Recap Summer School

The Summer School "Food Science and Culinary Arts - from Field to Meal" took place between June 25th and July 7th and was held at our institute for the second time in cooperation with the University of Arkansas and the California State University, Fresno. During the ten days, the 13 participants from different countries learned a lot about food production in Styria.

The first day started with a get-together at the Welcome Center of TU Graz with breakfast consisting of regional products and an intercultural awareness session. We discussed cultural differences in food traditions and eating habits and shared personal experiences. The good atmosphere continued during lunch at Area 5 with the panoramic view of the city. The day ended with a guided city tour.

The next day, we visited Styrian oil production Fandler in Pöllau, where we had the opportunity to taste 20 different vegetable oils and learn more about oil production. In the afternoon we traveled to Vulkanland in south-east Styria, the region well known for its culinary and touristic offer. There we visited the Zotter chocolate factory, the famous Styrian bean-to-bar manufacturer, where we had the opportunity to taste more than 350 different chocolate varieties. We ended the day drinking local wines at Buschenschank Eibel where professional Chef Johann Reisinger prepared a dinner from local produce. On the second day in this region, we learned about ham production at Vulcano Schinkenmanufaktur, enjoyed one glass or two of local beer during a brief stop at the Lava Bräu brewery, and were shown how Insort's optical food sorting machines work. The next day we stayed in Graz and, after an interesting lecture on chocolate production by Koen Dewettinck, we explored current food trends with Hanni Rützler from the Future Food Studio.

The next day was all about wine. We visited the Schilcher region of western Styria, where a local biodynamic vintner explained to us his unconventional approach to wine production and offered us a wide selection of tasty wines, including a bottle of Muscateller from 1957. Afterwards, we enjoyed traditional food at the Buschenschank Hiden in the region.

Back in Graz, butcher Josef Mosshammer gave us the opportunity to make our own sausages and showed us how to properly cut beef into individual pieces. This was also accompanied with a BBQ and a virtual reality meat experience. A day later, we took part in a beer brewing course at Anton Paar's Sudhaus and learned about all the parameters that influence the taste and smell of the finished beer. During the course, we also produced our own beer. In the second week, we spent a day in our lab, where we analyzed the samples from the brewing process using gas chromatography, allowing us to discuss how beer aroma develops during the brewing process.

The following day was dedicated to urban food producers. We visited the vegetable farmer Kollmann and had a guided tour of the Farina mill.

Our last excursion was dedicated to mushrooms. We visited the ecological mushroom manufacturer GutBehütet, where we got an in-depth insight of how mushrooms are produced. Afterwards, we visited a Truffle plantation and took part in a truffle hunt in a small forest with trained dogs.

On the last day, we visited the local farmers market where we selected the best produce from the region. Afterwards, with the help from Chef Johann Reisinger, we prepared a five course meal for us, as a perfect finish for this two-week experience.

In the following gallery you can find impressions from the event.

First Day: Fandler, Zotter, Eibel

Second Day: Vulcano, Insort

Fourth Day: West Styrian Wine Country

Fifth Day: Butcher Mosshammer

Sixth Day: Beer Brewing Anton Paar

Eight Day: Farina Mills, farmer Kollmann

Ninth Day: Mushrooms Friedl and truffle hunt

Tenth Day: Final cooking event