Identita Golose chefs’ congress

Gennaro Esposito preparing linguine with eel


I realise this post is rather late , a week after the event took place at Vinopolis on the South Bank and days after the more dedicated (or should that be organised) food bloggers wrote about their experience. 

Apologies for the “so-so” pics: the event attracted its fair share of professional food bloggers, all poised with their cameras to capture everything and everyone. 

… and to be honest with you, I just felt a little embarrassed about whipping out my camera all the time preferring instead to look, talk and remember. 

Identita London is the only venture outside Italy of the internationally renowned Identita Golose , Milan, which has become one of the world’s leading gastronomic events where globally acclaimed chefs meet to present and exchange ideas. 

The focus of the 2010 event was themed around The luxury of simplicity, which is about chefs being inspired by ingredients and their seasonality. 

Beyond this, the event is an ambassadorial platform to promote Italy + Italian cuisine and to counter its common association with pasta and pizza. 

So, with true Italian styly + flair, Vinopolis’ Great Halls where decked out in minimalist white + oxblood red, glamorous assistants dressed in black, clear perspex Philip Starck “Ghost” chairs and moody lighting. 

The event was presented by Paolo Marchi, one of Italy’s most respected and renowed food journalists and columnists and founder of Identita Golose in 2004. 

His c0-presenter was Tom Parker-Bowles, foodie, journalist and son of. 

If I had any criticsm of Paolo and Tom it would be that they were so focussed on (eating!) the food being prepared, that there was very little interaction with the audience and little or no space for time and questions. 

The event was supported by Grana Padano, San Pellegrino, Lavazza and Pasticio Dei Campi amongst many others, offering tastings of gourmet gelato, San Daniele ham, top wines and olive oils. 


Antica Corte Pallavicina offered delicious cold meats from the Nera Parmigiana native pig breed: the best salamis I have ever tasted, soft, butter almost and a world away from the pre-sliced packaged variety.  

The salami above (long sausage shape) is cured for only 15 days. 

The chef’s demos I enjoyed most were by Ashley Palmer Watts (who talked about dishes with a historical context for his menu at the soon to open restaurant at the Mandarin Oriental) , Massimo Bottura, Gennaro Esposito (the science behind preparing pasta) and Davide Scabin. 

Those of you who know me are aware that I believe that you are what you eat and try to balance nutrition with taste, but the one demo that bored me was by Heinz Beck who I felt made healthy eating dull. 

The dish he created with quinoa + herbs (“to give you emotion”) with a “cheese bouillon” amongst many other worthy ingredients, I thought looked really messy and unappetising on the plate. 

Sorry Heinz, no offence meant but your approach does not float my boat! 

There was a goodie bag for every delegate and one of my favourite gifts of the year so far is Grana Padano’s bright yellow brolly. 

Pity I have had to use it a bit too often recently.


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