President Knight’s Trip to Brazil — Days 2 & 3

Kendall College, September 27th, 2012 | Category: Around Town
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View pictures from my trip to Brazil on Kendall’s Facebook page.

Day 2

Tonight I signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Brazilian Univeridade Anhembi Morumbi (UAM) at the US Counsel General’s home with Illinois Governor Pat Quinn as the “Honorary Witness.” The whole experience was truly remarkable! I felt so proud as I addressed the room of guests and got to share how Kendall is training and educating the professionals in the hospitality and culinary industries that drive and support the tourism economy in Chicago and Illinois.

Internationality is at the core of what we do. Our collaboration with Universidade Anhembi Morumbi supports our mission to provide our students with international opportunities that will help prepare them to succeed in a global economy. With students from more than 60 countries, including Brazil, our partnership with UAM will benefit students and faculty at both institutions.

What more can I say? This was a perfect end to another great day. We’ve been running from sun up to sun down but this has been one of the best career experiences of my life.

Day 3
Day three in Sao Paulo started with an interview with the local newspaper, Valor Economico. They were very interested in our partnership with Universidade Anhembi Morumbi (UAM). Through our conversations it was clear that the ties between Sao Paulo and Chicago are many. In 2011, the gastronomy market in Brazil generated an average of R$180 billion – growth of 80% in 5 years. This sector employs 6 million people in the country and is responsible for 8% of direct jobs in Brazil. One fact I learned that ties to Chicago’s important restaurant scene is that Sao Paulo is the second city in the world in number of restaurants! Both cities rely on food and hospitality as an economic driver and both cities are incredibly proud of the diversity and sophistication of their cuisines. We also had a chance to discuss the growth and advancement of Brazilian cuisine and where it may be headed in the future. Brazil is an incredibly diverse country and the food represents influences from the Amazon and coastal regions, the indigenous people and Africa.

After our interview, the Director of UAM’s hospitality and gastronomy program took me and the program manager from IBMR (the first school we partnered with in Rio) to a wonderful Brazilian restaurant. It is run by a talented young female chef and I was able to try foods from many regions of Brazil. It really was a special meal and the highlight was my drink made from cashew fruit!

After lunch we traveled to two UAM campuses. The vibe on each campus was dynamic and the corridors were bustling with students. I was able to see some gastronomy students in action and also sample some food prior to returning to the hotel. One very special program is Health and Wellness where they have a fully operational spa. Moving forward, the hospitality students will be able to take courses on spa management. The facility was incredible and it has given me cause to think about the programs we are offering in hospitality.

Returning to the hotel at 8 pm I did a very “American” thing. I walked down the block to the Subway and ordered a simple veggie and cheese sandwich. But I did select a nectar de goiaba drink to add a little Brazil back into my meal!

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