JAMIE GOES ITALIAN IN CHINA
Hong Kong - Celebrity chef Jamie Oliver will open 30 Italian family-style restaurants in Asia, with the first one set to open its doors to his gastronomic followers in Hong Kong early in 2010. The move marks the first step in taking his chain Jamie's Italian - which now has five eateries in England - outside his hometown, to a region which takes pride in its rich diversity of international cuisine and where the economy is picking up faster than anywhere else in the world.
"Why Asia? Of all the markets, it has by far the fastest-growing economy," said Edward Pinshow, president of Tranic Franchising, which formed a venture with Jamie's Italian International for the Asia expansion. "The Chinese have become extremely fond of Italian food. In Japan, Jamie's become a household name," he said on Tuesday. They plan to roll out another 24 eateries in other parts of the region over the next five years, with China, Japan, Taiwan and Korea among the most likely candidates for location. He said the menu would offer a full-course meal with antipasti, main dish, dessert, plus a glass of Italian wine, for an average of 300 Hong Kong dollars (about 38USD) per head. "At Jamie's restaurants, you will often find a blue-collar worker, a student, and the chairman of a blue-chip company side by side having a meal," said Pinshow, while stressing that everything they served would be "natural and organic."
MOTTA AND ALEMAGNA BACK TO AN ITALIAN OWNER
Bauli, the Italian firm based in Verona that produces the famous Pandoro and Panettone bought the historic brands Motta e Alemagna, from the Swiss multinational Nestlé, together with the factory of San Martino Buonalbergo. “The only true strategic plan of a family company as ours is to deliver a stronger and more solid business to the next generation”, Alberto Bauli, the Chairman of the firm, said in an interview with Stanislao Porzio, founder of Re Panettone and food historian. Porzio has a particular expertise on the history of Panettone, the Italian traditional Christmas sweet, born in the city of Milan. It was Angelo Motta, a pastry chef, that in 1919 began to change the history of Panettone production. He was soon followed by the business Gioacchino Alemagna, both brands were very successful for various decades. Bauli, the son of a former Italian migrant to Argentina, said also that Bauli has guaranteed the employment of former Nestlé workforce. More info on the Panettone history in La Vita è dolce
ITALIAN COOKING ON THE LOOP
Happy cows aren’t on Facebook, The Lone Tuscan rides again, Splish Splash, are just some of the hilarious posts you may find on Italian Cooking in the loop, the blogspot run by Gvci’s and New York based Cesare Casella, Chef Patron of Salumeria Rosi in New York’s Upper West Side and Dean of Italian Culinary Insititute of the Big Apple.
ITALIAN CUISINE CHEF - POSITIONS AVAILABLE
There are several Italian Cuisine Chef and Executive Sous Chef positions available in Dubai, Shanghai, Beijing, Saudi Arabia. An expert Pizzaiolo is wanted in New York. For more information or to send your CV please write to us.
LA VITA È DOLCE - THE MAP
Pasticceria or pastry is an essential part of Italian cuisine and “La Vita è Dolce” is an initiative promoted by itchefs-GVCI for the appreciation of Italian pasticceria around the world. It aims at promoting the sweet end of the meal experience, a traditional expression of Italian amenities and good living, at the centre of which is found il dolce, the dessert, accompanied by wines, liqueurs and coffee.
La Vita è Dolce is a ride around the world in 20 sweet-steps. In each one a GVCI chef, of a renowned Italian restaurant, presents a dessert (dolce) of Italy’s great pasticceria tradition, according to the original recipe but in an upbeat and creative way. Each restaurant will have the dessert as a special on its menu for a week. See the calendar below. During that same week, you will find here, on itchefs-gvci.com, the video with the step-by-step recipe of the basic traditional dessert, executed by head pastry chef, Francesco Elmi, articles on the history of each dessert, curiosities and, moreover, the interpretation of the dessert made by a talented chef working abroad. Francesco Elmi realised the recipes in the laboratories of Fabbri 1905, in Bologna. The historic Italian company is also the main sponsor of this initiative.
FOR THE FIRST TIME CHIANTI WINERIES WILL NOT RELEASE ALL VINTAGE
The producers located in Chianti Classico have agreed to sell only 80 % of this year’s production in an attempt to stabilize prices in the market. Chianti Classico Consorzio have taken this first-time-ever decision due to their concen for the falling bulk prices, which could tarnish the reputation of the Tuscan DOCG. Wineries will hold back 20 % of the wines produced with the 2009 harvest for a minimum of 24 months. "It’s an experiment. And it’s not too painful for the estates, especially for those who produce Riserva wines”, said a representative of the Consorzio. The Riserva category requires an extra 24 months of ageing. The main idea is to avoid speculation after bulk prices for Chianti Classico fell drastically during 2008 and early 2009.
THE BEST DIET FOR LIFE IS THE MEDITERRANEAN DIET
Parade Magazine— with a readership of 33 million people—has just given the Mediterranean Diet the "Best Diet for Life" title. Only a few days before, the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) announced new scientific studies, authored by Prof. Nikolaos Scarmeas (Columbia University), reconfirm the connection between the Mediterranean Diet and a lower risk of Alzheimer's disease. Dr. Scarmeas and colleagues found out that people who ate according to the Mediterranean Diet pattern (or a similar one) and regularly exersized moderately had a 48 % lower risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease than those who did not follow this lifestyle.
CHILE: ITALIAN CUISINE FOR SMART GIRLS AND BOYS
FESTIVAL OF BRODETTO AND FISH STEW AT FANO LIDO
“It seems to me that a study of Italian fish soups, of which there is a considerable variety, with ancient traditions, should have beneficial effects on our daily food”, wrote Elizabeth David, in her book Italian Food, since its first edition in 1954. It’s not sure if the organisers of the International Festival of Brodetto and fish soups were inspired by the great English food writer, but certainly their Event has been a success to date. The VII edition of the Festival will be held at Fano Lido (Ancona, Marche) from September 10th thru 13th, 2009. Brodetto is among the many Italian fish soups and is very common on the Adriatic coast. Elizabeth David, with her precision, included in her book the recipe of brodetto, with the traditional ingredients. “Two or three varieties of squid (seppie, calamaretti, calamaroni), eel, red mullet, spigola (sea bass), sole, and canocchie (squilla mantis), a flat-tailed Adriatic and Mediterranean crustacean with a delicate flavour and lilac marks on its white flesh. Also called pannocchie and cicala di mare”. But in the section dedicated to the Italian Fish soups gave also the recipes of Burrida, from Genoa, Cacciucco (Livorno), Zuppa di pesce alla Caprese, Zuppa di Cozze – e di peoci in Venezia.
GVCI CHEFS ON THE MOVE: DUBAI
After 5 years at the Jumeirah Beach Hotel, in which he was also the Chef de Cuisine at the Italian Restaurant Carnevale, Andrea Strim is now the Executive Sous Chef of al Burj Al Arab, the 7-star super luxury Hotel. From September 1st, Susy Massetti, after leaving the Sas Radisson Hotel in Bahrain, where she was Executive chef, will come back to the Sheraton Hotel and Resort.
MORE OF LA VITA È DOLCE IN BEIJING
RESTAURANT MANAGER WANTED IN HONG KONG
A Manager is wanted for a prestigious Italian Restaurant in Hong Kong. He or she must have previous experience and knowledge of Italian food and wine. Please contact us to receive further information
DO YOU READ BLOGS? MACCIONI DOES
"People like me do read blogs, I´m very human." said Italian-born Sirio Maccioni, co-owner of the French Restaurant Le Cirque in New York. He had just learned that in a blog someone wrote a post titled “Only a Jerk Would Eat at Le Cirque”. After reading such a remark, Maccioni proceeded to invite the author of the post, who had also written that at Le Cirque not only the food was merely mediocre but also they were rude to him, back to the restaurant. "I thought he might think we wouldn´t care about something like that and I wanted to let him know that people do pay attention. … And we want to make things right."
Robert, the author of the blog, and his family were invited and they were doted upon during a free meal.
ARE ITALIANS FORGETTING HOW TO COOK?
Italians are increasingly at risk of loosing their culinary culture. That traditional recipe left by grandmothers could be soon forgotten. The truth is that, apparently, a growing number of Italians are unable at preparing their traditional dishes and the many TV programs on the air are not helping. This information comes from the results of a recent research realised by Fipe-AxisResearch on “Italians at the table: products, recipes, places”. From the same study it emerges that the preservation and transmission of Italian culinary traditions is more and more in the hands of chefs and restaurateurs. At home, the kitchen is still women’s realm but Italians tend to eat less with other members of the family and their meals are less complicated than they used to be. From the survey it also emerges that Italians believe that recipes can be properly learned only from mum or from a book, not from TV programs. Despite the fact that Italians are in favour of a healthier lifestyle many of them can not distinguish a fresh egg from one that is not. Meanwhile, the price of food remains the main concern in Italy. Due to the current economic crisis Italians ended up not inviting friends and relatives at home as they did last year. Nor they go out with the same frequency they used to but when they do, they pay a lot of attention to the quality of the cuisine and the good company.
Itchefs friends in the news
Word to the wise: If Francesco Farris asks you to dinner at his 1940s Bluffview bungalow, say yes, cancel everything and get there as fast as you can.
When it comes to entertaining, Mr. Farris, executive chef at Arcodoro & Pomodoro in Dallas, does not cut corners. His impromptu, everyday dinners are legendary. And on a perfect Monday night in early spring, with birds in the trees and the temperature hitting 80 degrees, Mr. Farris, a native Sardinian, lit his cigarette, let it dangle from his mouth and began cooking for his handful of guests.
Itchefs on the move
Claudio Rossi from Singapore to Toronto. After 2 years as Executive chef at the Singapore Regent Hotel, Claudio Rossi is leaving the post in December to go on to Toronto as Executive Chef of the Four Seasons Hotel, the first to be opened by this prestigious chain.
The unbelievable Italian flavour of Bangkok
“The only passable Italian restaurant, at that time, was the Italian Pavilion.” Norbert Kostner, Bangkok Mandarin Oriental Hotel Executive Chef, still remembers when he arrived in Bangkok over 35 years ago. Born in Val Gardena, Norbert is an icon of the local hospitality industry and is the forerunner of the numerous Italian chefs who have since arrived in the Thai capital, the majority in the last 10 years.
These young professionals, many being GVCI associates, run the best and most successful restaurants as chefs or restaurateurs and have made Bangkok one of the Asian capitals of Italian cuisine.
THE LONGEST SPAGHETTI IN THE WORLD
The longest spaghetto in the world has been prepared last week in Italy at Villa Le Pianore (Lucca), during Demetra, a fair dedicated to food and agricultural products.
The unique home made spaghetto was 7560 meters long and was eaten by the participants to the fair.
THE CRISIS OF THE BISTROT
There are less than 40.000 still alive. In 40 years France has lost more then 150.000 of them. We are talking about bistros: the quintessential French way to eat out. The data came from an article published in the Italian Newspaper La Repubblica, written by their senior food writer Licia Granello. They were once the kingdom of hearty cuisine and wines, old familiar service, dusty furniture and relaxed atmosphere. Fast food boom, strict no smoking policies in public spaces and a market increasingly demanding lighter dishes have conspired against this culinary institutions. The crisis doesn’t seem to be over, despite the fact that celebrity chefs, as Alain Ducasse, have a bistrot (Benoît) in their restaurants’ portfolio.
RAMSAY UNDER THE TUSCAN SUN AS WELL
Gordon Ramsay is to open and oversee a fine dining restaurant in Tuscany. The chef has put his name on the Cantina Restaurant at the Castel Monastero hotel, a 76-room luxury hotel that will open in the Tuscany region in Italy next July. Castel Monastero, once home to the Chigi Saracini family of Siena, is set in the mediaeval village of Monastero dell’Ombrone. Ramsay will oversee a fine dining restaurant set in the hotel's 13th Century cellars that will showcase ´the best in Tuscan cuisine'. Announcing the news on the Gordon Ramsay Holdings (GRH) website, Ramsay said: "Tuscany is world renowned for its food culture and it is a privilege to be a part of it. At Castel Monastero we will use the best produce the region has to offer, from its white truffles to its exceptional olive oil."