Last week some of our 1st and 2nd year students and lecturers are participating in the Erasmus+ EFES Spring School in Torun, Poland.
They have the chance to share culinary experiences with their French and Polish partners, participate in culinary competitions, presentations and workshops.

The project favors cross cultural identities and the discovery of new cultures by means of a network of European exchange. It allows the young learners to integrate the experience of an international voyage into their academic life. This enhances their curriculum and adds substantial value to their future professional activities.

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Tell us about this project and how did we become part of it.
Ioana Turcas, American Hotel Academy Lecturer
Erasmus + is a European programme that aims to offer support actions in different fields such as education, training, youth and sport. American Hotel Academy is part of this Erasmus project that seeks to combine the widest skill areas possible to create innovative tools meant to educate professionals, university lecturers and young apprentices from the gastronomical environments. Besides that, this project wishes to transmit the culinary heritage of all participant countries from the project: France, Romania and Poland.

What was the purpose of your trip to Poland?
Ioana Turcas, American Hotel Academy Lecturer
The reason we went to Torun, Poland was to attend a spring school that had as main theme “the fresh water fish”. Under this circumstances, each country had to prepare three presentations: 1 presentation was related to the most popular fresh water fish from the respective country, 2. to present traditional recipes that had as main ingredient the fresh water fish, 3. To present a traditional dish, specific to each country. Important to mention is that, 17 students, 2 lecturers and one chef from AHA were invited to attend this spring school organized in 23rd -28th of April. Students were the ones who actually created the presentation having many hours or research to complete, under the supervision of the lecturers.

What were the benefits of the students taking part in the Spring School in Torun?
Ioana Turcas, American Hotel Academy Lecturer:
What activities did you take part in throughout the week and what was the students’ involvement?

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How did you interact with the other teams?
Ioana Turcas, American Hotel Academy lecturer
All students were excited to be part of the project because they had the chance to find out more about the culture and the gastronomical traditions of all the other participants. Embracing diversity, being culturally sensitive enable all students to be more open-minded and to show more tolerance. The theme of the spring school was very interesting, therefore students paid a lot of attention to all seminars and cooking sessions. An important aspect of the project is referred to the schedule of the spring school, where students, besides the seminars, were engaged in different cooking competitions. Team work was crucial for the success of the projects and the Romanian students developed very good partnerships with the French and Polish students. I truly believe that it was a unique experience for all of us, especially students and I am sure that all the information received during the spring school will be useful in different real-life situations.

I would like to add an important thing that suggests how well all students, from all countries involved in the project, managed to create strong relationships. One of our students, Elena Bolocan was invited by the French partners to attend a sommelier course (for a year) in Tours and in the same time accommodation was provided. Why did this happen? Because the passion for wine and food is the same in all languages. We are extremely proud of her and we wish her to have the most beautiful experience of her life.

We are closing the project, by organizing the last Spring School here at American Hotel Academy. Tell us more about your plans for next year.
Ioana Turcas, American Hotel Academy lecturer:
Yes, in 2018 American Hotel Academy will be hosting the spring school in 23rd -27th of April it will be an enormous pleasure for all of us to be part of this project. The first spring school was very well organized in Tours, France the second one in Torun, Poland and it was a complete success imagine the pressure we have on our shoulders…but I am convinced that we will work hard and we will exceed the expectations of all the other participants.

Once again, I believe that this type of projects allow all of us to better understand different cultures and traditions and to value more the gastronomical heritage of the European countries.

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