant planning the menus and helping the boys in the brigade with the preparations – explains Marta Cerliani -. To those who dream of a future as a chef, I want to shout to believe it because working in a professional kitchen is extremely tiringdemanding, requires patience, dedication, passion, knowledge, study, great humility, a sense of organization, commits to days when everyone is partying. But it gives a lot of satisfaction. The biggest thing is to pamper and make your customers happy”.
You don’t have to be young to change your life
Three stories that are three tangible and concrete testimonies of how cooking can make life better of those who, having perhaps reached an age where changing jobs is not at all easy, just want to give a turn to their professional life. With the Italian Chef Academy, in fact, nYou don’t need to have an ID on the side. Hunger (to know too), resourcefulness and the desire to work are enough. The rest will come by itself, even if the blown candles start to be more than 40, more than 50 or even more than 60.
“Hundreds of new chefs, pizzaiolo or pastry chefs come out of us every year, aged at least 22 and sometimes even over 60 – he says Andrea Rocchetti, communication director of the Italian Chef Academy -. After all, what we always say is that there is no age to change your life. What unites all our students is love for the kitchen world. People over 40 represent 15% of our members. There are office workers, architects, graphic designers who suddenly decide, through our school, to wipe out their professional past and write a new professional life, as an employee. or as an entrepreneur.
The photos of the chefs are provided by the Italian Chef Academy.