Schools and Courses

ALMA launches "Sports Chefs": First diplomas for Health and Performance Chefs

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copertina corso alma chef sportivi

ALMA awards diplomas to Health and Performance Chefs: the first edition of the new Master, endorsed by the International School of Italian Cuisine and supported by UEFA, comes to a close. Save the date for the second edition in October 2024.

The master

These are the first chefs trained to work in the kitchens of sports teams, wellness hotels and spas, large companies, or clinics, where food is not only about taste, aesthetics, or "pleasure" but primarily a key element of well-being, performance, and health. A new professional figure long-awaited in these specific fields, but never truly established due to the lack of a strategic factor: proper training.

HPC 1 Diplomi 2

Today, the new Health & Performance Chef Master by ALMA, the International School of Italian Cuisine, with the support of UEFA, fills this educational gap and awards its first 14 chefs capable of entering this new sector of the wellness and food hospitality market. They are equipped with a preparation that combines the technical and gastronomic skills of a chef with the scientific and nutritional knowledge of a nutritionist.

HPC 1 Attivita Wellness 131

Launched last February, this program is the first of its kind, aiming to meet the new needs of a society that, from the restaurant sector to the sports industry, increasingly focuses on the health, quality, and sustainability of nutrition and, in general, raw materials. As emphasized by the Director of Education at ALMA, Chef Matteo Berti, this course is designed to "train a new 'class' of chefs with a greater and deeper knowledge of the elements of human nutrition so that they can create a cuisine for the world of sports and wellness that is healthy, tasty, and geared towards performance."

HPC 1 Pratica 1 58

For six weeks, students faced theoretical lessons, demonstrations, practical sessions, and service simulations, guided not only by ALMA instructors but also by professionals and academics from various fields included in the program. Among them are figures like Professor Paola Rossi, regular Physiology lecturer and director of the Master in Human Nutrition at the University of Pavia, Dr. Andrea Valigi and Dr. Natale Gentile, consultants in the Nutrition and Performance Area of the Italian Football Federation, Chef Filippo Tawil, Wellness Chef Consultant & Designer, and Chef Simone Salvini, ambassador of plant-based and vegan cuisine.

HPC 1 gru 2

The educational plan has two main paths. The first, medical-scientific, covers extensive modules on human physiology and nutrition: from anatomical-physiological concepts to the link between food and DNA, to the processes of the gut-brain axis; from diet-related pathologies to the concept of calories and how to calculate them based on whether the goal is to lose fat, gain muscle mass, or maintain body composition; microbiota, glycemic index, insulin-nutrition connection, and metabolic dynamics; various types of diets related to territoriality, religious orientations, and modern trends.

HPC 1 Stress ossidativo 1

The second path focuses on the kitchen: from cooking techniques, cutting, and plating of vegetables to those related to eggs, legumes, fish; spices, seaweed, seeds, and Superfoods; balanced menus for athletes and horizontal vegetarian menus; plant-based fermented foods, tonic and probiotic drinks; creating recipes and nutrient pairing for the world of sports.

HPC 1 Attivita Wellness 39

From the classroom to hands-on experience, students received comprehensive training, including restaurant practices ranging from fine dining to the sports world. During these educational modules, the "healthy" brigade cooked for students and school staff, testing their skills in business lunches, gourmet breakfasts, and gala dinners, all rigorously structured and designed according to consistent and innovative nutritional guidelines.

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Each participant in the Master brought with them different skills and work experiences and put their cultural baggage into the kitchen to refine, enhance, and transform it into something new. Among them, Tracy Eboigbodin, winner of Masterchef Italia 11, shares: "I chose this Master because I have always been curious about these topics and thought that by attending it, I would satisfy all the questions I had. Instead, I realized that I come out of this experience with even more desire to delve deeper, to know because here I found answers - a great enrichment that I take home - but also plenty of inspiration to engage, to learn, to grow."

HPC 1 Attivita Wellness 29

Heading the scientific board, alongside Chef Berti, is Matteo Pincella, head of the Nutrition Department for the Italian National Football Team, who strongly advocated for and then developed the Master's content, aware, thanks to his experience, of the need and urgency of this professional figure. "You are the ones who will change the rules," he states addressing the new Health and Performance Chefs during the certificate award ceremony, "and for this, we will be here to support and accompany you in your professional journey. The worlds of sports and catering are waiting for you: the journey has begun, and the goals are clear. Now it's up to you to step on the accelerator!" On the occasion of the conclusion of the first edition, ALMA announced the date for the next one, scheduled for October 16, 2024, and already enriched with a new feature: classes will be conducted in English, opening up opportunities and horizons for international professionals as well.

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