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Grana Padano


The Corkscrew

The Tools of the trade nº1:
A modest implement for important events

Verdicchio di Jesi passito, Brachetto d’Acqui, Malvasia dolce, Moscato, Marsala dolce, Moscadello di Montalcino, Sciacchetrà liquoroso and so many other sweet, liqueur-like wines with the aroma of ripe fruit and of flowers to accompany cakes or deserts, but what else is needed, other than the appropriate glass, to be able to enjoy these delights? The corkscrew… naturally!

The origin of the corkscrew is lost in mystery; the most credible hypothesis is perhaps the one of the Englishman, Bernard Watney, who maintains that the invention (of about 1680) of this object was originated by the spiral twist of the ball retrieving rod, used by soldiers to extract projectiles caught in the barrels of muzzle loading firearms. It is curious to think that the invention of the corkscrew had its origin in England, where by 1700 it was already an object of common use, in a country that produces beer and cider but no wine.

Thanks to the early industrialisation that occurred in England, the low cost production of glass bottles of varying volumes was quickly developed, giving bottles high usage. Originally, bottles were of onion shape, which was slowly to be replaced by the cylindrical shape that we are accustomed to see today. Naturally, this narrow-mouthed recipient had to be given a reliable closing; the most suitable was considered to be of cork, which had already been used for years for closing terracotta amphorae and wooden casks.

The first corkscrews were simple instruments of dimensions small enough to be carried in one’s pocket. They were mostly of iron, a resistant material of low cost, although this was sometimes combined with other more noble materials such as brass, silver, ivory, mother of pearl and gold. The simplest corkscrew is the T-shaped one, which is used together with manual traction and its function is elementary; it only has to be sunk into the cork by rotating and placing pressure on the worm or screw, usually while squeezing the bottle between one’s thighs and, then, exerting an often considerable force of traction, in order to extract the stopper from the neck.

Various scientific tests conducted on eighteen different corkscrews with the objective of establishing their efficiency did not succeed in giving any indication for the selection of the ideal corkscrew or suggest which characteristics this tool should have to be able to uncork a bottle correctly with more ease and less strain.

The characteristics of a good corkscrews are the following: the tip of the screw or worm should be inclined in such a manner to facilitate its insertion into the cork, the worm should entre the cork at the point closest to the centre in order not to damage the cork tissue before its extraction and, finally, the screw should be long enough in order to be able to enter the full length of the cork, to simplify the extraction of the stopper, even if this may perhaps causes the falling of detritus of cork into the wine.

The difference of opinion among specialists remains to be commented on; should the screw of a corkscrew enter the full length of the cork or stop some millimetres before? There can be two answers, both being true. If the stopper is manufactured out of cork of optimum quality and if the corkscrew is equipped with a sharply pointed screw, it is better if it enters the full length of the cork thus making its extraction easier, while if the stopper consists of cork chips of low quality, if the screw passes the full length of the cork there is a strong risk that cork particles will fall into the wine.

What ever, it seems worthwhile to me to remember that the corkscrew, always present in moments of enjoyment, opens the way to one of the true pleasures of life; relishing a glass of excellent wine!

Eugenio Medagliani


Itchefs-GVCI associate Francesco Farris, Best New restaurant 2012 in Dallas

Zio Cecio, Francesco Farris´ Sardinian restaurant in Dallas, Texas was proclaimed by D Magazine one of the Best New Restaurants of year 2012. Congratulations!

See the review.


Itchefs-GVCI associate Francesco Sanna´s Paletto: Best Western Restaurant - Editor's Pick 2012

Paletto Italian Restaurant, Ritz Carlton Shenzhen has been awarded "Best Western Restaurant - Editor's Pick 2012" by the influential Voyage Magazine 新旅行 in their Annual Gourmet Gold List. The proud awardee is Itchefs-GVCI associate Francesco Sanna.

Winners of the "Best Western Restaurant - Editor's Pick Award" are chosen by a group of senior F&B editors of the press through deliberation lasting several months. Congratulations Francesco!


8 ½ Otto e Mezzo BOMBANA HK achieves 3 Michelin Stars for two consecutive years

8 ½ Otto e Mezzo BOMBANA HK has received for two years in a row the highest rating awarded by the judges of the Michelin guide.

Itchefs GVCI would like to congratulate Chef Bombana and his team, leadered by Danilo Nicoletti, for this renewed acknowledgement. We had the opportunity of enjoying one of Chef Bombana´s remarkable meals during the last Italian Cuisine & Wine World Summit where he cooked side by side with 3 Michelin Stared Chefs Chicco Cerea and Heinz Beck for the opening gala dinner of the Wine and Spirit´s Fair: The luxury of the Fall´s Table.


A unique Gastronomical Event in Minsk with Chef Giuseppe Zanotti hosting 2 Michelin Stared Chef Marco Sacco

Itchefs GVCI Chef Giuseppe Zanotti, executive chef of Restaurant Falcone, Minsk in Belarus, was the organizer of a two Gala event that took place on December 7 and 8, 2012. The event was open both to the public and to journalists from different media. The themes of the evenings were “Tradition” and “Evolution”, the special Guest was another itchefs-GVCI associate, 2 Michelin stared Chef Marco Sacco from Piccolo Lago Restaurant, Verbania. "To each product its story to every man his interpretation" was the leit motiv of this unique evenings.


ItChefs-GVCI associate Donato De Santis participated in MASTICAR Fair in Buenos Aires

An initiative of A.C.E.L.G.A., an asociation of cooks, producers and restaurateurs, MASTICAR Fair (“to chew" in Spanish) was a fantastic display of products, dishes and all things gastronomical. Donato De Santis who is a household name in Argentina was also a part of this unique event. He taught a class on Pasta making together with veteran of Italian cuisine in Argentina Chef Pedro Piccau and in his Cucina Paradiso stand offered to the public dishes of Pasta and Dolci.


The Italian Street Food SURVIVAL KIT

How many street foods does Italy have? Hundreds, thousands perhaps. So, if one day you are left alone in an ideal Italian street, which ones should you eat to get the real essence of the Italian culinary traditions?

For the Hong Kong Wine and Dine Festival visitors we have selected possibly the most popular ones. The porchetta (roasted stuffed pig), the fritto misto (fried fish and seafood), the arancini, stuffed fried rice balls and a salad of the most popular winter fruits and vegetables: orange and fennel, dressed with the symbol of both the Italian and the Mediterranean diets: extra-virgin olive oil. Taste them and you will know how so many Italians have survived throughout history, with simple, healthy yet delicious food. These dishes, however, hold the essence of contemporary Italy as well: renowned Michelin Stared chefs: Marco Sacco, Mariangela Susigan, Tano Simonato and Sergio Vineis, have revisited these traditional street foods adding to each one a little touch of creativity.

The presentation at GAIA restaurant

The Survival kit was presented last night at Gaia Restaurant with the presence of Rosario Scarpato (Italian Cuisine and Wines World Summit Director), Paolo Monti (Gaia Restaurant Executive Chef and Summit's Culinary Supervisor), Aira Piva (Summit's Executive Chef), Giorgio Giambelli, Andrea Magnano and Alessandro Angelini.


The GVCI Won the Prestigious “Orio Vergani” Award

“With great pleasure and honor we accept this prestigious Award, which represents without any doubt, the outcome of the effort of the many professionals belonging to GVCI”, said Mario Caramella, accepting the Award on behalf of the network. The ceremony of the presentation of the Award was held in Milan only a few days ago.

The Board of the Accademia Italiana della Cucina granted the prestigious Orio Vergani 2012 Award to the GVCI (Virtual Group of Italian Chefs).

Prof. Giovanni Ballerini, Accademia Italiana della Cucina President, had officially communicated the good news last June to Mario Caramella, GVCI President and Chef-Patron of inITALY Restaurant in Singapore.

The Orio Vergani Awards have been created to honor the memory of the founder of the Accademia Italiana della Cucina and is granted every year to individuals, institutions and associations, without ties to the Accademia, that have greatly honored both the Italian gastronomy culture and civilization of the table in every field, in Italy and abroad.

Mario Caramella receiving the award from President of the Accademia Prof. Giovanni Ballarini

Download your printable version of the Award (16 mb)


Alitalia: a missed opportunity to educate worldwide consumers on Italian Cuisine - Chef Sauro Scarabotta writes to its CEO

Italy´s national airline is, for many foreign travelers going there, their first gate to Italian cuisine and wine. Too often, however, the level of Alitalia´s onboard meals is appalling, in all classes and especially on the intercontinental routes. To such extent, that Chef Sauro Scarabotta (FRICCO, SAO PAULO), an itchefs-GVCI associate, has written twice to Alitalia´s CEO complaining about the terrible experiences he´s had (see the letter below). But why hasn´t this changed? Isn't there a way to improve the situation?

The reshaping of the company that took place a couple of years ago, ignited the hope of a change which never happened. The airline still publicizes to have an important Italian Cooking School as a consultant for its menus but for sure no one from that School checks the quality of the food served aboard.

It is true that the company must save on everything in order to survive but with some creativity, some solutions could be found for sure. In the end, Alitalia should not escape its responsibilities: representing a country that is a gastronomical superpower.

* * *

Dear Mr. Sabelli,

My name is Sauro Scarabotta, I am Italian, 46 years old and I have been living in Sao Paulo, Brazil, since 1994. I often travel for both work and vacations, and until a few years ago I traveled with ALITALIA because of my spirit of nationalism and because I felt well treated. Last year, I took a couple of flights with ALITALIA, because of decisions ‘forced’ by other factors and, I have to tell you, those flights made me feel ashamed of being an Italian.

I took the flight Sao Paulo – Rome, 29th Oct and returned Rome – Sao Paulo, 10th Nov. I have since made two written complaints about the terrible quality of the food, it was uneatable!!!

Until now no one has answered me and now, I do not believe that any one will. I wish to let you know that my final destination was Hong Kong and that I flew the stretch Rome – Hong Kong with CATHAY PACIFIC, and the difference was enormous, everything was better, the cleanliness of the ‘plane, the general condition of the toilets, the quality of the materials, the table-ware and the kinds of paper (serviettes, toilet paper, etc.) from the type of seat to the distance between the rows; let me tell you that I searched for anything inferior or more or less equal to that of ALITALIA, but I did not find it!!!

I have always travelled with you in BUSINESS or as you call it ‘MAGNIFICA’, but I would call it barely ‘SUFFICIENTE’.

Let us talk about the dining services on board: the original and well laid out menu and wine card provoked high expectations by means of the language used as well as the description of the cultural and regional aspects. The text describing Friuli Venezia Giulia is almost poetic. But then comes the service, which maintains its high level of professionalism, courtesy and devotion of the staff, however, as the dishes arrive, step by step, the sparkle fails and things hit bottom with a bread of the worst of quality. But let us take things in order, starting with the antipasto: we were served a towelette, of Japanese restaurant sort, dry and with bad odour! The antipasto, consisting of four samplings, presented the dinners with; 1- a badly cut slice of Italian prosciutto DOP, of which I have serious doubts about its being Italian at all and I would be willing to bet any amount that it was not DOP because of its very low quality and its total lack of fat, 2- marinated vegetables (according to the menu) – celery, carrots and tomatoes raw and unseasoned. Let me tell anyone who may not know that marinade is a liquid formed on the base of herbs and acids or oil which ‘cooks’ meats, fish or vegetables when immersed in it, 3- ricotta quenelle with rosé gelatine which were flat (quenelle is a creamy pasta which allows the formation of an oval by being passed from one spoon to another repeatedly) and were of smoked ricotta, 4- grilled yellow polenta with Montasio DOP cheese. Well, there was plenty of polenta, but it had never seen the grill; and the Montasio, a cooked cheese, therefore yellow, was not Montasio in as far as it was creamy and white. And the pasta with San Marzano DOP tomatoes and basil gets a particularly low mark. This really bleak level was maintained by the rest of the courses on the menu and worsened by the freezing plates which chilled everything that should have been served hot – the only thing that the staff aboard could have improved. The only product truly worthy of the circumstances was the AZ olive oil, which was zealously hidden and taken to the passengers only upon request.

The positive points: well then, the timing of the service, the quality of the cutlery and of the glasses, the service of the wines and their temperature both red and white.

Mr. Sabelli, please, let us not use such fancy-sounding names as DOP, Quenelle, Montasio, Carnaroli, San Marzano and San Daniele for the purpose of marketing, because when we do, make a terrible presentation to those who already know these products, and because those who are trying this mediocrity for the first time, will certainly not buy it again because they did not like it – thus doubling the damage!!!

I am sure that the inspectors of ALMA will terminate their contract with you, because the entire page of your menu is dedicated to concepts that are light-years from the reality to be found on your plates.

I very much hope that Mr. Marchesi becomes aware of things before the damage becomes irresolvable.

If it is to our benefit that tourists come to Italy – and many come specifically for our food and wine – if they judge things by what they are served on ALITALIA have no doubt, they will be few a far between.

I do not know if I will receive an answer or if you will have the patience to read to this point, however, I attach my boarding pass as a proof of what I have just written.

Awaiting a simple answer, I thank you,
Sauro Scarabotta


A Preview of the upcoming 4th Italian Cuisine and Wines World Summit in Hong Kong

An impressive showcase of talents, flavors and products, is scheduled for November 1st through 10th, for the 4th Italian Cuisine and Wine World Summit. More than 20 top Italian master chefs from Italy and from some major Asian cities, many of them Michelin-starred, will be hosted by the best Italian restaurants in town. They will prepare special lunches and dinners, run master cooking classes and host product tastings.

Italian cuisine has become the most beloved cuisine in Asia only after the local ones, and Hong Kong the gateway for quality foodstuffs and wines coming from Italy. A proof of this is that the Summit continues to grow with each edition. This year, the Summit will have its Headquarters at the Hong Kong Wine and Dine Festival (1-4 November 2012). Last year, this fair had 1000 exhibitors and more than 21.000 trade visitors; the Wine and Dine Festival, on the other hand, could boast more than 170.000.

At the festival we will feature typical Italian products and fine Italian wines, the educational cooking stage for demonstrations and workshops of Italian cooking for the Pavilion’s visitors with Michelin starred Master Guest Chefs’ demonstrations; live making of Italian ingredients such as fresh pasta, mozzarella and burrata cheese, and, naturally, gelato; the Exhibition of Italian Team Pizza Acrobatics; the Food and Fashion runway; the new entry products area which will certainly dazzle the Hong Kong public; the White Truffle VIP Club Restaurant, an exclusive area – for invited guests only – where B2B meetings will be held; the Street Food area that will be dedicated to the preparation and exhibition of certain Italian foods that are eaten not only at the table.

The Summit will also be a part of the Wine and Spirits Fair and host events such as the Risotto World Summit and The Italian Wine List Awards for Asian Restaurants.

The summit is organized by itchefs-gvci.com. GVCI (Virtual Group of Italian Chefs) is the most vital of all the associations of chefs and culinary professionals (more than 1800 in 70 countries) working for Italian cuisine and wine abroad.


InITALY Bar Ristorante, Mario Caramella's New Venture in Singapore

GVCI President, former Bali Sanur Hyatt Hotel (Indonesia) Executive Chef and now Chef Patron of the brand new In Italy, Mario Caramella opens his new place along Craig Road in Singapore. A smart, mediterranean restaurant, conceived around authentic Italian cuisine, it can seat 40 guests inside and 20 in the terrace.

Some of the dishes to be found in the menu are: Fritto Misto (crispy calamari, prawns, soft shell crab, honey mustard and balsamic dip), Acqua Pazza (red garoupa with tomatoes, capers, green olives, mussels and clams), Stufato di Manzo (stewed beef cheek with porcini mushrooms and polenta) and, as Rosario Scarpato called it "the renaissance of Bollito Misto" (boiled beef, veal, pork, chicken, veal tongue and vegetables with a selection of dips).

In bocca al lupo!

Rosario Scarpato (food journalist and TV director), Maria Brown and Hian Goh,
the spearheads of the Asian Food Channel, and Mario Caramella

New Restaurant in Hong Kong, Messina with ItChefs-GVCI associate Chef Francesco Greco up front

As it has been said, this new Italian Restaurant is worth making the ferry ride to Hung Hom for!

Part of K.O. Dining Group, Messina is set-up for diners to enjoy the modern Sicilian menu as much as the unobstructed views of the Victoria Harbour.

The head chef is long time ItChefs-GVCI associate Francesco Greco, who has worked at award-winning restaurants all over the world from Paris (at the Michelin-starred Taillevent) and New York (the Michelin-rated Del Posto NYC, Gramercy Tavern and Veritas NYC) to Jakarta and Shanghai, and now Hong Kong. Messina serves modern Sicilian cuisine. The blend of French technique (given Greco´s training) and southern Italian cuisine is a refined combination that makes the menu particularly unique. Greco’s specialties are tuna carpaccio and crispy suckling pig.

"As the Asian capital of gastronomy, Hong Kong represents the perfect platform for us to launch our first project because its sophisticated community of connoisseurs can best appreciate the exceptionally high quality of our offerings. The city, with its high tourism traffic, also enables us to quickly establish wide brand recognition across the region for future growth." said Kazuo Okada, Chairman of the Board of Director of Universal Entertainment Corporation.

Messina, 5/F, The Harbourfront Landmark, 11 Wan Hoi St., Hung Hom, +852 3746 2733


ItChefs-GVCI associate, Michele Senigaglia Opens new Restaurant in Hong Kong

DiVino Patio is a cozy and relaxed Italian restaurant for power lunch-ers and relaxed dinner guests. ItChefs-GVCI associate Michele Senigaglia has worked full steam to open this restaurant in Wan Chai of which the interior follows a simplistic and modern design concept. DiVino Patio is a 4,000 square-foot restaurant which seats around 140 guests. An outside space is open for guests during lunch hours, and private rooms are available for special occasions. Be sure to try the signature dishes: home-made chicken and Boston lobster linguine.

1/F, Shop 11, Brim 28 - Causeway Centre, 28 Harbour Rd., Wan Chai, Hong Kong - 2877-3552


Chefs Raised Money for the Relief of the Emilia Romagna Earthquake

May 2012, an earthquake takes place in the Emilia Romagna region leaving severe consequences: many people hurt, homeless or even deceased. The Parma Forum took place in June and the Chefs decided to give a symbolic amount for the victims. A total of: Euro 1992.76 were raised and given to the Gazzetta of Parma for the assistance of the town of Cervezzo, which was severely hit. For the occasion the chefs participating in the Forum, signed a uniform which was given together with the money.


The GVCI Wins the Prestigious “Orio Vergani” Award

The Board of the Accademia Italiana della Cucina has granted the prestigious Orio Vergani 2012 Award to the  GVCI (Virtual Group of Italian Chefs).

Prof. Giovanni Ballerini, Accademia Italiana della Cucina President, has officially written to Mario Caramella, GVCI President and Chef-Patron of the soon opening inITALY Restaurant in Singapore.

The Orio Vergani Awards have been created to honor the memory of the founder of the Accademia Italiana della Cucina and is granted every year to individuals, institutions and associations, without ties to the Accademia, that have greatly honored both the Italian gastronomy culture and civilization of the table in every field, in Italy and abroad.

“With great pleasure and honor we accept this prestigious Award, which represents without any doubt, the outcome of the effort of the many professionals belonging to  to GVCI”, said Mario Caramella, accepting the Award on behalf of the network. The ceremony of the presentation of the Award will be held in Milan, next October.


The first ITALIAN CUISINE IN THE WORLD FORUM: Parma from June 14-16

From June 14 – 16, 2012 a great event is being held in Parma, Italy: The Italian Cuisine in the World Forum, an initiative designed to bring together all the Italian Cuisine Master Chefs, restaurateurs and other professionals of the gastronomic world working outside Italy. The Forum, which is the result of last year´s meeting in Parma for the Launch of the Certificate of Proficiency in Italian Cuisine, is a great opportunity to debate the state of Italian cuisine in the world and to give to the participants an exciting program also for professional growth. The Forum, created with the cooperation of www.itchefs-gvci.com, is also an excellent opportunity to network, find colleagues, make new acquaintances and to discuss the possibility of new employment opportunities with companies abroad.

Hosted at Academia Barilla.

Program available here.

For more info please contact This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .


Special Happy Birthday to Gualtiero Marchesi from GVCI Chefs

On the occasion of Master Chef Gualtiero Marchesi´s 82nd Birthday, GVCI celebrated the birth of the father of Modern Italian Cuisine, as well. GVCI president Mario Caramella has proposed to honor the Maestro by preparing and offering to their guests one of Chef Marchesi´s recipes. These are a few of the participants and their dishes! Read more about the event.


A Very Special "Happy Birthday" to Gualtiero Marchesi, the Father of Modern Italian Cuisine from GVCI

On the occasion of Master Chef Gualtiero Marchesi´s 82nd Birthday we at itchefs-GVCI wanted to celebrate the birth of the father of Moder Italian Cuisine, as well. GVCI president Mario Caramella has proposed that, on March 19th, all chefs joining the initiative will honor the Maestro by preparing and offering to their guests one of Chef Marchesi´s recipes. All itchefs- GVCI Chefs interested in joining the initiative may add their info here.

Thank you one more time for joining us!

Participating chefs (to date)

See Gualtiero Marchesi: biography


Grana Padano Italian Cuisine Worldwide Awards

This year´s Grana Padano Italian Cuisine Worldwide Awards will be launched simultaneously in a Live Press Conference in New York (International Culinary Center), Milano (Villa Torretta Restaurant) and Moscow (Aromi Italiani Restaurant).

The Award Ceremony will take place in Moscow on January 17 during a Gala Dinner prepared by Master Chefs Marco Sacco, Sergio Vineis and Andrea Ribaldone form Stelle del Piemonte and an Ossobuco in Gremolata alla Milanese tasting, our official IDIC 2012 dish that will be prepared by Tano Simonato, from Tano passami l´olio Restaurat.

See IDIC 2012 Program

More info about Grana Padano ICWA