Study Abroad Trip Explores French Gastronomy For 12 students at Miami Dade College’s Miami Culinary Institute (MCI), it was a summer to remember. The chefs-in-training got an up-close look at the French culinary world, thanks to a summer abroad experience offered by MDC and Le Calabash Petit Conservatoire de la Cuisine in France. The 11-day trip, which was generously sponsored by the MDC Foundation and the French Embassy in the U.S., gave student chefs the opportunity to immerse themselves in the art of French cuisine, which is hailed among the best in the world. While in France, students enjoyed a tour through the Loire Valley, home to the finest goat cheese production and winemaking in the region. The experience included activities such as cooking classes, product tastings and visits to several vineyards, farms and markets, plus a stop at Rungis International Market, the largest food market in the world. The experience opened doors to new flavors and techniques that allowed students to hone their skills as chefs and use their creativity. “Such opportunities provide life-changing moments and enhance their future careers,” said Chef José Casals, assistant professor at MCI. The summer abroad program is just one example of Miami Culinary Institute’s commitment to develop professionals who will thrive in today’s competitive and ever-evolving culinary industry. In addition to winning several awards of distinction, MCI is noted for providing students with ongoing opportunities for professional development. Just last year, MCI student Patricia Falcon completed an apprenticeship as a sous chef at Le Calabash, after showing exemplary talent during her summer abroad visit. MCI students have also been given the opportunity to work with chefs from Spain’s El Celler de Can Roca, twice ranked as the number one restaurant in the world.
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