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Focus April 2018

On the eve of the Delegates’ Assembly

A strong, revitalised Academy fit for the challenges of the ‘new gastronomy’.

For an association like our Academy, a new session of the Regular Delegates’ Assembly, which convenes every three years, always has great relevance, and not only to our statute. It is a chance for Delegates from all over the world to meet and exchange experiences, opinions and cultural interests.   
All the new Legates, Counsellors and Regional Coordinators have also been invited to the social and convivial portions of the event. This occasion is equal to the Forum insofar as it offers everyone a clear overview of the Academy’s state of the art. In a time of hardship for many service and cultural associations, our Academy has enjoyed extraordinary and remarkable development in the past three years: 1,687 new Academicians (including 421 abroad) joined our ranks in this period, thereby lowering our average age (now around 65 years) and increasing our female membership. These three years have seen the birth of nine new Delegations: those abroad are Paris Montparnasse, Brisbane and Jordan, and the Sofia Delegation is about to be inaugurated. In Italy the new arrivals are Agrigento, Vasto, Sassari Silki, Matera, Brescia-Terre dei Fontanili, Rovereto, Caserta, Locride-Terra dei Gelsomini and Assisi. The amendment to the Academy’s bylaws approved by the Council in Florence in 2015 introduced the new institution of the foreign Legation, of which 13 followed: Cambridge, Perth, Glasgow, Tokyo, Jakarta, Moscow, Stuttgart, Pittsburgh, Tunis, Helsinki, Zurich, Copenhagen and most recently Mumbai in India. All these new Delegations and Legations arose thanks to the dedication of our Delegates and Academicians, who channelled their expertise into disseminating of the Academy’s values and ideals. Another sign of vitality is the frequency of leadership turnover both among Delegates (51 in Italy and 18 abroad) and their Councils. All this not only confirms the validity of the Academy’s guiding principles but also stimulates everyone to work harder and better. The central and regional governing bodies must always be sustained by individual Academicians who must not feel that they are of secondary importance, being instead a fundamental part of our social life with their suggestions and even their critiques. To dine only among friends may be pleasant, but it doesn’t mean being an Academician. We do not aim to proselytise, to draw multitudes to our Delegations; we prioritise the quality of our membership, and based on the profiles we receive, we are certain that we have chosen the right path. In Verona, seat of the Assembly, over 200 participants will attend: to all of them, and to those Delegates who, for professional or family reasons, will have to be absent, we send our most heartfelt thanks for their fruitful work for the Academy during these fleeting, intense years.

Paolo Petroni