From left: Giovanni Grasso, Pier Bussetti, Claudio Sadler, Sergio Vineis and Marco Sacco,
some of the Summit Guest Master Chefs- Photo: David Bassan
“Made in Italy, enjoyed in Hong Kong”, was the slogan of the impressive Italian Cuisine World Summit that was held in the vibrant, once British colony of Southern China. The Summit took place for a week, from 2nd to 7th November, and was full of successful events, involving more than 70 talented host and guest chefs, fifteen of whom sport Michelin stars. It was truly a widespread gastronomic congress held simultaneously in sixteen of the city’s high quality restaurants, in the Towngas School of Cooking, in the Italian Pavilion of the Hong Kong International Wine and Spirits Fair, in pastry bakeries and ice-cream shops, as well as in international hotels. Thousands of Italian cuisine lovers, the majority of whom are clients of restaurants involved in the Summit, enthusiastically became acquainted with dishes, products and wines of Italian oenogastronomic excellence. “It was a great educational event in one of the cities most attentive to the quality and authenticity of eating,” states Rosario Scarpato, the creator and director of the event, promoted by the network itchefs-gvci that groups together already more than 1200 Italian culinary professionals, who work in 70 countries. We are particularly satisfied with the success of the Summit that was an unprecedented and superb promotion of Italian oenogastronomic culture and products,” adds Chef Paolo Monti of the Gaia restaurant, Hong Kong, the culinary supervisor of the event. “The balance has been positive for all those involved; producers, distributors, restaurateurs and chefs. It was the best possible framework for celebrating the GVCI Forum’s first ten years,” stressed Mario Caramella, executive chef at the Great Hotel of Bali, Indonesia and president of the GVCI.
King Truffle and the Magnificent Flavours of Piemonte. Opening Gala Dinner
The ICWS 2010 was opened with an unforgettable Gala Dinner at the Kowloon Shangri La Hotel, with the menu signed by great Italian chefs of the Stelle del Piemonte (the Star of Piedmont) Group. Organised in collaboration with the Italian Chamber of Commerce of Hong Kong, the dinner was themed upon “King Truffle and the Magnificent Flavours of the Piedmont.” At the stoves of the Shangri La were the Michelin-starred Pier Bussetti, Giovanni Grasso, Igor Macchia, Marco Sacco and Sergio Vineis. The menu, printed on the indeed valuable paper of the Cartiere Fedrigoni, in an intelligent as well as elegant manner of reflecting the great oenogastronomic excellences of the Piedmont, starting with the white truffles of San Damiano d’Asti and, what is more, with ones from the farm of the trifolao (truffle hunter), Franco Canta. And there were also the cheeses of D’Alessandra brought expressedly by the Master Cheese maker Giancarlo Caratti, the rice of Principato di Lucedio, the coffee of Lavazza and the great wines of Gianni Gagliardo, Batasiolo and Orsolani. The dinner was prepared with other ingredients provided by some of the main sponsors of the Summit: Grana Padano di taglio sartoriale (tailor-made), used by Pier Bussetti in his risotto, the garganelli pasta of Orochef Barilla, the mineral waters Ferrarelle and Natia and the extra virgin oils of Terre del Sole.
Starting with the chefs and restaurateurs who promoted the Summit were present at the Gala Sinner the more than 210 main businesspeople in Italian oenogastronomy in Hong Kong. Thus, the participants were able, on one hand, to meet directly the producers and the partner organisations of the Summit, and on the other, the host chefs together with the guest chefs who had come from abroad. At the dinner were also present the General Consul of Hong Kong, Alessandra Schiavo, the Italian Trade Commissioner Romano Baruzzi, Manuele Bosetti, General Manager of the Italian Chamber of Commerce and Stevie Kim, the representative of Vinitaly Verona, the most prestigious Italian wine fair. Furthermore, amongst the diners were numerous exponents of the local community and press, as for instance, Susan Jung, the prestigious oenogastronomic critic of the South China Morning Post.
At the end of the dinner, Rosario Scarpato, the Summit Director, invited Franco Canta to tell of his life as a trifolao (truffle hunter) at San Damiano d’Asti and there was a video hook-up precisely with that Piedmont town where the preparations for the famous Regional Festival of the White Truffle were being handled. Finally Mario Caramella, president of the GVCI, took the word and spoke of the ten years of the Group and invited all those present to a celebration toast with the Barolo Serre 2006 that Gianni Gagliardo had made available in a Double Magnum special edition, limited specifically to the occasion of the ten years of the GVCI. During the celebration, a corner was also dedicated to the world pre-premiere of Alfredo, a cartoon of a friendly Italian chef and to his real-life alter ego, Chef Franco Luise, who fights against the worldwide faking of Italian cooking.
The Summit in the Restaurants / The Industry Workshop at Joia
From the 3rd November on, the Summit, with its chefs and their special menus, moved to the restaurants that were promoting it: fourteen in Hong Kong, one in Macau and one in Shenzhen. More than anything else, that is what the Summit is all about: bringing the Italian cuisine of the great Italian guest chefs onto the plates of thousands of the clients of the best Italian restaurants of Hong Kong, and at the same time offering the possibility to talented host chefs to get together, face to face, with their guest Master chefs to exchange information, experiences, to contribute to raise the quality and the variety of their proposals of Italian cuisine. But before the Guest Master Chefs started cooking, there was another important moment of the Summit: The Industry Workshop which was held at the Joia restaurant and in beautiful square in front of it. The Workshop, organised in collaboration with the Italian Chamber of Commerce of Hong Kong, is already one of the Summit’s traditional appointments; it places local businesspeople of the food, wine and hospitality industry in direct contact with the products of the sponsors of the event. The objectives of the Industry Workshop were defined by Rosario Scarpato and Mario Caramella in their introduction to the exhibition, which also received a greeting from Dr. Romano Baruzzi, Italian Trade Commissioner to Hong Kong and Macau. Vinicio Eminenti, an importer of wines to China and delegate to the Academy of Italian Cuisine of this part of the world, extended the GVCI and its president, Mario Caramella, an acknowledgement for their promotional role in Italian cuisine.
Master Cooking Classes, Workshops and Demostrations
One of the most important missions of the Summit is that of providing businesspeople and customer opinion leaders the opportunity of making the acquaintance of authentic quality Italian cuisine and of the typical products of Italy. Therefore, the Summit ran a robust programme of Master Cooking Classes, in which guest chefs from all over the world took leading roles. The very successful cycle of Master Classes was organised with the Towngas Cooking (see the program), under the direction of Chef Margaret Fu, a great connoisseur of Italian cuisine (and compliments for her Italian). Besides the highly appreciated Master Classes by Philippe Leveillé, Claudio Sadler, Andrea Tonola, Paolo Manfredi, Odette Fada, Gaetano Simonato and Francesca D’Orazio Buonerba, Paolo Predonzan, a master gelataio (ice-cream maker) and for years now a Hong Kong resident and owner of the gelateria I Scream, was very successful with his classes on the secrets of Italian ice-cream.
A particularly qualified public participated into the seminar ‘La vita è dolce’, on Italian pasticceria, promoted in collaboration with Vero Chocolates and held by the Fabbri 1905 pastry chef Christian Shaberraiter. Among the attendants were Louisa Ho, president of the Hong Kong Bakery and Confectionery Association, executive chefs of some hotels and clubs, for instance, Paul She Chon of Mira, Chow Chan Leung and Benny Wong Hoi Hing of the Hong Kong Club and pastry chefs of various important outlets, among others, Andrea Bonafini of Isola Restaurant, Christophe Duvernois of the City of Dreams Macau, Donald Ho of the Grand Hyatt Hong Kong, Rochy Lai of the Agnes B. and Ludovic Douteau of the Peninsula Hotel. Among the journalists were Athle W. Estacio directress of Restaurateur Magazine, Lisa Kuang and Yesun Wong, editors of Vogue.Digital.Lifestyle. The seminar by Pasqualino Barbasso and Nicola Demo on the rising and flours in the preparation of pizza, held at the Luna Pizzeria in the Aberdeen Marina Club and carried out with the support of 5 Stagioni, was highly appreciated. Last but not least, the Master Class held by Marco Sacco and Franco Canta on the truffle at the Va Bene restaurant was a great success.
The Summit at Vinitaly China (Hong Kong International Wine and Spirits Fair)
The Italian Cuisine World Summit 2010 put up a special collaboration with Vinitaly China that managed the Italian Pavilion at the Hong Kong International Wine and Spirits Fair, held from 4th to 6th November. The Summit managed the culinary demonstration area located in the centre of the pavilion (see the program). Guest Michelin starred Master Chefs alternately took turns to exhibit their arts, and the area was one of the most visited of the whole fair. The demonstrations were coordinated by Francesca D’Orazio Buonerba, who furthermore found the time to present her own on pasta cooked in a wok.
The Summit and the CNO for High Quality, Italian Extravirgin Oil
The Summit was also the setting of another important event; the launching in Hong Kong and in Asia of the CNO (National Olive Farmers’ Consortium) programme of traceability and high quality of Italian extra virgin olive oil. The programme was presented in the Gaia restaurant, with a menu signed by Cesare Casella of the Salumeria Rosi, New York City and Paolo Monti, the executive chef of Gaia. Gaetano Potenzone, vice-president of CNO Services, Erino Cipriani, director of the Consortium and Francesca Vannini, coordinator and marketing manager presented their organization’s programme.
Luca’s Late Night Wine Tasting
Photo: David Bassan
Luca Signoretti, executive chef of the H-One restaurant, was the protagonist and host of the Late Night Wine Tasting. Other than those of Frescobaldi, Gagliardo and the Enoteca Regionale Emilia Romagna (Winery of the Region of Emilia Romagna), wines from the Valtellina and the companies represented by The Wineyard, the importer and distributor of fine Italian wines in Hong Kong, were offered to be tasted.
The Concluding Italian Brunch
Photo: David Bassan
The Summit celebrated its final event in a festive, relaxed atmosphere on the sunny terrace of the Spasso restaurant at the Tsim Sha Tsui Ocean Centre. The executive chef patron, Michele Senigaglia and his partner Giacomo Pani offered the approximately 100 guests a completely Italian interpretation of Sunday brunch, a rite that the residents of Hong Kong delight in. However, Matteo Scibilia, guest master chef of the Summit, did not loose the opportunity of preparing the tasting of a risotto alla bresciana (risotto from Brescia). The entire event was carried out with the trappings of quality Italian spumanti, Franciacorta di Cavalleri and di Barone Pizzini, among others.