This year marks the 8th edition of La Settimana Cucina Italiana nel Mondo (the Week of Italian Cuisine in the World), an initiative by the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs to promote fine Italian cuisine and agri-food products. This year’s theme is “Dining with the Italian cuisine: well-being with taste.” In a press release, Italian Ambassador to the United States of America Mariangela Zappia said, “The Week of Italian Cuisine is central to our strategy of diplomacy of growth and culture in the United States – Zappia added –. A driving force for our agri-food exports, which are worth over 7 billion dollars a year in the Usa, and a formidable lever for attracting the 6 million Americans who visit Italy every year, Italian cuisine boasts a much wider potential.”
The week of cuisine is made possible with the collaboration of the entire diplomatic-consular network in the Usa, the Italian Cultural Institutes, the Ice Agency, and the Ministry of Health. Other partners such as the Italian Academy of Cuisine and the American Italian Food Coalition, consortia of producers, theaters, universities, schools, restaurants and chains such as Eataly, companies in the sector, ambassadors and Italian chefs active in the United States and arriving from Italy also help make this week possible.
In a recent interview, the Vice-President of the Council of Ministers and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Antonio Tajani, explained the objectives for this year’s edition, “We want to enhance the Mediterranean Diet as a healthy lifestyle and a model of balanced nutrition accessible to all. But we also want totalk about the importance of protected and controlled designation products, the fight against the phenomenon of Italian sounding and the enhancement of Italian villages and their traditional culinary products.”
Here are some programs that are taking place across the US to celebrate the Week of Italian Cuisine between November 13 and 19.
The Embassy of Italy is organizing a two-day workshop with Middle and High School students to promote the principles of the Mediterranean Diet as a model of a traditional, healthy and sustainable diet. A dinner on November 13, organized by Accademia Italiana della Cucina, will feature Dr. Ugo Della Marta, Director General for hygiene, food safety and nutrition at the Italian Ministry of Health, and Dr. Marco Silano, Research Manager and Director of the Department of Cardiovascular, Endocrine-Metabolic Diseases and Aging and Acting Director of the National Center for Rare Diseases at the National Health Institute. It will take place at Ristorante I’m Eddie Cano in Washington, D.C. A workshop on sustainable efforts on swine meat products and the olive oil industry will take place on November 14 in collaboration with the American Italian Food Coalition. Another workshop on the benefits of the Mediterranean Diet will take place this week.
NEW YORK CITY
The Italian Trade Agency in New York City is hosting an event by invitation only to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the Accademia della Cucina at Barbette Restaurant with guest speaker Michele Casadei Massari on November 13. In addition, webinars are scheduled with Maria Sole Ambrosi de Vinelli Perotti and Prof. Pierangela Diadori and Prof. Giovanna Frosini.
The Italian Consulate in Chicago is hosting a ticketed event with guest Chef Bley Daniel Ble for Tradition & Innovation: an Afroitalian night on Thursday, November 16th. The dinner is in collaboration with Chicago’s Casati’s Modern Italian. Chef Bley will pay homage to his Ivorian roots in the dinner menu, along with promoting traditional Italian cuisine.
Residents in the Midwest will be able to enjoy Italian cuisine at the theater. Gaia Mencagli will perform her monologue Stories of Eggs and Flour in Chicago on Friday, November 17, at Roosevelt University and other venues throughout the region. Other events are planned in Chicago, such as a White Truffle Masterclass and fine dining dinner.
In Los Angeles, the week is filled with events. A delegation from the Campania Region will present its culinary excellence at the Italian Excellence Gala & Awards Gala organized by the Italy-America Chamber of Commerce West (IACCW) on November 12th.
Chef and social media star Max Mariola will perform a cooking show at the Italian Cultural Institute on November 13. This event is by invitation only.
Other events include Italian cuisine for individuals experiencing homelessness in Los Angeles, cooking classes at Eataly Los Angeles, and a panel discussion, “The Mediterranean diet, well-being and sports: understanding the link to live better” at Pepperdine University. Stay tuned for a video to be released by Fabio Vota, former Chef of the Italian national soccer team (when Italy won the FIFA World Cup in 2006), and Giorgio Chiellini, Italian soccer champion currently part of the LAFC team. The two will cook Chiellini’s favorite dish, spaghetti al pomodoro.
The Consulate General of Italy in Miami is hosting a panel on November 14 with renowned Agrichef Chef Paolo Passano to discuss the fusion between Italian and Latin American cuisine. On November 15, Chef Passano will also present a cooking demonstration titled “Dual World Delights: Italian Cuisine with a Latin American Twist” with young chefs of the Miami Culinary Institute and the FIU Chaplin School of Hospitality to promote an innovative approach to the food traditions of the Ligurian Riviera.
The complete list of events across the US can be viewed here.