I Go To School In A Castle

by Catherine Down

I go to school in a castle. Well, a ducal palace that then became a favorite home of Napoleon’s wife. Same thing.

There may or may not be a moat. No big deal.

The view outside our classroom window

The building was later used as a mental hospital until recently when it was converted into the University of Gastronomic Sciences and ALMA (an international school of Italian Cuisine). We’ve been warned that sometimes former mental patients wander back to the building and sit in on classes. I can’t even make this stuff up.

The ALMA students cook lunch for us every day, and we can generally tell what they are learning in school by what is offered on our lunch buffet. If they are learning seafood, we will have fish with pesto, cold spaghetti with mussels, fried calamari etc. If it’s eggs, we’ll have three kinds of omelettes, poached eggs with greens and more. We’ve even had frog day.

I like it best when they are learning how to make chocolate cake. Or gelato.

Penne with broccoli sauce, freshly baked bread, marinated veggies, custard baked  fennel, and polenta.

Just so you don’t get too jealous, I’ll have you know they get quite heavy handed with the salt.