In Italy Spazio Fucina is a true research laboratory where chefs from the organization, renowned Italian and international cooks, test ingredients, develop ideas, recipes and concepts, interpreting emerging dietary trends, the evolution of nutritional standards and food technology in products that enrich the commercial offering of Autogrill stores.
For instance, in recent years palm oil was replaced with altoleic sunflower oil for frying, one of Italy's traditional cooking methods.
Sunflower oil is subject to structured and standardized controls using digital technology. The analysis and the decision made took into account all the advantages that would come from this change, ranging from food safety to supply chain sustainability.
The experimental kitchen is also a symbolic place testifying to Autogrill's innovative approach, where new technologies are tested for product preparation and distribution processes, creating new ways to maintain the products sensorial characteristics while also trying to save energy.
One of the outputs of Cross.
In was the launch of the Culinary Council, an international program of culinary innovation organized in collaboration with Identità Golose.
Through this program Autogrill intends to develop a food offer exclusively for its store network, both in Italy and abroad, relying on the collaboration of sociologists specialized in consumer behavior and prominent professionals from the catering industry (world famous chefs and nutritionists) to obtain a scientific contribution for the development of balanced menus.
The comparison and the co-operation with chefs and wine and food institutions have always been considered by the Group as an opportunity to analyse emerging food trends in detail and develop innovative ideas with a view to increasing the level of excellence in the food experience of the travelling channels.
In the United States, Autogrill has been collaborating for many years with the Culinary Institute of America (CIA), one of the world's most prominent universities of food sciences, in the framework of the "Education, Menu Development and Training" program, which includes consulting and training services for the development of new menus and recipes in US stores. In addition, again in the US, activities in partnership with 6 celebrity chefs were developed (Lorena Garcia,Rick Bayless,Todd English,Wolfgang Puck,Kathy Casey and David Burke) to open restaurants with signature brands and menus prepared by the gourmet chefs in the major US airports.