The unemployment factory and my gainfully employed students at the University of Gastronomic Sciences

Back in my grad school days, my dissertation advisor — the great Milanese poet Luigi Ballerini — used to boast that he would never let our department become a fabbrica dei disoccupati, a factory churning out unemployable graduates.

I can’t convey the thrill last night when I ran into three of my students last night in Bra (in Piedmont, where the University of Gastronomic Sciences is located) and learned that nearly everyone from their graduating class is gainfully employed: from left, Marco at Josetta Saffirio, Filippo at Domenico Clerico, and Valentina at Matteo Correggia (each an iconic winery in its own right).

Just yesterday, I was reading Beppe Severgnini’s New York Times op-ed wherein he reports (not that we didn’t already know) that “youth unemployment is at a record high” in Italy.

To know that nearly all of last year’s matriculated Master’s in Wine Culture students have jobs (they do!) fills my heart with gladness.

In other news…

What a meal last night at Ristorante Battaglino!

That’s the restaurant’s “Carne cruda e salsiccia di Bra,” classic Piedmontese beef tartare and raw veal sausage (the latter, a specialty unique to Bra). Music to the ears of anyone who suffers from Jewish boy stomach (like me).

The food scene in Bra (much more international than you might imagine, btw) would be worth the price of admission alone…

I’m on lunch break this afternoon following a seminar I led on Eric Asimov’s “Tyranny of the Tasting Note.” Now it’s time to dive into the enoblogosphere… Back to the factory I go! Thank you for being here.

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