How do you start off a year at the University of Gastronomic Sciences (UNISG) ?
With an Eat-In of course, full of good food and great cooking!
So what exactly is an Eat-in?
This wonderfully new concept, which has just celebrated its first birthday was launched by the Youth Food Movement in San Francisco.
It has already charmed many people, including the students at UNISG for whom Eat-Ins have already become a part of their tradition!
As in the case of potluck, the idea behind Eat-ins is to create communities of people who like to eat well, who enjoy cooking at home, and who appreciate good quality products and the warmth and friendliness of shared meals.
Eat-ins however claim to be more proactive. Apart from all the fun, they promote good, clean and fair value foods and they celebrate the artisans who make and sell these foods. Eat-ins are also the occasion for giving everyone access to good quality food and for protesting against “fast food” and industrially processed products.
Hence, on Friday morning in Bra (where the university is located), 200 students from UNISG comb the 3 main markets as well as various butcher shops, bakeries and small grocery stores, for good, clean and fair value products!
Next, each team gathers together at one of the member’s houses to prepare all the food items that would be served that same evening.
Three hours max to prepare, cook and get everything ready, but this is a challenge that the students won hands down! As you may have guessed, everyone from among the certified chefs and fine gourmets here loves to cook!
Next step? The moment we’ve all been waiting for – the meal!
It’s right in the heart of the city, under the arches that dozens of tables and hundreds of chairs are set up to welcome not only all the students, but also small producers from the region. In fact, Eat-ins are the perfect way to discover new products!
Many local producers and traders joined in the festivities to make us taste their products and to explain to us their origins and manufacturing processes.
So it’s by sitting around a table, sharing cheeses, wines and exquisite home cooked dishes with students from over twenty different countries, that I started my education at the UNISG… in high spirits and with good cheer!
Thanks to Nicola Robecchi for the photos.