UNH Students Head to Tuscany to Study Culinary Arts
Trip Made Possible By $25,000 Grant From Banfi Vintners Foundation

Contact: Lori Wright
UNH Media Relations

March 30, 2004

DURHAM, N.H. -- Four students from the University of New Hampshire are among a select group of students from across the nation who will study the culture and culinary offerings of Tuscany this summer through the generosity of the Banfi Vintners Foundation.

The program is privately funded by a $25,000 grant from the Banfi Vintners Foundation. Joe Durocher, professor of hospitality management with UNH's Whittemore School of Business and Economics who has taught beverage management at the university for 18 years, will lead the students on the trip.

"These students will return with an expanded perspective on life in another country and a renewed appreciation of what they have learned in class. As a result, they will become better world citizens," Durocher said.

UNH's program in Hospitality Management is one of only 10 programs worldwide that is accredited by both the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) and the Accreditation Commission for Programs in Hospitality Administration (ACPHA). Graduates are prepared to assume management positions in all areas of the service sector, with primary emphasis on the hospitality industry.

UNH was one of only six schools nationwide to be selected to receive the grant. Students will join peers from Shannon Hotel School in Limerick, Ireland, and the University of Denver during their stay in Tuscany, which begins Aug. 28.

Durocher explained that the students' experience in Italy is an extension of UNH's Beverage Management class. In addition to learning about different beverages, the trip will provide students an opportunity to learn about the way in which alcohol is considered in other cultures and will give them an expanded appreciation of how it might be effectively and responsibly managed in the United States.

"Part of our goal is to expose students to different cultures, different beverages, different philosophies about alcohol and the synergy of matching beverages with food. Such an opportunity is part of our commitment to provide students with relevant, global education and to ensure the curriculum relates to the real world," he said.

In-depth classes on a variety of foods and the beverages that complement them, as well as Italian culture, are part of the study abroad trip. The curriculum delves into the different soil types in the estate's vineyards, and on-going efforts to match ideal native and international grape varieties to individual site conditions. Lectures discuss and provide samples of locally produced extra virgin olive oil, cheese, wine, honey, bread and biscotti, with one morning class devoted to preparing traditional Tuscan dishes. Students will visit a parmigiano reggiano cheese producer, a Dallari pasta factory, the Vigne Regali winery, the Riunite winery and vineyards, the Castello Banfi winery and vineyards, the Lambardi Bakery in Montalcino and the Franci's Frantoio olive oil producer.

"For a number of years, the foundation has made these kinds of grants to hospitality management schools. We think it's a way of planting seeds with young people who are studying to join our industry. It is the mission of the directors of the foundation to use these grants to cultivate the leaders of tomorrow," Philip Calderone, director of the Banfi Vintners Foundation.