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First Week of Italian Cuisine in the World

Date:

11/22/2016


First Week of Italian Cuisine in the World

Great success for the first edition of the Week of Italian Cuisine in the United States

Washington DC, November 22, 2016 – Great public success and media coverage surrounded the First Week of Italian Cuisine in the World that in the United States was organized one week ahead of the rest of the world due to the Thanksgiving holiday. The week-long world premiere has given great prominence to the initiative promoted by the Italian Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Agriculture, Food and Forest Policies.

More than 60 events filled the agenda organized by the Embassy of Italy in Washington DC in collaboration with all the Consulates and the Italian Institutes of Culture that are present in the United States. From conferences on Italian food and technology to thematic films, guided tours with presentations of food related masterpieces and world renowned chefs preparing excellent dinners, the American public was spoiled for choice and confirmed its overall deep interest for Italy and its passion for Italian food. The leading theme of the festival was food’s integration to all the elements that represent the pillars of Italy’s image in the world: art, music, cinema, language, fashion and design, science and technology, and business.

An non-exhaustive overview of the events offered in the ten American cities where the Embassy of Italy and the Italian Consulates and Institutes of Culture operate follows.

In the American capital, the official launch of the First Week of Italian Cuisine in the World was the exclusive dinner prepared at Villa Firenze, the residence of the Ambassador of Italy Armando Varricchio, by newly nominated best chef in the world Massimo Bottura. The initiative was realized in collaboration with the Country-Regions Conference, represented by the President of Emilia Romagna Region Stefano Bonaccini, to emphasize the strong link with Italian local territories. The prestigious Library of Congress hosted a conference on the history of Italian cuisine, followed by the presentation of all the Italian cooking books that are part of the permanent collection of the Library. The National Gallery of Art staged exclusive guided tours following the thread of food related paintings, amongst which the Four Seasons in One Head by Arcimboldo, Italian painter of the fifteenth century. Food in the art was also the topic of a talk held at the Embassy of Italy by National Gallery of Art Senior Lecturer, David Gariff. A conference on food and technology and one on food and Futurism attracted a lot of interested participants and closed the Week in Washington DC.

New York celebrated the Emilia Romagna region, where food is king. The events, from the more scientific and dynamic ones – like the launch of the Food Innovation and Sustainabilitycontest - to the more palate oriented ones, created a first class journey through Italian cuisine. Eataly, the Italian-food market and restaurant emporium, hosted chef Massimo Bottura for a seminar dedicated to his favorite ingredients. Eataly’s founder Oscar Farinetti with President of the Emilia Romagna region Stefano Bonaccini and the mayors of Bologna and Parma introduced the soon-to-be-opened food emporium in Bologna – the FICO (Fabbrica Italiana Contadina). The highest culinary excellence from the Basilicata region was celebrated in Brooklyn, while traditional Tuscan dishes were protagonists of the menu prepared by chef Fabio Picchi at the New York Historical Society’s Caffè Storico. The NY Consulate General also organized Meet the New Italians of New York, where young Italian successful chefs talked about their stories and projects.

The initiatives in Los Angeles were a journey of all-round Italian cuisine exploration. Exhibitions, demonstrations, masterclasses, workshops, movies, and gala events designed to promote Italian local territories and to protect DOP (Protected Designation of Origin) products, all attracted an enthusiastic public. In the film city many Italian restaurants offered dinners with film inspired menus. At the Gala of Cinema Italian Style, Michelin star awarded Italian chef Cristina Bowerman, who is also the President of the Ambassadors of Taste Association, created a special menu to celebrate Italian excellence in the culinary and cinematographic arts with a delicious synthesis of flavors. Cristina Bowerman and her colleague Michelin star awarded Italian chef Antonio Murè were also the protagonists of the reception offered at the Consul’s residence, organized in partnership with the Consorzio Tutela Grana Padano (Grana Padano Protection Consortium). The two chefs utilized products from the areas hit by recent earthquakes in Italy to show their solidarity to the population and to help the local economies.

In Miami the Consulate took special care of the poorest, offering a free lunch to 350 homeless people hosted at the Camillus House. The food was offered by Italian restaurant Caffè Abbracci in collaboration with Società Dante Alighieri and the Consulate General. At the Camillus House there was also a series of cooking classes for underprivileged young people. The Trattoria Workshop on DOP (Protected Designation of Origin) and IGP ( Protected Geographic Indication) products was organized in collaboration with the American delegation of the Federazione Italiana Cuochi (Italian Chefs Federation). A networking dinner paired with a cooking competition with the participation of three renowned chefs from the north, center and south of Italy was also offered by ICE (Institute for International Commerce).

In Boston, IBM Watson Health hosted the seminar Artificial Intelligence: Mediterranean diet under analysis, during which the beneficial aspects of the Mediterranean diet were emphasized also with reference to the most recent scientific studies. The New England Italian Students Association, the association of Italian students at Harvard, the MIT, Northeastern and Boston University, organized the Burner Duel, a culinary competition between the four universities competing for the best pasta with pesto. The Week was closed with the charity gala dinner Italianissimo! hosted by newly opened Eataly to raise money for the promotion of Italian language and culture and to create a Center for Italian Culture in Boston.

Chicago inaugurated the Week of Italian Cuisine with the screening of the movie La cena (The dinner), directed by Ettore Scola, at the Italian Institute of Culture. The local delegation of the Italian Cuisine Academy met for a convivial gathering on The Cuisine of Reusing and The Cuisine of Amatrice, in support of the people affected by the earthquake. The Italian Chamber of Commerce organized a masterclass with Italian wines experts who enlightened the public on the characteristics of high quality wines (DOCG, DOP e IGP) from the Campania region, while educating the attendees about wine-food pairing. The program closed with the conference The Roots of Italian Taste: Revisiting Seven Thousand Years of Culinary Traditions by Professor Laura Motta, archeo-biologist at the University of Michigan. The event was followed by a cooking class on ancient Roman recipes and a sampling of legume and cereal dishes based on Mediterranean tradition.

In San Francisco –the Week of Italian Cuisine will start on November 27 to allow for NICE (New Italian Cinema Events), the week of Italian contemporary cinema . It will host the famous Italian butcher Dario Cecchini from Panzano, Florence. Mr. Cecchini will visit several Michelin star awarded San Francisco restaurants and will teach two classes at Arclinea and at the 18 Reasons Cooking School. San Francisco will also honor the truffle, a product unique to Italy. Culinary expert Viola Buitoni will create a menu based on truffles from Italy exclusively selected by Truffle Master Piero Cipriani.

Truffles were also the “guests of honor” in Philadelphia, where the prestigious Union League Club hosted a charity auction in conjunction with Alba, Italy. Italian Ambassador Armando Varricchio delivered the opening remarks. A delegation from the Piedmont region included Head of Tourism and Culture Antonella Parigi, Director of the National Center for Truffle Studies Mauro Carbone, and Vice President of the Consortium for the protection of Barolo Barbaresco Alba Langhe and Dogliani, Pietro Ratti. At the University of St. Joseph and the Widener University guests could watch Italian movies about food and attend conferences on Italian culinary art and culture.

In Detroit, as well, an exquisite dinner won over the public. At the Trevarrow Culinary Auditorium of Auburn Hills, Iron Chef of America Mario Rizzotti cooked in front of the guests who then enjoyed the freshly prepared delicacies.

In Houston the focus was on the coupling of food-and-health, confirming the great value and world-wide acknowledgement of the Mediterranean diet. The conference How to Beat the Odds of Heart Disease: The Role of Diet was a great success, and was attended by many high school students. During the whole week as many as 8 Italian restaurants in Houston and 4 in Austin created special menus with DOP and IGP products, demonstrating the extraordinary variety and richness of the Italian culinary tradition.

Italian food enthusiasts in the USA were offered a myriad of opportunities to explore and learn more of their favorite cuisine. The First Week of Italian Cuisine in the World now continues in 105 countries worldwide.


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