Italian Base Commander cooks seasonal recipe for garrison newcomers
VICENZA, Italy - U.S. Army Garrison Italy Italian Base Commander Col. Michele Amendolagine, left, explains one of his wintertime favorites – "Risotto al Radicchio Trevigiano Tardivo" to newcomers participating in the first of the three-day ACS “Benvenuti” class Feb. 16, 2022. ACS customarily offers a lunch to Benvenuti participants on their first day of class, and this time the newcomers had a perfect opportunity to familiarize and learn practical information, while tasting local cuisine. (Photo Credit: Laura Kreider) VIEW ORIGINAL

VICENZA, Italy – Col. Michele Amendolagine cultivates a passion for cooking while experimenting with new recipes.

During a recent U.S. Army Garrison Italy class for newcomers, however, Amendolagine chose one of his wintertime favorites – Risotto al Radicchio Trevigiano Tardivo.

“This refined ingredient is only growing between December and late February in some areas around Treviso,” Amendolagine explained to the participants of the Army Community Service “Benvenuti” class.

“I enjoy cooking, especially preparing ‘primi’ (first courses).”

Italian Base Commander cooks seasonal recipe for garrison newcomers
VICENZA, Italy - U.S. Army Garrison Italy Italian Base Commander Col. Michele Amendolagine, right, starts cooking one of his wintertime favorites – "Risotto al Radicchio Trevigiano Tardivo," with the help of Lt. Col. Tommaso Martello, IBC staff officer, as part of an Army Community Service “Benvenuti” class for newcomers Feb.16, 2022. Having an Italian officer cooking with his team of officers and noncommissioned officers is something new, which combines social, cultural and gastronomic traditions, said Jolly Miller, USAG Italy ACS director. (Photo Credit: Laura Kreider) VIEW ORIGINAL

Tasting local cuisine was only one of the important facts the newcomers learned.

“I have never been a part of a class like this,” said Jennifer Clark, who is starting her third overseas tour.

“To have the Italian Base Commander come and cook with local ingredients made the experience more memorable.”

The risotto was delicious and it made for a nice event, Clark said.

Italian Base Commander cooks seasonal recipe for garrison newcomers
VICENZA, Italy - U.S. Army Garrison Italy Italian Base Commander Col. Michele Amendolagine, stirs the "Risotto al Radicchio Trevigiano Tardivo" during the "Benvenuti" class at the Army Community Service on Caserma Ederle Feb. 16, 2022. Amendolagine cultivates a passion for cooking while experimenting with new recipes. “I enjoy cooking, especially preparing ‘primi’ (first courses),” he said. (Photo Credit: Laura Kreider) VIEW ORIGINAL

“Not only did I get great food,” she added, “I got to meet other newcomers and get connected.”

A dozen recently-arrived community members joined the three-day ACS class this February. Benvenuti means “welcome.” Last year, in-person Benvenuti classes resumed after months of virtual sessions due to the pandemic. The program is designed to help new arrivals familiarize and learn practical information from paying for bus and train tickets, ordering lunch at a restaurant to visiting another city.

Italian Base Commander cooks seasonal recipe for garrison newcomers
VICENZA, Italy - Image of some "Radicchio trevigiano tardivo." The radicchio was used for a freshly cooked meal during the Army Community Service “Benvenuti” class Feb. 16, 2022.

“This refined ingredient is only growing between December and late February in some areas around Treviso,” explained U.S. Army Garrison Italy Italian Base Commander Col. Michele Amendolagine to the dozen recently-arrived community members participating in the event. (Photo Credit: Laura Kreider)
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Offering a freshly cooked meal on the first day, with an Italian officer cooking is something new, said Jolly Miller, U.S. Army Garrison Italy ACS director. Having Amendolagine and his team of Italian officers and noncommissioned officers take part was a wonderful idea, combining social, cultural and gastronomic traditions, she said.

“ACS customarily offers a lunch to Benvenuti participants on their first day of class,” Miller said. “The event was a perfect opportunity to demonstrate how the two nations collaborate and work with each other.”

Italian Base Commander cooks seasonal recipe for garrison newcomers
VICENZA, Italy - U.S. Army Garrison Italy Italian Base Commander Col. Michele Amendolagine, shows one of his wintertime favorites – "Risotto al Radicchio Trevigiano Tardivo," just before serving it to the participants in the Army Community Service “Benvenuti” class Feb. 16, 2022. The event was a perfect opportunity to familiarize and learn practical information while tasting local cuisine. (Photo Credit: Laura Kreider) VIEW ORIGINAL

Benvenuti is open to spouses of active duty Soldiers; Army civilians and their spouses. Contact ACS at 0444-71 5800 or visit https://italy.armymwr.com/programs/ederle-army-community-service-acs