Saturday, July 27, 2013

Summer Mediterranean recipe from the kitchen of Georgia Kofinas

Tri-colored fusilli pasta with sundried tomato and olive pesto

At this time of the year, Greek villagers take advantage of Greece’s brilliant sunlight and hot, dry climate to dry out their homemade pasta. Most popular are the egg noodles, rolled out and cut by hand, but there are a number of small local workshops that produce other shapes and flavors of pasta as well. They take the regular pasta dough and enrich it with the addition of vegetable purees such as carrot, spinach, tomato and even beetroot to add both color and flavor. This recipe calls for a piquant pesto of sundried tomatoes, olives and herbs to be mixed with our pasta, which is made in the mountainous Lakonia, at the local workshop of Panagiotis and Stavroula.

Main ingredient
Region Of Origin
Lakonia, Peloponnese

  • 500 gr tri-colored fusilli pasta
  • 250 gr sundried tomatoes in oil
  • 1-2 garlic cloves
  • 100 gr black olives, pitted
  • A few basil leaves
  • Pepper
  • ½ cup grated kefalotiri or mizithra (hard cheese)

  1. Boil pasta in ample water with salt for about 8 minutes until al dente and drain putting aside about ½ cup liquid. Place in a large mixing bowl and add 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Mix well and set aside.
  2. To make pesto, place remaining ingredients, except grated cheese, in the blender and pulse until mixture is just blended (not smooth). Add cheese and blend.
  3. Add pesto to fusilli and toss until pesto is incorporated well. Slowly add just enough of the saved pasta liquid until the mixture is rather wet, but not watery.
  4. Serve pasta accompanied by a refreshing summer salad.

The Chef
From the kitchen of Georgia Kofinas, Food writer and Culinary Arts instructor; Head of Mediterranean Cuisine at Alpine Center.

Friday, July 19, 2013

New Web Site Launch

We are very excited to have finally launched our new website design after several months of development. We do hope that you will find it faster, nicer and more efficient than the old one. If you have any questions or need help you can leave us some thoughts in the comments below.


Enjoy your tour!

Monday, July 15, 2013

Distance Learning & Online Learning - Hotel & Hospitality Management Studies

Celebrating 60 Years in Hospitality Excellence

Logo - AHLEI 60 Years

Alpine Center offers this program in co-operation with the Educational Institute of the American Hotel and Lodging Association. The distance learning programme is particularly beneficial for industry professionals who:
  • have accumulated experience
  • require further certification for advancement or promotion in their particular field
  • are constrained by time and distance from attending regular classes.
Enrolment in this programme can begin at any time.

We offer over 30 hospitality management courses, available through traditional home study (correspondence courses) or online through our CourseLine® program.
Students can take individual courses or work toward a 5-course Area of Specialization, 6-course Hospitality Fundamentals Program, 8-course Hospitality Operations Certificate, or 12-course Hospitality Management Diploma or Food and Beverage Management Diploma using either program, or a combination of traditional and online courses.

The advantages of these courses include:
  1. Learn while you earn - continue to work while studying
  2. Learn on your own time and at your own speed
  3. Select the curriculum which particularly suits you
  4. Pay as you go - course by course
In order to register in any of the courses, please contact

Friday, July 12, 2013

Molecular Gastronomy

The introduction of molecular gastronomy into modern cuisine took the culinary world by storm
and started a movement that has become an international revolution. Using groundbreaking
technology and molecular techniques pioneered by Ferran Adria, the chefs that followed in his
footsteps have become the leaders of innovation in modernist cooking today.

Molecular gastronomy includes the study of how different cooking temperatures affect eggs, and their viscosity, their surface tension, and different ways of introducing air into them.

Molecular gastronomy or molecular cuisine is the science of cooking but it is commonly used to
describe a new style of cuisine in which chefs explore new culinary possibilities in the
kitchen by embracing sensory and food science, borrowing tools from the science lab and
ingredients from the food industry and concocting surprise after surprise for their diners.

Spherification of juices and other liquids is a technique of molecular gastronomy

Molecular gastronomy seeks to investigate and explain the chemical reasons behind the
transformation of ingredients, as well as the social, artistic and technical components of
culinary and gastronomic phenomena in general. The term Molecular Gastronomy was born in 1992
by late Oxford physicist Nicholas Kurti and the French INRA chemist Hervé This.

Many modern chefs do not accept the term molecular  gastronomy to describe their style of
cooking and prefer other terms like "modern cuisine", "modernist cuisine", "experimental
cuisine" or "avant-garde cuisine". Heston Blumenthal says molecular gastronomy makes cuisine
sound elitist and inaccessible, as though you need a BSc to enjoy it. In the end, molecular
gastronomy or molecular cuisine refers to experimental restaurant cooking driven by the desire
of modern cooks to explore the world's wide variety of ingredients, tools and techniques.

Molecular gastronomy science research starts in the kitchen and the learnings of how food
tastes and behaves enable these chefs to cook with it and discover new sensory pleasures with

When people hear molecular gastronomy or molecular cuisine for the first time they often
mistakenly view it as unhealthy, synthetic, chemical, dehumanizing and unnatural. This is not
surprising given that molecular gastronomy often relies on fuming flasks of liquid nitrogen,
led-blinking water baths, syringes, tabletop distilleries, PH meters and shelves of food
chemicals with names like carrageenan, maltodextrin and xanthan. The truth is that the
"chemicals" used in molecular gastronomy are all of biological origin.

If you are passionate about cooking, have a creative mind and at the same time you are
analytical and logical, molecular gastronomy is most likely going to become your passion.
If you are not a professional chef with a fully equipped kitchen you can still enjoy molecular
gastronomy at home and without spending too much money. Many molecular cuisine recipes don't
even require especial equipment or "chemicals".

Ferran Adria

Some of the best Molecular Gastronomy Chefs are:

Ferran Adria, Barcelona, Spain
Heston BlumenthalBray, United Kingdom
Andoni AdurizDonostia-san Sebasti√°n, Spain
Grant AchatzChicago, Illinois
Jose AndresWashington, District of Columbia
Yoshihiro NarisawaTokyo, Japan
Seiji YamamotoTokyo, Japan
Paco RonceroMadrid, Spain
Quique DacostaDenia, Spain
Rene RedzepiCopenhagen, Denmark
RJ CooperMclean, Virginia
Yoshiaki Takazawa, Tokyo, Japan

sources: wikipedia Worlds-Best-Molecular-Gastronomy-Chefs

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Alpiners get the best internships!

Where are our current students doing their exciting paid internships?

One hundred seventy Alpiners are now doing their summer internships in world renowned properties all over the world. Here are some photos and feedback from just a few of them: