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The third edition of Italian Cuisine Week in the World comes to a close



The third edition of Italian Cuisine Week in the World comes to a close

Sunday 25 November marked the end of the third edition of Italian Cuisine Week in the World. The initiative, coordinated by the Embassy of Italy in the UK, included 26 events, most of them in London but with some in Edinburgh and Glasgow, with the aim of showcasing Italy’s agrifood sector and culinary tradition, with a view, in part, to further boosting exports and food-and-wine tourism.
The events of the week were coordinated by the embassy and organised in collaboration with the Italian Trade Agency, the Italian Consulate General of Edinburgh, the Italian Cultural Institutes in London and Edinburgh, the UK branches of the Italian Chamber of Commerce and Industry in the UK, and the British branch of the Accademia della Cucina Italiana. These were supported by numerous partners from sectors including academia, the agrifood industry, media and business. The varied programme of events included roundtable discussions, presentations, exhibitions, conversations, masterclasses and social gatherings.

The week opened on 19 November with a wine tasting, followed by a reception featuring three major names in the sector: Bellavita, Cibus and Vinitaly. Two events with Intesa Sanpaolo, aimed at start-ups and innovative business, focused on the circular economy, as part of a joint project with the Ellen MacArthur Foundation that seeks ways to conserve natural resources and develop an efficient model of sustainable development. The Consortium for the Protection of Prosecco DOC presented its work, particularly in the sector of sustainability, and the traditional cuisine of the Veneto and Friuli regions. And six events were held over the course of the week by Mercato Metropolitano, an aggregator of culinary traditions and street food.

The Italian Cultural institute hosted two events focusing on the Mediterranean diet and the health properties of extra-virgin olive oil, one of the ingredients at the basis of the Mediterranean diet and Italian cuisine: a talk by Dr Simon Poole, author of The Olive Oil Diet, organised by the UK branch of the Accademia della Cucina Italiana, and a presentation and tasting of high-quality extra-virgin olive oils. A recurring theme throughout the week was the importance of promoting and protecting Italian products with controlled and guaranteed denomination of origin and protected geographical indications, particularly as Brexit approaches.

The Italian pavilion at the annual international Food Matters Live fair focused on the south of Italy, specifically Calabria and Sicily, represented by the chef Enzo Oliveri. These regions were also celebrated in the events in Edinburgh and Glasgow and at Bellavita in London. At the pizzeria 50 Kalò by Ciro Salvo, the master pizza-maker was interviewed by the journalist Enrico Franceschini, telling him how a passion for top-quality ingredients and an eye for detail are at the heart of the authentic Neapolitan pizza-making tradition. Other chefs featured this year included Danilo Cortellini, who provided a Grana Padano-themed dinner at Mercato Metropolitano; Enzo Oliveri, who holsted a tasting of Italian food at Food Matters Live; Matteo Riganelli, who brought together Italian cuisine and design with a cookery show at the showroom of Scavolini, a furniture brand; and Theo Randall, a Michelin-starred chef with a passion for Italy and its culinary tradition, who was in charge of the closing dinner organised by the Accademia della Cucina Italiana.

- The Italian Cuisine Week on the website of the Italian Foreign Ministry