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Two Culinary Students from The Art Institute of Pittsburgh to Compete in Italy to Win Urbani Tartufi Truffle Contest

By: The Art Institutes

March 8, 2016

Rachel Walton and Samantha Santti invited to prestigious 2-week training in Italy, Scholarships to be awarded

Two culinary artists from The Art Institute of Pittsburgh will soon travel to Italy to compete in a truffle-themed Culinary Contest in Memory of Paolo Urbani. The students are Rachel Walton, who is working toward an Associate of Science in Baking & Pastry and Samantha Santti, who is working toward an Associate of Science in Baking & Pastry.

The contest challenges culinary students from across North America, in teams of two, to create new and original ideas for dishes that feature truffles as their main ingredient.  The truffles are provided exclusively and directly by Urbani Tartufi.

The contest reflects the continuing commitment by Urbani Tartufi truffles to bring awareness to the culture of truffle and its ancient history. Urbani Tartufi is respected worldwide for representing the best in truffle sourcing and processing. Through this culinary competition, young chefs are provided the opportunity to develop and improve their professional skills while achieving sensory and emotional enrichment.

To reach the competition finals, 50 teams of students created two dishes—a “chef’s choice” (savory or sweet) and a main course. Recipes and photos of the finished dishes were submitted for consideration and judged based on principles of originality, creativity, and innovation. Each submission was scored on a 100-point scale. Of the 50 teams admitted to the contest, seven teams were chosen as finalists.

Walton and Santti are one of seven finalist teams awarded scholarships by the Paolo Urbani Foundation to participate in a two-week, full immersion culinary course on Italian Cuisine at UDS (Università dei Sapori), in Perugia, Italy from March 30 – April 8. There, they’ll recreate their truffle-inspired recipes, which will be judged by a jury of chefs and professionals from the world of gastronomy. Three winning teams will be awarded first, second, and third prize. Additionally, Urbani Tartufi reserves the right to market the first place creation as one of its own, new products.

According to the Paolo Urbani Foundation, the competition is a statement of confidence and investment in the professional future of the students and a means to help them deepen their knowledge of a precious product as well as to continue to pass on the history of Paolo Urbani, his land, and his legacy.

In addition to the scholarship, winners also earn a trip to the “Truffle Experience at Urbani Tartufi,” which consists of an exclusive journey in the world of truffles. The experience begins in Umbria and culminates at the Accademia del Tartufo, the first school on truffles, where professional chefs will hand down their knowledge in the art of cooking truffles.

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By: The Art Institutes

March 8, 2016