(An excerpt from The Chronicle Journal, May 30, 1999, by Howard Partnoy.)

A recent working visit to Siderno, Italy, provided plenty of food for thought, and lots of tasty morsels as well for a Thunder Bay group in the Lakehead’s twin city. Confederation College’s Culinary and Hospitality graduates and instructors, and Francesco as co-ordinator, went for field work from April 27 to May 12, working in the Italian city’s hotels and restaurants. The instructors were hospitality and tourism’s Lorne Sarmiento and culinary management’s Tim Matthews.

“It was really a very useful learning experience, and not only because of the culinary experience,” said Francesco. “They were able to learn about the Mediterranean cuisine and work with chefs.” He added, “They experienced the great hospitality, the different culture, customs, and visited historical sites. In addition to Siderno, the group travelled in Sicily and the Calabria region.” The group stayed in hotels where they worked.

The day after they arrived the Canadian group hosted a banquet for 50 guests, including a five-course meal featuring Canadian cuisine. Two days later they were welcomed with a banquet of traditional Calabrian food, put on by the school of hospitality there, where they had a chance to meet city and school officials and dignitaries. Their visit was well promoted through radio, television and newspaper interviews, including highlights of the banquet they hosted on their arrival. The day before leaving the Canadians were invited to a farewell dinner by the mayor and provincial representatives.