CASTEL DI SANGRO: Niko Romito has announced the opening of a campus in Abruzzo aimed at sharing knowledge on the culture of food with the aim of giving everyone access to healthy food. In partnership with the Science and Nutrition department of the prestigious Sapienza University of Rome, the project involves the physical construction of the research and higher academic training centre in Abruzzo.
“This is my great project on the future of food,” Niko Romito, the chef of the three Michelin star restaurant Reale said. The aim of the new campus is to create a new paradigm when it comes to food transformation. “I want to ensure that food can be both healthy and also sustainable thanks to democratic and widespread access,” he said.
“In this new campus, I want to to share knowledge and develop a new culture of food that is based on health, sustainability, circular economy, solidarity and making it accessible to all. I would like to maintain the same scientific and technical approach to have a single, standardisable, accessible and open application protocol.”
Although Niko Romito is known for his high end cuisine, he has also developed ‘fast food concepts’ and a laboratory to create bread and other bakery products that can be standardised though retaining exceptional quality. He has also developed nutritional food for hospitals using the techniques that he uses in fine dining.
“Research is the starting point of this path and the next step is training. However, at the end of this path, we will have an incubator to ensure that the research and training is not limited to just theory. We want to foster entrepreneurship that is linked to nutrition and gastronomy. The key role of the industry and the related collaborations are fundamental at all these levels. Italy can be a standard bearer of this new movement and Abruzzo, can host a place, a Campus, where younger generations are prepared to share and spread these values around the world,” the Italian chef and entrepreneur said.
The campus will spread knowledge also outside its physical premises. Training is very important and will be done in the community. Niko believes that in these times of rapid change, it is essential for communities to understand and adapt to change, sometimes even suddenly.
Niko Romito’s aim through the campus is to make the quality of gastronomy and cuisine, combined with the principles of nutritional health, available to the community and the food processing industry.
Innovation, responsibility and social values are the founding principles of this new project which starts in Abruzzo but will have an international reach.
The project aims to implement scientific research based on methods that have already been tested. The aim is for these methods to be codified for the transformation and processing of food to make it healthier, more sustainable and more accessible.
The Campus project embodies the values of environmental sustainability and circular economy even from the identification of the space where it will be built.
The architecture will be characterised but the recovery of an industrial area and the use of eco-sustainable materials and clean energy. The Campus will be located in Castel di Sangro in the industrial area on the Statale 17. On 3,700 square metres, it will be divided into research laboratories, classrooms, production centres for virtual teaching materials and common areas including multimedia spaces with contents and materials available for students. There will be open spaces in contact with nature and dedicated to agronomic experiments, areas dedicated to free and self-guided learning which will complement the lectures.
In addition to the physical environment, which inevitably gives access to a limited number of researchers and students, there is the idea of creating a multimedia production area which will enable the circulation of research results and the educational programmes in a virtual mode globally from Abruzzo to the world.
The Niko Romito Group is consists of the restaurant Reale located inside the premises of Casadonna, a former 16th century monastery. The Niko Romito professional haute cuisine school is also based in Casadonna. Spazio Niko Romito, which was created in 2013 is present in Milan, Rome and Rivisondoli. The Laboratory Niko Romito is the research lab of Niko Romito where protocols for the development of new baking and pastry products are created. He also has ALT Stazione del Gusto, his concept for travellers, and a collaboration with Bvlgari Hotels and Resorts among others.