The 2006-2007 academic year of the University of Gastronomic Sciences officially began yesterday afternoon with an inauguration in Bra’s Politeama Theater.
Chancellor Alberto Capatti opened the proceedings by outlining the motivating factors behind the formation of the university, emphasizing the difficult relationship that has existed between gastronomy and science from the nineteenth century until the present day. “The University of Gastronomic Sciences,” he affirmed, “was born of the necessity to provide a new food culture on a level above globalization and homogenization of production and consumption.”
Carlo Petrini, President of Slow Food International, drew attention to the presence at the ceremony of Francesco Rutelli, Italy’s Minister of Welfare and Cultural Affairs, afterwards discussing the innovation of understanding gastronomy as a complex and multidisciplinary science that places environmental sustainability at the center. The objective of the university, he explained, is thus not so much to produce gourmets as to safeguard production and tradition and to celebrate diversity.
Finally, Francesco Rutelli discussed the uniqueness of the university in light of the number of foreign students, who comprise some forty percent of those enrolled. He also praised the pioneering work of Slow Food as a source of prestige for Italy.