My name is Salvatore Romano and I am an Italian citizen born in New York but raised in Belgium. I am a full-time student enrolled in the BBS Global MBA in Food and Wine.
Prior to coming to BBS, I obtained my bachelor’s degree in Accounting in Liège and started my career in the financial industry in Luxembourg. These past five years were an amazing experience work wise, since I entered my dream company within the Big Four, in Ernst & Young, but I evolved also socially. I have met interesting people from all over the world, with which I had the chance to discuss all sorts of topics, especially about food. As I grew up in a restaurant business family, I really enjoy eating and cooking. Despite all this, I felt unfulfilled and following this Sicilian proverb perfectly describing the way I admire food: “L’amuri è come a tussi…nun si po ammucciari” (“Love is like a cough… impossible to hide”), I decided it was time for the next big challenge in my life. I choose to redirect my career by pursuing my studies at BBS in Bologna, at the hearth of the renowned food valley.
After graduating, my dream job will be to travel the world, practicing the different languages I know, promoting Italy and its food culture and gastronomy through its excellent products. My main life goal is to someday start my own business in the food industry, probably more towards the restaurant business and export of Italian products.
Within the program, on April 17, we were given the possibility by BBS to visit the 52nd edition of Vinitaly, the world’s largest international exhibition dedicated to wines and spirits. During the event, I was able to rediscover some of the wine classics I have been familiar with through my family’s restaurant experience (such as: Gattinara, Barolo, Sforzato, Amarone, Montalcino, Montepulciano, Chianti, Aglianico, Frappatto, Taurasi, Etna Rosso, …). I have tried them among the different wineries and questioned the producers about their story, land, grapes, production process, and labels in order to compare them and be able to sense the subtle differences between the wines.
Most of the wines have a very interesting story behind them: the will to rediscover forgotten autochthonous grapes, the wish to innovate ancient processes, the beauty and history of some of the lands, women and their underestimated capacity to do great wines, the love of nature and the choice to produce locally in a biodynamic or organic way. I also had the chance to discover incredible cultivations, like the Sangiovese grown on the Etna volcano by a woman and the Longanesi grapes from Emilia-Romagna. I have also learned a lot about Italian regions and the production of other countries: I know much more about Sake and Australian wines now.
The fair is substantial and it takes time to visit. Notwithstanding seeing a lot, we were unable to do as much as we had planned. During the fair, I enjoyed going around with some of my colleagues sharing our knowledge, ideas and thoughts about the wines we tried. At Vinitaly, I realized that the Italian wine industry is very diversified due to the huge variety of grapes and wine styles and that there is a high-level product following high standards in the little local wineries as well as in some of the big famous ones. I consider this visit to be a good opportunity as we were able to learn but also establish a first contact with some producers and show our interest for eventual future business partnerships.
To conclude, I feel that at BBS and within the Food and Wine track of the BBS Global MBA, I am growing and progressing in an environment in which I can fully express all my potential and develop myself into the individual I have always aspired to become. My multicultural background, my passion for the business world of food and wine, my highly sociable personality and my hard-work combined with BBS’s stimulating and eclectic community, propitious to rich exchanges, are the perfect ingredients making this intellectual and personal journey in Bologna the most valuable and enriching project I have ever undertaken. There is no doubt that these intense moments spent in Bologna will bring to my future and my private life a considerable leap forward for which I will be forever thankful to BBS.
Also, keep in mind what we say in Italian:” Buon vino fa buon sangue” (“a glass of wine a day keeps the doctor away”).
Salvatore Romano – U.S.A./Italy
GMBA in Food and Wine – A.Y. 2017/2018
*In the picture, from left to right: Tigist Eshate (Ethiopia), Rachel Adair (Usa), Veronika Takacs (Hungary), Salvatore Romano (Usa/Ita), Manuel Estrada (Nicaragua), Francisca Balduzzi (Chile).