The Week of Italian Cuisine in the World will be celebrated from 13 to 19 November 2023, organised by the network of Italian institutions in the UK (the consulates and cultural institutes in London and Edinburgh, the Italian Trade Agency, the Chamber of Commerce and the Accademia Italiana della Cucina).
The initiative – whose theme this year is “At the table with Italian cuisine: wellbeing with taste” – is now in its eighth year and has become one of the highlights in the calendar of initiatives promoting Italian excellence in the UK.
“I am delighted to launch this year’s Week of Italian Cuisine in the World,” said Ambassador Inigo Lambertini. “Cuisine is the quintessence of Italian savoir vivre, an approach to gastronomic culture that is greatly prized in the UK, where awareness of sustainability is growing alongside an awareness of what we put on our tables. This is the true added value of the Mediterranean diet. It is a recipe for wellbeing and for a harmonious relationship with the world around us. But a healthy diet shouldn’t come at the expense of authentic, high-quality ingredients. We need to rediscover the dimensions of taste and the story that links each dish to the area where it originated.”
There will be, as always, a busy programme of events.
The week begins on Monday 13 November with the Hospitality Awards, a gala dinner organised by the Consulate General in London in partnership with the Association of Professional Italian Chefs in the UK (APCI-UK), the Institute of Hospitality and the UK Confederation. The awards celebrate Italian culinary excellence and hospitality, with 15 categories covering all sectors of the hospitality industry.
On Tuesday 14 November the Embassy will host a talk entitled “Food, sport and wellbeing – the role of a balanced diet and exercise”, organised in collaboration with the Italian Trade Agency in London and the Accademia Italiana della Cucina. The speakers will be Roberta Re (director of Cambridge Food Science), Federica Amati (a nutritionist at Imperial College), Ranulf Crooke (a sports physician at Unviersity College London) and Matt Dawson, a former captain of the English rugby team and now sports commentator. The audience will also be shown some short videos on the benefits of the Italian diet for sportspeople, made by the Italian Trade Agency at the EATALY school in Liverpool Street.
On the same day the Consulate General in Edinburgh, in collaboration with the Cultural Institute and the Honorary Consul in Northern Ireland, will host an event in Belfast entitled “Sostenibilità a tavola: Il contributo di ognuno per la propria salute” (“Sustainability at the table: the contribution of each of us for our own health”). The event will be attended by representatives of Northern Ireland government institutions. Alberto Longo, professor of agri-food and environmental economics at Queen’s Unviersity, will present a study entitled “From supermarkets to football: the influence of behavioural economics on food choices and beyond”, and Dr Ann Nugent will give a talk entitled “Sustainable health eating – is it more than we are ready to chew?”
On Wednesday 15 November the Cultural Institute in London, in collaboration with ITA London, will host “La bella cucina. Matteo Augello in conversazione con Giorgio Locatelli”. Locatelli, one of the best-known Italian chefs and a great promotor of Italian cuisine and culture, will share stories from his fascinating career and will discuss how Italian food has changed over the years. The discussion will be led by Matteo Autello, a researcher and historian of London fashion.
In parallel, the Accademia Italiana della Cucina, in collaboration with the Consulate General in London, will present the graphic book “History of the Italian Cuisine” at the offices of the Italian Chamber of Commerce. The event will be attended by Roberto Costa, CEO of RCE Group, a group of Italian restaurants in London.
On Thursday 16 November the Embassy will host “Dining with the Italian cuisine”, a talk and cookery show organised in collaboration with the Italian Trade Agency. Chef Fabio Pisani of Il luogo di Aimo e Nadia, a two-starred Michelin restaurant in Milan will demonstrate the preparation of one of his most famous dishes. He will also talk to journalist Alessandra Rizzo of Sky News about healthy, high-quality cuisine, the combination of artisanal ingredients and the creativity of the chef, and the importance of training the next generation. At the same event, young Italian chefs based in London will prepare some of their own creations, demonstrating the importance of support for emerging professionals. The guest of honour, the Hon. Mirco Carloni, chair of the Agricultural Commission of the Chamber of Deputies, will present the application to add Italian cuisine to UNESCO’s list of Intangible Cultural heritage of Humanity.
The festival will conclude on Sunday 19 November with the traditional dinner organised by the Accademia italiana della Cucina. It will take place this year at the Al Mare restaurant at the Carlton Tower Jumeirah hotel and will feature a traditional Neapolitan menu by chef Giuseppe Parisi.
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