The Italian Cuisine World Summit is back again for its sixth edition, from November 7-20, and diners in Dubai are in for a treat as Michelin star-and celebrity-chefs flock to the emirate to show us what Italian cuisine is all about.
Italian cuisine is not just pizza and pasta. In fact, the Italians don’t like associating the cuisine with just those foods, as it’s much more than that – the cooking techniques, fresh produce, and way in which the ingredients are used. The Italian Cuisine World Summit is a two-week international long celebration of all things Italian being hosted in Dubai, and comprises of master classes, events and restaurant promotions. Here’s all the information you need to know to get your Italian food fix this month.
THE BIG EVENTS
1001 Nights of Italian Cuisine: November 7
The summit will launch with a gala opening party at The Rixos Hotel, where over 30 Michelin-star Italian chefs will showcase and promote the cuisine, along with chefs from the region. Tano Passami, Claudio Sadler and Tommaso Arrigoni, are some of the renowned chefs who will be presenting exclusive creations on the night.
The Piazza Grande Food Show: November 14 and 15
The Dubai Polo and Equesterian Club will spring to life with music, entertainment, food tastings and competitions like Casinetto’s Best Pizza in the UAE, Lavazza’s Espresso Contest – Best Espresso in the UAE, and the Risotto World Contest. Visitors to the event will also get a chance to watch three acrobatic pizzaiolos in action.
The Night of the Seven Stars: November 19
This charity dinner, hosted by the Italian Consul General, will see four guest chefs with a total of seven Michelin stars between them (to match the number of emirates in the UAE) stunning diners with their creations at Armani Ristorante. The evening will bring together fashion, food and Italy’s finest wine in one venue.
The Specialty Food Festival: November 9-11
The Italian Cuisine World Summit will have a stand at the festival where celebrity chefs will be conducting cooking demonstrations. Stop by to watch the action and sample culinary creations
HONE YOUR SKILLS
Looking to sharpen your Italian cooking skills, or to pursue a career as a chef? Here’s your chance to enroll in masterclasses, whether just a single one or a package – conducted by guest chefs – and get a qualification too.
The Professional Italian Cooking Certificate of Proficiency is a comprehensive course on Italian cooking which will be taking place at The Emirates Academy of Hospitality Management. Some of Italy’s best known celebrity chefs like Giorgio Locatelli, among others, will be teaching students about pasta, bread, risotto, antipasti, classic Italian techniques for main course dishes, the secrets behind the perfect gelato, sorbet and semifreddo, and Italian grills. So you will leave not only with hands-on experience and tips, but also a great understanding of produce and cooking methods. The course takes place over seven days from November 8-14, and 15-21, and includes a graduation ceremony as well. For Dhs9,500 per person. A single class is available from Dhs250 and includes lunch.
Become a truffle connoisseur
Truffles are quite an expensive mushroom to work with, and not to forget absolutely divine with Italian food. But if you shave it, or use it wrong, you risk ruining it. If you want to know more about truffles, read our feature on p81, or attend the masterclass to watch cooking demonstrations, learn about truffle and wine pairing, and find out how to buy the best truffles and use them. Massimo Vidani from Italtouch (one of the main distributors of truffles in the region), Italian food writer Luigi Cremona, truffle hunters, and sommeliers, will bring their knowledge to the table in a 12-hour course which takes place over four sessions. Dhs2,500 per person on November 8,13,17 and 19.
Keep it casual
Enroll in a class with visiting celebrity chefs at Eataly, Dubai Mall, from November 13-16 and 18, and learn how to cook with fresh mozzarella from Rosanna Marziale, prepare fresh pasta with Pasquale Palamaro, and learn how to cook with dry pasta from Salvatore Bianco. All dishes taught will be served on the menu as well. Visit www.italiancuisinesummit.com.
WATCH OUT FOR
Some of the celebrity chefs who are part of this year’s summit include:
The founder of Ristorante Reale in Castel di Sangro is a self-taught chef, and the educational director of Niko Romito Formazione (a culinary academy). Niko’s father owned a pastry shop which he turned into a restaurant, and from thereon began Niko’s career. He focuses on seasonal, high-quality ingredients in dishes, all prepared with contemporary techniques. Learn all about antipasti at his masterclass on November 8.
This Italian chef graduated from Port Charles School in Milan and stepped foot into popular establishments in Liguria and Sardinia. He has worked at Claudio Sadler’s Michelin-starred restaurant in Milan, and is known for his TV appearance on Detto Fatto on Rai Due TV channel. Tommaso will be creating something spectacular for the 1001 Nights of Italian cuisine event.
He is known for his innovation with regional Italian cuisine and has worked as a gastronomic consultant for a number of food brands. The chef and cookbook author is also one of the founders of the Jeunes Restaurateurs d'Europe, an association for young chefs in Europe, and Q.B. centro di cucina enogastronomico (a culinary school), and is at the helm of a number of Michelin-starred restaurants. Catch him at the Dry pasta masterclass on November 9, at The Emirates Academy of Hospitality Management.
The Italian chef based in UK has had a passion for food ever since he was a child – his family ran a Michelin-starred restaurant in Italy. With several cookbooks and TV shows under his belt, Giorgio has helped make the Locatelli brand a household name. He will be at his restaurant Ronda Locatelli, Atlantis The Palm, from November 16-19.
Visit www.itchefs-gvci.com for more.
Some of the most interesting promotions being offered by Dubai restaurants during the summit
Four course menu at Frankie's Italian Bar & Grill
Celebrity- and Michelin-star chef Riccardo Di Giacinto of All’Oro Roma (Marco Pierre White’s protégé) will tantalise tastebuds with a special menu featuring ravioli filled with burrata, anchovies sauce and stewed cherry tomato, roasted tuna with panzanella salad and lemon zabaglione and oxtail rocher with celery jelly. November 16, 17 and 19, from Dhs365 per person, call 04-3994311.
Special menus at Rosso, Amwaj Rotana
Visiting chef Graziano Prest from Michelin-starred restaurant Tivoli in Northern Italy will offer a special a la carte menu by visiting chef, Graziano Prest, for lunch and dinner from 8 to 12 November, as well as an exclusive five-course dinner on Sunday, November 9 (from Dhs350 per person). On November 12, there will also be a Truffle dinner featuring a special preview on seasonal truffles. Call 04-4282000.
Bice hosts star chef
Michelin Star Chef Sergio Vineis from Il Patio in Biella will serve up a special dinner for four nights from November 12 onwards. Expect delicacies gnocchi of scald cuttlefish with black truffle stock and veal in corn crust with spinach and seared codfish with cream of radicchio from the chef, who specialises in Mediterranean cuisine, with a focus on vegetables. Dhs495 per person, call 04-3991111.