A social project – Escoffier for Romania

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Social project for the reintegration of European citizens through gastronomy

The collaboration between France and Romania, as well as the good relations between the two countries are known and permanently maintained among the academic community by supporting various social projects. An event that opens the series of opportunities for Romania was organized at the French Embassy in Bucharest, where Her Excellency Mrs. Ambassador Laurence Auer, together with Mr. Nicolas Sale The President of International Residence Escoffier handed over the diploma of recognition and cooperation of Mr. Stephane Oprea, president of the Auguste Escoffier Culinary Institute for Romania.

Turn your passion into a culinary career

A social project - Escoffier for Romania 1
Image from disciplesescoffier.ro

Disciples Escoffier Culinary Institute is a contemporary school with old traditions and vision of the future. Here you can learn the new trends in gastronomy, combining quality ingredients to create successful recipes. With delegations in more than 27 countries and more than 30,000 members since its inception: France, Italy, Spain, Great Britain, Germany, Switzerland, Asia with the 9 delegations: China, Hong Kong, Macau, South Korea, Vietnam, Philippines, Japan, Thailand and Singapore, the Association of Escoffier Disciples organizes and participates in numerous events in the interest of young people, where they share the common passion for the culinary arts.

A Michelin star story

Catalin’s beautiful story proves that you can become the man you dreamed of even if you apparently have the impression that you have no chance. It is said that nothing is accidental and in life we can meet people who will change our destiny for the better. Cătălin Andrei Vasilescu, was raised by his grandparents until his adolescence when he met his biological parents. At the age of 17 he worked in a restaurant in Ploiesti, and at 19 he went to Italy, without knowing italian. In the morning he cut wood and in the evening he worked in a restaurant until midnight. The grueling work made him return home and of course he was attracted to jobs in restaurants.

A social project - Escoffier for Romania
Catalin Andrei Vasilescu – Image from disciplesescoffier.ro

Due to the lack of a perspective and a rather low income, Catalin reaches 28 years old on the wrong path, being placed in detention. Here he shows his skill in the kitchen, where he understands better, how food is much more than that, and that cooking feeds people’s emotions and souls. This is how he understood the difference between cooking and gastronomy and was accepted at the Disciples Escoffier Culinary Institute where Chef Ciprian Nicolescu is his mentor.

After graduating from course 1 and 2 at the Disciples Escoffier Culinary Institute, he went to Italy for the city of Malcesine Lago di Garda, where he worked in a restaurant during the summer. Thanks to the help and recommendations of the president of Escoffier Romania, Stephane Oprea,at the moment, works as Executif Chef in a restaurant in the French Alps, in the tourist resort of Megeve (Montgenevre). Also at the recommendation of Stephane Oprea, he continued to follow his dream by studying course 3 and with great perseverance he obtained the diploma of excellence in gastronomy, issued by the French Ministry of Education. Then followed a 6-month practice stage in Spain at the restaurant Amuse Bouche – 3 Michelin stars led by Executive Chef Martin Berasatequi 12 Michelin stars.

A dream come true with Michelin stars

A social project - Escoffier for Romania
Vitalie Nofit – Image from disciplesescoffier.ro

Good cuisine is the basis of true happiness“, is the motto of Auguste Escoffier, who turned passion into a culinary career. Vitalie Nofit is an example that shows us that dreams come true, of course with a lot of work, seriousness and perseverance. At the age of 18 he left the Republic of Moldova and after several experiences he arrived in the north of Spain. Although he did not know how to cook, in 2005 he got a job in the kitchen of the Boroa restaurant, where he is in charge of preparing grilled dishes.

The chef of the Boroa restaurant, Javier Gartziatot, is the mentor who totally changed his destiny. With him began the first lessons in the profession of cooking. In 2008 the Boroa restaurant received a Michelin star, and Vitalie was part of the team that brought this distinction. In 2009 she participated in the first gastronomy competition in Valladolid, where she ranks fifth out of 87 participants. Being highly appreciated for the passion with which he worked, he is sent to the Martin Berasatequi restaurant in Lasarte, 16 Michelin stars, to learn the latest branded kitchen techniques.

2013 is a year of ascension for Vitalie who arrives at the best restaurant in the world, El Celler de Can Roca, where he cooks alongside brothers Joan and Jordi Roca. In 2018 he returns to the Boroa restaurant as Executive Chef, and in 2020 he becomes a member of the Disciples Escoffier Romania Association.

Successful social projects

Fairytale Events at La Maison des Jardins
Stephane Oprea & Martin Berasategui

When we are thinking of starting a new qualification course, it is certainly good to consider several criteria: how credible that school is, what I am learning, who the instructors are, how much it costs and what recognition I will have after completing the course, so what chance I have of an employer choosing me.

Stephane Oprea, President of the Escoffier Culinary Institute, is very involved in social projects and together with collaborators and sponsors are working on a scholarship program for young people eager to go through this wonderful road. Those who want to study the gastronomy courses at the Escoffier Culinary Institute will receive diplomas issued by the French Ministry of Education. The Escoffier Institute has partnered with Chef Martin Berasatequi – Spain, owner of 12 Michelin stars, where graduates of the Grand Ecole Escoffier have the opportunity to carry out internships. With this recognition and the recommendations of Stephane Oprea you have the chance to work in the kitchens of the most famous restaurants and hotels in the world and even to open your own business. Good luck!

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