This week we take an exclusive look into the master program experience with past student, private chef and caterer, Roderick Pieper. Roderick has an extensive background in the food and hospitality industry, completing a 3-year apprenticeship at a local Italian restaurant before commencing his current role as the Head Chef at Hot Olive Bistro in Griffith, NSW.
Melina Puntoriero (MP): What prompted you to enrol the 5-week master program with Manuelina Culinary?
Roderick Pieper (RP): “A means to increase my overall skill set, expand my mind to new foods and drive my career forward. I wanted to experience another culture and its food first hand, whilst having the opportunity to train one-on-one with world class chefs”
MP: Can you provide a brief overview of the course from your perspective?
RP: In relation to the course structure, “5 weeks with each week focusing on a different area of Italian culinary arts. The training style is very different to what I have learnt in culinary school and focuses on practical applications in a business setting and also food science. This was very useful not only for recipe creation, but also raw ingredient selection back home.”
In reference to the course instructors, “leaders in their Italian fields, it was great to be able to speak also with other teachers during down time. I have never seen so many famous chefs in one place at one time!”
When discussing the facilities at the school, “First class single station laboratories. Each course subject uses a different laboratory with state of the art equipment and the latest in all technologies.”
In reference to the accommodation in Brescia. “A town rich in Italian culture and a true look at the Italian way of life. The hotel was one of a kind, staying at the truly breathtaking Villa Fenaroli Palace Hotel. The architecture of this building alone was unbelievable! Very clean and extremely comfortable. Luxurious stay.”
MP: How did you get along with the other people in the coarse?
RP: “I have made a lot of life long friends from doing this course. In fact, I have travelled to America twice since undertaking this course to visit fellow students and work in their restaurants. I continue to speak with my Italian teachers over social media, whilst Melina and I remain both close work colleges and great friends.”
MP: What did you do outside of the program?
RP: “I experienced Italian culture, travelled the countryside visiting foodie hot spots, meeting local chefs, and eating at far too many restaurants.”
MP: Would you recommend this course, and if so why?
RP: “Absolutely I have learnt skills and built relationships to last a lifetime. Not to mention had a first hand look at an amazing country!”