May 2014 – Apicius, the International School of Hospitality at Florence University of the Arts is the first recipient in Italy of the Worldchefs Recognition of Quality Culinary Education. The hospitality division at FUA, particularly through the teaching methods and faculty members of the School of Food and Wine Studies, was evaluated by the Worldchefs Education Review Panel for its commitment to and implementation of academic excellence.
The resulting decision is a testament to Apicius' efforts to provide high-quality culinary education at the higher learning level instituted at its campus locations in the historic center of Florence, Italy. Apicius is singular in Italy for its international perspective, innovative academics, and emphasis on the professionalization of its students of hospitality and culinary arts. Innovation and tradition intermingle within Apicius academics; the institution's position in a culturally and historically relevant city such as Florence calls for a respectful balance between the past/future and local/global contexts.
The main professional programs offered focus on hospitality, culinary arts, baking and pastry, and wine studies. In addition to the institution's core of 1 to 2-year professional career students, Apicius academics are sought out by shorter-term students from over 100 universities around the world who study abroad at FUA. Faculty members who regularly teach Apicius courses fully represent their professional industries.
Michelin-starred chefs, marketing experts, seasoned managers, and certified nutritionists make up the dynamic faculty body. They participate in training and development sessions in order to offer a cutting-edge teaching approach that is always updated and reflects a contemporary industry knowledge. The campus facilities representing Apicius academics and that were reviewed during the Worldchefs recognition process are essential to the institution's academics. Out of the FUA network of seven campus locations in Florence, two are the fulcrum of Apicius culinary academics.
The Villa Brilli Peri location in Via Guelfa hosts the majority of the classroom teaching for culinary, pastry, and wine laboratories as well as lecture rooms. The Via de'Macci Ganzo location is the school's restaurant and creative learning lab, which along with Fedora in via Guelfa, the school's pastry shop, represent the cultural and community integration efforts. Ganzo and Fedora, in fact, are the Apicius CEMI – Community Engagement Member Institutions. The CEMI are a distinguishing factor of all FUA academic divisions and were founded with the specific scope of fostering experiential learning and interaction between the study/faculty body and the local community.
Ganzo and Fedora represent the hospitality-oriented CEMI and are academic facilities where students and faculty both fulfill academic coursework and operate the spaces as the practical and professionalizing output of the learning process. These creative learning labs are open to the public, which includes both the FUA community and the local Italian community. Apicius was founded by Gabriella Ganugi in 1997.
President Ganugi is an architect, certified chef, and founder of Florence University of the Arts. She is the recipient of the 2010 AIAE Association of Italian American Educators “Educator of the Year” award and a special award from the Florence Chamber of Commerce for extraordinary female entrepreneurs. She also received in 2012 special recognition from the University of South Florida – the USF President's Global Leadership award for her efforts in cultural and international crossovers in education. She has published several volumes on food and travel. Her latest publication is a memoir published by Ugo Mursia Editore in Italy that recounts how a young girl from Tuscany went on to open Italy's first international school of hospitality. Apicius Executive Chef Andrea Trapani is an expert of molecular gastronomy and has been recognized for his culinary efforts both in Italy and abroad.
He has appeared eight times at the James Beard Foundation, received the Star Diamond award during his time at the 5-star Relais Santa Croce, and is the official chef of the A.C.F. Fiorentina professional team. He makes occasional appearances on the Italian TV network SKY and has lectured and held demos for FUA affiliate partners including the University of Missouri, Washington State University, the University of Alaska, and Johnson County Community College.
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