There are certain pluses of being a food blogger at least in the city of joy where luckily we have some beautiful people who blog about food and are well aware of the versatilities and for me that interaction helped a lot to refresh my knowledge. We meet at several occasions, we discuss food, and we cherish food. Around two weeks back when I received a mail from Italian consulate with a note “Save your dates for a unique experience” for the “ First week of Italian Food ” event, I knew that this one is going to be a different experience for me! Receiving food sampling invitation is nothing new to me but when the same comes from a countries’ representation that somehow asked us indirectly to refresh our knowledge about the cuisine; that helped us to boost our knowledge somehow. Those are the opportunities that helped the bloggers like me to refresh our knowledge about a typical cuisine, the food culture and the impact as a whole. On a practical note, my knowledge about Italian food is very much limited to Pasta, Pizza, Risotto or Tiramisu. I am very open about the fact that I do possess very limited knowledge about Italian food and overall world food culture as a whole and that probably the reason that I maintain a blog which helps me to learn more about diverse food culture.
Coming to the event, the week 21-27 November, 16 is selected to celebrate and promote Italian food culture in around 130 countries around the world. This event is not only to promote the Italian food but to support the city Amatrice which was devastatingly destroyed by a powerful earthquake and killed several. The city is known for several Pasta and sauces and that is why it was decided to support the city with the Food fest. For every plate of Amatricianna sold during the food week, the city will get a support of 2 euros. Kolkata being one of the participating city for the “First week of Italian Food” has been supported by Oberoi Grand, ITC Sonar, Hyatt Regency, Taj Bengal and The Park. Each of them has come up with a dedicated Italian chef to give the event the authentic flavor of Italian cuisine; where Chef Francesco Francavilla is representing Oberoi Grand, Chef Vittorio Greco is representing ITC Sonar), chef Mauro Ferrari is for Hyatt Regency), Chef Alessio Lorenzo is there to represent and support Taj Bengal), and Chef Michelangelo Sparapano to represent The Park.
Day 1: “The Italian cuisine in 7 points” at Calcutta Club as part of the first week of Italian food
The Italian consulate organized a meet with the eminent of the city and I was present there along with my blogger friends. Famous Italian food critic and writer Ms. Roberta Schira discussed in brief about “The Italian cuisine in 7 points” which also is an important part of her book “Did you eat well? The seven rules to recognize good food”. The lecture was followed by a cooking show where she shared the secrets for the preparation of PASTA ALLA NORMA ( see the video shared below for the recipe) and RISOTTO ALLE ZUCCHINE, two famous veg dishes from the Italian cooking tradition and was supported by a group of chefs and the evening ended with a food tasting.
Day 2: Italian Food & Wine Tasting as part of the first week of Italian food
The Italian Food & Wine Tasting on 22nd November at Italian consulate and Italian Chefs as part of the first week of Italian food event.
Mauro Ferrari (Hyatt Regency), Francesco Francavilla (Oberoi Grand), Vittorio Greco (ITC Sonar), Alessio Lorenzo (Taj Bengal), Michelangelo Sparapano (The Park) with their team presented amazing food spread. It indeed was a pleasant experience to sample authentic Italian food from city’s best at a single point.
My experience of sampling the Italian food however not ended typically there instead I was invited by Oberoi Grand to sample Chef Francesco Francavilla’s spread and by ITC Sonar to sample Chef Vittorio Greco’s spread. I had to skip the invitation by Oberoi as I had some official commitments to close however able to be there at ITC Sonar and the details can be found here.
All in all, it indeed was a great experience to participate in the “First week of Italian Food” by the Italian consulate. I completely enjoyed my portion of cold cuts and poached fish at ITC Sonar, Kolkata, A Luxury Collection Hotel’s counter; The Chicken from Chef Mauro Ferrari’s counter at Hyatt Regency Kolkata and last but not at all the least the amazing Tiramisu (in fact the entire dessert spread) at The Oberoi Grand Kolkata’s counter.. Not to mention the “Nirbhejal Adda” with the friends played the role of positive catalyst apart from the food and wine…
This is how the Pasta Alla Norma to be cooked!