In the land of Barello, Barbera, Barbaresco, Nebbiolo and Moscato wines, where prized white truffles are worth their weight in gold, the place that gave birth to the Slow Food Movement and where one can still find raw meat specialties such as carne cruda, vitello tonnato andSalsiccia di Bra; there also resides the birthplace of Ferrero Rocher, Raffaello and, that wondrous hazelnut/chocolate hybrid of a spread, Nutella.

The Ferrero Group, which was established in Alba, Italy in 1946, continues to have strong roots to the town and to the entire Piedmont region. In recognition of those ties, the European Candy Kettle Club hosted its welcome dinner for Nunzio Pulvirenti, chief product operating officer, the Ferrero Group and the 2014 recipient of the award, at the renowned Il Boscareto Resort and Spa on Nov. 13, last year.

Although the late autumn darkness prevented the group from enjoying the rolling landscapes surrounding the spa, the sumptuous hors d’oeuvres during the cocktail “meet-and-greet” session followed by a culinary tour de force dinner forged new friendships between ECKC members and Ferrero’s corporate team in attendance.

The next day’s activities included the presentation of the ECKC award to Pulvirenti at the company’s manufacturing facility in Alba. A tour of the company’s oldest and newest production lines — Kinder Sport and Ferrero Rocher, respectively — generated genuine appreciation of the company’s ability to integrate efficiency and capacity using the latest technologies.

The ECKC concluded its day with another expansive meal at the Hotel Albergo dell’Agenzia in Pollenzo, Italy, home to the club members for the visit and the former country estate of King Carlo Alberto of Savoy. The grounds also house the Slow Food University of Gastronomic Sciences as well as the Wine Bank, home to 100,000 bottles of wine from more than 300 producers in Italy.

To cap off the fabulous visit to Ferrero, the ECKC attended the International Alba Truffle Festival the next day, undeterred by the steady falling rain. A final farewell was celebrated at the renowned La Ciau del Tornavento Restaurant in Treiso, Italy, the fog lifting occasionally to provide everyone with a spectacular view of the Piedmont countryside.