By Rosario Scarpato
Director, Italian Cuisine and Wines World Summit
The latest Italian Cuisine and Wines World Summit of Hong Kong, 1st to 6th November 2011, closed with the accompaniment of a long series of articles and commentaries appearing in the press and TV in Hong Kong, Italy and around the world. The event – the only one of its kind – was a great success thanks, above and beyond all else, to the chefs and the restaurants of the Hong Kong GVCI Forum, with the untiring Paolo Monti at their helm, to President Mario Caramella and to the almost innumerable quantity of associates of the Group who came from various parts of the world to participate. Among these were Pietro Rongoni and Dario Congera, as well as Paolo Alabiso, Silvano Amolini, Sauro Scarabotta, Gianni Favro and Giovanna Marson, and among the non-cooks, Aldo Palaoro and Roberto Bava. Obviously, the organisational machine of the Summit, an event which has certainly grown and now exists on its own tenor, was able to take advantage of the collaboration of the great chefs invited from Italy, from Chicco and Bobo Cerea to Marco Sacco, to Corrado Fasolato, to Nicola Portinari, to Pietro Zito, to the Maestro della Pizza, Domenico Crolla and to all the others, from the managers of Hong Kong’s Italian restaurants, to the sponsors and the professional friends, such as the oenogastronomic commentator, Luigi Cremona.
This year’s Summit, thanks also to the strategic collaboration of Vinitaly in the World, proved to be an extremely efficient and unprecedented collective promotion of kitchen brands, chefs, Italian wines and products; a promotional event that brought and will continue to bring enormous benefits to the team, to the system but also to the individuals involved, whatever their level of engagement. The Summit has certainly changed the course of the promotion of Italian oenogastronomy at global level. Some of the highlights of the Summit follow.
The OPENING GALA DINNER of the Summit
This has already become a classic, the moment when all the protagonists of the Summit and a selected public of food lovers meet on the eve of the launch of the event. For the first time, the dinner, which included an incredible tasting of wines from small Italian Vineyards, was held in the context of a fashion and style show at the dinner table, with Pinko’s beautiful models and Alessi’s products that decorated the table-setting. Thanks to Academia Barilla for having brought their selection of historical menus and antique cookbooks.
The Summit was held under the patronage of the Italian General Consulate to Hong Kong. The General Consul, Alessandra Schiavo, was present for the majority of the official events and participated actively in the creation of a jacket for the Italian cook worldwide, promoted by the Italian Chamber of Fashion and designed for the Summit by the Milanese designer, Lorenzo Riva.
GUEST MASTER CHEFS HOSTED IN HONG KONG AND MACAO RESTAURANTS
The combination of great chefs with Hong Kong and Macao’s best Italian restaurants continues to be the essence of the Summit. It’s the best way to let the tendencies of Italian cuisine in Italy become known, and also to allow a comparison of chefs who work in Italy with those who work abroad.
SUMMIT’S CULINARY PAVILION AT THE HONG KONG WINE AND SPIRITS FAIR
This year it was enormous and an absolute must. Great chefs such as: Pietro Zito, Domenico Crolla, Nicola Portinari, Roberto Alloca, Gaetano Simonato, Corrado Fasolato, Luca Collami, Gaetano Trovato, Marco Sacco, Pino Lavarra and Andrea Ribaldone, showcased their talents were exhibited with the coordination of Franscesca D’Orazio and Dario Congera. These demonstrations were enhanced by an extraordinary participation of the public.
VINITALY WINE AFFAIRE: Premiere at Zelo Restaurant
GALA DINNER OF THE HONG KONG INTERNATIONAL WINE AND SPIRITS FAIR
Mario Caramella, Marco Sacco, Luca Collami and Sergio Vineis, in name of the Summit, cooked for almost 500 guests from all over the world at the Fair. This year, Italy was the Partner Country. The dinner was an unprecedented success, which can be attributed to the excellence of the individual chefs, but especially to the coordination of Mario Caramella, a great connoisseur of Asiatic tastes who was able to balance taste, authenticity and quality of the menu presented.
Closing GRAND ITALIAN BRUNCH at Gaia Restaurant
It was the perfect end for such a unique chain of events. Leaded by Executive Chef Paolo Monti joined by Guest Master Chef Gino Razzano. It was the perfect Italian Brunch full of fresh products, joined by PERONI Beer and the Wines from BMA Cellars. It was a friendly gathering and a great way to finish an event enjoyed by all, professionals and amateurs together.
Presentation of the awards to the winners of the first Best and Top Italian Wine List in Asian Restaurants
The top prizes went to Tokyo’s Ristorante Bvlgari, to Bangkok’s Gianni’s and to Hong Kong’s Bombana 8 e ½. More than one hundred restaurants in Asia participated in the initiative.
Launch of the collection of Domenico Crolla’s luxury pizzas
It was a night to remember leaded by Master Pizza Chef Domenico Crolla who worked hand in hand with Spasso´s Chef Michele Senigaglia and even Guest Master Chef Nicola Cavallaro. Domenico presented an inspired collection of Pizzas which not for being luxurious lacked authenticity. They were: The Parma Experience, Pizza al Tartuffo D´Alba, Pizza Fiore & Golden Pizza.
Risotto World Summit. The Hong Kong Challenge
It was won by the German chef, Eyck Zimmer, of Hong Kong’s Derby Restaurant. The event took place at Towngas Cooking Centre which, one more time, under the guidance of it´s alma mater, Margaret Fu, offered as well cooking classes by Italian Master Chefs prevalently to the Chinese public.
Italian aperitifs workshop by Roberto Bava
It was a tasting afternoon at ISOBAR to explore some of the more rarely understood drink categories: aromatized wine and vermouth. It was also a great chance to learn a few new cocktails, and about the history of the art of mixing a fine drink. Roberto Bava is a genially chatty Italian who runs the Cocchi Winery with his brothers in Asti, during the Summit, he introduced his stellar Vermouth di Torino, a plump, chocolaty Barolo Chinato and the holy grail: Aperitivo Americano. We counted with the presence of journalists such as Luigi Cremona, chefs and Gaia Group´s manager Mr Pino Piano.
The Consorzio Nazionale degli Olivicoltori special lunch and the launch of the Alliance of Italian Olive Farmers and Italian Chefs Abroad
The Consorzio Nazionale degli Olivicoltori presented featured its extra virgin olive oils many times during the Summit and we were proud to have them. During a special Lunch, they presented of the Program of Traceability and High Quality of Italian Extra Virgin Olive Oil. It took place at Joia, with a lunch prepared by Tano Simonato of the restaurant Tano passami l’olio, Milan. They also presented some of our chefs with a certificate of Italian Cuisine Extra Virgin olive oil Chef in recognition of their dedication to the use of Quality Extra Virgin Olive Oil in their daily work.
The special lunch promoted by Umberto Bombana: La Cucina di Chicco e Bobo Cerea
Umberto Bombana, the dean of Hong Kong’s Italian chefs and the recent winner of his 3rd Michelin Star and the title Chef of the Chefs, of the Miele Guide, to which were invited 25 of Hong Kong’s non-Italian, star-holding chefs for whom Chicco and Bobo Cerea of the three-Michelin-star Ristorante da Vittorio, Bergamo prepared the meal.
Sapori D'Italia (Flavours of Italy): International Launch of Imola's Baccanale
With the collaboration of the Enoteca Regionale Emilia Romagna, with a direct video interview with Professor Massimo Montanari, the greatest living historian of Italian cooking, during a dinner on the theme of the Ristorante Zelo.
The presentation of the Certificates of Academia Barilla to some of Hong Kong’s Italian Cuisine Master Chefs
The Certification Program targets chefs and culinary professionals working outside of Italy in the global Ho.Re.Ca industry of Italian cuisine. It was launched in an international Symposium held in Parma on June 9 and 10. Over 200 chefs of the itchefs-gvci network were certified Italian Cuisine Master Chef (ICMC) ad honorem. At Hong Kong, we had the opportunity to present some of the local chefs with their certificates. Academia Barilla´s President, Gianluigi Zenti did the honors and handed the certificates, special jackets and an Academia Barilla publication to: Claudio DIeli, Marco Furlan, Michele Camolei and Alessandro Angelini.
The award of certificates of recognition to the managers of Hong Kong’s Italian Restaurants
This award is a testimony of the importance of these untiring workers for the success of the Italian restaurants abroad. They are daily facing the public and pushing each business to excellence in an indissoluble ensemble with the Chefs.
Parma Ham Festival at the Summit
The Consorzio Prosciutto di Parma was one of Partners of this Summit. Parma Ham, one of the symbols of the Italian Cuisine success in the world, was the protagonist of a Festival that was held in some of the restaurants hosting the Summit and some of the main events such as the Opening Gala Dinner, The Risotto Hong Kong Challenge, The Vinitaly Premiere at Zelo Restaurant and the Closing Italian Brunch at Gaia.
The performance of the Gruppo Musicale Assurd
Came from Italy especially to accompany the most important moments of the Summit.
The B2B encounters between the sponsors of the Summit and local operators
With the collaboration of the Hong Kong Chamber of Commerce.