#ItalianCuisineWorldSummit 2014 videos (Turn on your highest HD setting)

Tuesday, 18 November 2014

Celebrating Success Stories & An Exclusive Interview with Chef Niko Romito ***

Here is a "From Food To Life" post and it goes like this:

Picture courtesy of and copyrighted to Ristorante Reale
Cherry Soup with sheep milk ice-cream by Michelin Chef Niko Romito

I don't know what it is about this line of work that makes people (all, the involved and the bystanders) become overly critical! In the past few years, I have been watching this phenomenon and have over and over seen how most people always choose to either focus on the negatives or at least be very highly critical! No one seems to focus on the success stories behind even the minutest endeavor! Somehow it all becomes about perfection, which we all know does not exist! And when all else fails it just becomes personal!

I was at a radio interview with a few chefs the other day and was terribly amazed how the focus of the interview was for Michelin Chefs to criticize practices and other chefs! The 3 Michelin chefs I was with found the interview very annoying and were highly uncomfortable. In a very nice way, they tried to express that they did not want to "focus on the negatives" that they were here to share their experiences, to celebrate and focus on the positives in people's restaurants and chefs' practices. Regardless, the host continued to throw such questions at them and we all had to go through a long discussion offline that created so much tension!

Picture courtesy of and copyrighted to Ristorante Reale
Veal with dried Porcini mushrooms, almond, thyme and black truffle gel by Michelin Chef Niko Romito

Likewise, I have been meeting up with some others in the course of this event, who each time had nothing good to say about anything! Who just threw criticism just about anything and everything that came to their minds that day (relative or not)! What is it that makes people unable to see the bright side to things? The Success Stories. While some criticism can be constructive, most are overly destructive! That is what I am talking about here. In the end all people alike, aspire and work hard to achieve something meaningful to them. All people want to succeed and all people want to be the best, all try and life happens, throwing people off sometimes, working in our favour at other times; as ever... We watch ourselves and others, then it is totally up to us to find the angle from which to see things and the voice with which to express ourselves. Totally a personal choice to celebrate or criticise. I personally have always or let's say mostly (as nothing is perfect) chosen to celebrate (apart from this post where I choose to criticise this) and what better way to celebrate a success story than with the current best of the best in Italian cuisine?

I am starting my Celebrating #SuccessStories series with an exclusive interview with 3 Michelin Star Chef Niko Romito. He says he is not born to do this (being a chef), that he was eagerly studying economics and his heart was set on being a broker. But life conspired against him and that dream was cut short when his father passed away and he had to take over his family's business (a restaurant). He was a tad less than happy to go into the food industry, but like a true numbers man he became determined to make it work and be very very successful. So little did he know that this little change, this life conspiracy against his dream, was going to make a huge star out of him. That he was only to become Italy's best! Niko Romito along with his sister took over Ristorante Reale revamped the whole place and Niko cooked his heart out and translated his lost financial broker dream into an affair with immediate local as well as pan Italian provincial produce that he deployed to renovate loved classics, and decided to pour it all out on plates that will eventually contain and pass on all his emotions to his diners. Yes I ate his food and the man is in every bite, speaking through a pea ice-cream starter with a tuile of parmesan about a season, so green, so abundant, and still cold before warming up and shaping the parmesan... entirely and deeply delicious! This in-short story here is truly worth celebrating.

Picture courtesy of and copyrighted to Ristorante Reale
Ristorante Reale

This simple, ordinary story of a lost dream, of life happening despite of our plans, of being thrown into things we thought were not for us, of change (the forceful type), and of determination and action instead of being rolled up in a corner crying over loss... this here is a success story. Regardless the details, the many attempts to perfect, the honing and retraining, the reconditioning of one's thoughts... which while taking place might have been ugly or highly "Criticize-able" the end of the road, paved the way for a star to shine.

So here is to success, to the bright side and to focusing on the positives. Here is to reality, not fabricated success stories created to entertain us at the late hours through a silver screen selling comodities. Here is to real life and the people living it, to strength and to achievements. Let the critics criticize all they want because that is all they do. And let the doers do, because that is what they do!

Watch the great man behind the name: Niko Romito in this exclusive interview, where I pick his brain about his food philosophy, and what he celebrates in his cuisine as well as expresses in his dishes. Also discussing why it is important for someone so celebrated as he is to take part in the Italian Cuisine World Summit. Bear with me as most Italians speak only Italian, so he will speak his language. However, Master chef Walter Potenza (Yes so him! The Walter Potenza :) interprets Niko's words in English for us to understand.

The Michelin Guide (also often criticised)
A Michelin Star is a success story for chefs. Chefs feel they received the ultimate award when they receive a Michelin star. The chefs feel their massive efforts and hard work (it is not easy being a chef by the way, that lifestyle is gruesome!) have been acknowledged and rewarded. Besides, the Michelin guide to the chefs is a highly acclaimed acknowledgement. Therefore, I personally celebrate meeting a Michelin chef and yes think it is a big deal. I also appreciate experiencing their food. Besides the actual stars, these chefs have done something right to actually acquire them (in Romito's case, not just 1 star but 3) and I like to celebrate that with them. So, do go to the remaining dinners (the schedule in pics is at the end of the post on this link) and celebrate their success with them!

PS a friend of mine known as @scentorialist came to me the other day and said: "Don't let the 'vampires' suck the energy out of you. We all know the world is full of those!" and to all of you aspiring people working on your own success stories am telling you the same!

Yalla back soon....

Monday, 17 November 2014

The Vision Behind The #ItalianCuisineWorldSummit & "Latergraming"

As you know the Italian Cuisine World Summit 2014 is well underway here in Dubai, bringing in a whole lot of Italian Cuisine excitement. The summit is all about sharing with you the authentic tradition of Italian Cuisine, as well as updating you with what is new in the world of Italian food. With that said one of the main objectives of the Italian Cuisine World Summit is to show everyone that the Italian cuisine is way more than just pasta, pizza, lasagne and even more than just pomodoro sauce! Yes these are basic components of the cuisine, and yes are the tradition and an important base of the Italian eating experience, however are not the only components as Italian cuisine is huge, regional and very diverse. It is also a cuisine that is hugely developed and contains a contemporary section that is hardly ever explored outside of Italy. Therefore, the organisers of the summit found that it was of great importance to expand people's knowledge of the cuisine beyond what they refer to as 'the international Italian Cuisine'. A world class Italian Cuisine Summit was hence a must and from there the concept was born. 

While this is the 6th edition of the Italian Cuisine World Summit, it is the 2nd in Dubai. Rosario Scarpato, the Director of the summit saw that Dubai is central in location - which allows people from everywhere to easily attend the summit - as well as becoming a city referred to as the Food Capital of the world, he decided to make Dubai the home of this summit. 

What is such an objective and vision without the participation of the utmost experts of Italian cuisine? And how will the summit portray Italy's diverse regional cuisines, the modern interpretations of classic cuisine as well as the unique produce and philosophy behind the cuisines within it without involving all these experts and active members of each category? Hence, the summit organisers saw that by bringing Italy's best Michelin Chefs, food experts and renowned food producers, they will allow everyone to experience the authentic tradition of this world famous cuisine, as well as be exposed to its ever developing side by sampling the creation of Italy's most avant-garde chefs in the form of Michelin menus created by these top-notch Michelin chefs for Dubai to savour. 
To shake things up and make it all more exciting, they went with having these Michelin chefs take over the kitchens of Dubai's favourite and most upscale Italian restaurants. Diners could book a Michelin dinner and experience the chefs' michelin menus at the comfort of their city without having to book flights and travel to the different Michelin restaurants. This way they get to explore all that is new, fine dining and outstanding in Italian cuisine today. 
But that is not it! Since people are trying other food concepts than their classic pastas, lasagnes and pizzas, and should they be interested to learn the techniques behind producing such new Italian concoctions they could do so by attending the masterclasses held at the Emirates Academy where the chefs in turn will demonstrate how they prepared these dishes, all the while telling attendees what inspired their creations, as well as explain their regional cuisines and the regional characteristics of each kitchen. Well if that was not enough, each demonstration is proceeded by a specialised masterclass that covers the topic of the day in depth; like the making of fresh pasta for example, or the art of using dry pasta... or gelatos and semifredos, or even butchery... in the form of "all there is to know". Participants are then free to pick their preferred topic or masterclass to attend, where they will learn from the real masters the essence of the knowledge and ability which these great chefs and experts have spent years researching and practicing to perfect.

Furthermore, and most importantly to the organisers, the summit has another objective that is more focused on Italian cuisine professionals abroad, from chefs to suppliers, as well as writers and editors....etc. Here the focus is more in-depth, more professional and aimed to assist and enhance the performance of these professionals in their jobs. From interacting and first-hand learning from the guest Michelin chefs, to certified courses, expert competitions as well as produce expert courses and updates on all things new. 
The summit organisers find it very important for Italian chefs abroad to keep in touch with their ever developing cuisine and Italian produce as well as to stay reminded of the importance of keeping true to the authenticity of the cuisine and its traditions instead of being diverted into 'international Italian cuisine' or limited to that experience. 

The organisers of the Italian Cuisine World Summit rightfully find that true Italian restaurants have to be true to authentic Italian cuisine. 

This part of the summit included many seminars, training workshops, certified courses as well as in depth explorations of the above. It also included competitions among Dubai's Italian chefs where they were to be judged based on all the above mentioned as well as technical merit, presentation, innovation and overall eating experience.


We all know how I always go on about the importance of authentic cuisines, traditions as base even when we move on to contemporary; as well as understanding and savouring the culture behind food & local cuisines and exploring new cultures, eating experiences and ultimately better understanding areas and people through their food. So it was only natural that I will have a soft spot for such a gathering and concept as  the Italian Cuisine World Summit. 

While I am keeping you posted with all that is taking place, my main objective from the beginning, as ever, is 'the story' and the significance of the experience, which I am compiling for you as we speak. Blogging sometimes forces one to be distracted from the experience in order to cover the event. However in this case, I found that "the later gram" concept is called for, as first and most importantly, I have to experience and compile the story in order for me to tell it fully and justly. So while you guys are hopefully enjoying the Michelin dinners, seminars, events and masterclasses... am running around town following the stories (very stubbornly at times) which are beautifully unfolding and capturing every minute possible. These will be all posted in video for you not to miss anything, also for the least interference on my behalf as I would not want in this case for my voice to shine, but that of these great people and this absolutely unique event that am covering. I will however be sharing my "From Food To Life" take in the form of blog posts here. And of course as you already know I have been updating the daily happenings on my social networks and so on...

So for now here are the restaurant schedules with their Michelin guest chefs for the remaining few days before wrap up. 

If you have not yet experienced this, you really must, truly unique absolutely delightful to culinary travel throughout Italy here in Dubai!

Yalla back soon....

Saturday, 15 November 2014

Masterclasses With Michelin Chefs - All the details for this week's classes

Why not? Just go for it!

If you still have not attended a masterclass with the Italian Cuisine World Summit Michelin Chefs and Italian cuisine experts don't miss out! Because these classes are truly remarkable. I mean how many times do we get the chance to learn from Michelin chefs and cuisine experts, who spent years practicing and perfecting their techniques and skills? This is a rare chance to do so and only 4 days are left.

Those who attended the classes have really enjoyed them and found them informative and very useful. Here are a few accounts by Dubai-based food bloggers on the sessions they attended.
So go ahead and book your masterclass. Below are the details for the remaining 4 days, where you have the day's topic, timing as well as the Michelin chefs demonstration sessions.

The sessions are all held at the The Emirates Academy Of Hospitality Management. The price of the session is AED 250.00

Contact Patrizia for more details or to register +971 55 780 4746




#italiancuisineworldsummit #MasterClasses 

Become A White Truffles Expert - ICWS Italian White Truffles Course Details

If you guys are interested in attending The Italian White Truffle Sessions here are the details:


- 3:00 - 4:30 PM:
Economy of white truffles. & How to buy the best at the right price and guided tasting.

- 4:30 - 5:15: 
Master Cooking Class with White Truffles 1 (including a tasting)

5:15 - 6:00 : 
Master Cooking Class with White Truffle 2 (including a tasting)
by Chef Eicke Stainort,

- 3:00 - 4:30 PM: 
Grape beverages and white truffles, principles of the perfect paring

- 4:30 - 5:45 PM : 
Master Cooking class 1 (including tasting and grape beverages paring),

- 6:00 PM: end of the course

The sessions are all held at the The Emirates Academy Of Hospitality Management. If you wish to attend just one day, you can do so at the price of AED 750.00 per day (AED 1500.00 for both days) Really the price of one truffle dinner with wine pairing!

Contact Patrizia to register +971 55 780 4746 #italiancuisineworldsummit #MasterClasses

Tuesday, 11 November 2014

1001 Nights of Italian Cuisine fully launched!




The 6th Edition of the Italian Cuisine World Summit 2014, which crowns Dubai as the ultimate World Food Capital, kicked off with an extraordinary Gala Opening Party at The Rixos Hotel on the Palm on November 7, 2014.
Last year over 450 guests participated in the Party, the cream of Dubai F&B industry, distinguished media, VIPs and discerning food lovers who enjoy the best of what Made in Italy has to offer. A similar crowd had been invited this year to celebrate the kick off of the summit and welcome a stream of 30 other Michelin-Starred Italian chefs who will join forces with local Italian chefs in some of Dubai’s most exclusive Italian restaurants with a common aim: to showcase, celebrate, promote and educate about traditional cuisine and its quality ingredients.

Watch the video below for bits and pieces from the party

Michelin-starred Master Italian chefs, Exclusive Creations 
TANO SIMONATO(Tano Passami l’olio, Milan *) 
CLAUDIO SADLER(Sadler Restaurant, Milan **)
TOMMASO ARRIGONI(Innocenti Evasioni, Milan*)

assisted by Kjell Kollins, Rixos Executive Chef and Francesco Cavazzina, Chef of L'olivo, the Italian restaurant in the hotel, had presented some exclusive creations that the two Michelin chefs had developed specifically for this Gala Evening.

The evening was bustling with the

Italian Dolce Vita Spirit,
especially listening to the fun tunes of
 the Summit's Favorite Italian Swing band 
who performed some amazing and fun tunes to set the spirit for the whole summit as well as entertain a very enthused crowd. 
The band will join us again at the Piazza Grande Food show on 14-15 November, and finally, a final performance on 20 November at Merletto to help us close the Summit in swinging style!

The opening Gala also included the angelic voice of the


who officially opened the Gala Party along with the pianist Mariola Sokolowska.

Ms. De Rosa is currently starring in La Boheme by Giacomo Puccini and t
he Italian Embassy to the UAE and the Italian Industry & Commerce Office in the UAE are proud to present La Bohème by Giacomo Puccini, an italian opera concert featuring the internationally prominent singers Soprano Monica De Rosa McKay, Tenor Gian Luca Pasolini, Baritone Giuseppe Altomare, Soprano Julia Teal Kermott, Bass Luca Gallo accompanied by the pianist-conductor Piero Corradino Giovannini, narrated by Claudia Barbieri Di Maggio and directed by Della Del Cherico.Tickets are available from Ductac Box Office 043414777 or online at  www.ductac.org & www.timeouttickets.com
The concert will be followed by a VIP cocktail reception at Merletto, Marriott Hotel Al Jaddaf, Dubai

The Summit is offering many events, activities, certified professional culinary courses and a wealth of Michelin dinners for Dubai to enjoy. Make sure to take part and enjoy this really special Italian feast...

Monday, 10 November 2014


*Chef Marianna Vitale,
Lady Chef of the Year by Esspresso Guide 2014

Three Acclaimed Chefs to Create One Special Menu

BiCE Mare, the multi-award winning Italian restaurant located in Souk Al Bahar, announces a special ‘Taste of Napoli’ night featuring an exquisite menu created with the combined talent of three different Michelin Starred Chefs. 
On Monday 17 November, Chef Salvadore Bianco, Chef Pasquale Palamaro and Chef Marianna Vitale, all originally from Naples, will prepare a sumptuous seven course menu* as part the exceptional event held during the sixth Italian Food Summit, running from 7 to 20 November.

This exclusive menu will feature signature dishes from each chef, including Italian style tuna tartare, and pasta with cream and mussels for anti-pasti, followed by the main pasta dish of linguine with squid ink and calamari. For the fourth and fifth courses, diners will be able to savour best of both land and sea, with red mullet, lemon leaves and cream, followed by slow cooked beef served with traditional Napolitan sauce. To end on a sweet note, guests can indulge in a raspberry semifreddo and creamy ricotta cheese served with pear and a crunchy hazelnut biscuit.
*The exclusive menu is priced at AED 1,000 per head inclusive of grape pairings. The restaurant will also be serving a non-alcoholic menu upon request.

In addition to this special evening, Chef Marianna Vitale has created a distinct seven course menu* which will be served at BiCE Mare for four days through 16 – 19 November

At the mere age of 34, Marianna is one of the youngest female Michelin starred chefs in the world. She has also been awarded Lady Chef of the Year by the Espresso Guide 2014. The authentic Italian menu will include salted cod with creamy chickpeas and tomato confit, octopus and couscous with eggplant puree and aged caciocavallo cheese, lamb with ricotta cheese and peas, small pastry tart with hot meringue and dark chocolate.
*The Marianna Vitale seven course menu is priced at AED 550 per head.

Sharing his excitement about having three Michelin starred chefs cooking at BiCE Mare at the same time, Executive Chef Francesco Guaraccino said:

“This is truly a once in a lifetime opportunity. Having three of Italy’s finest chefs coming together cooking in our restaurant is a dream come true. They have worked really hard to create the perfect menu that shall appeal to the local palate, and we are very excited to offer this to all our guests.” 

Book now at 
bicemare@biceinternational.com  | +971 4 423 0982 

Yalla, Back soon...

Sunday, 9 November 2014

Dubai's Exlusive, Members Only, Capital Club Opens Its Doors To The Public During ICWS 2014

Culinary enthusiasts in Dubai are in for a treat as the annual Italian Cuisine World Summit had kicked off on Friday Nov. 7th, bringing the city Italy's best Michelin Chefs and Cuisine Masters to both cook for and educate Dubaians in the arts of Italian food.

The Capital Club Dubai’s premier private City Club and member of the ENSHAA group of Companies, is set to be front and centre of the food extravaganza’s delectable range of events. The Capital Club will be hosting no less than eight of these gastronomic impresarios for a series of tantalizing celebrity chef evenings.

Emma Cullen, Capital Club General Manager remarked, 
“Fine dining forms an integral part of the range of premier services that the Club offers its Members and their guests and the Capital Club is no stranger to delicious celebrity chef events. That being said, the series of evenings planned for the Summit are sure to be a cut above the rest. This is a unique opportunity for our Members to sample the culinary expertise of some of the best chefs in the world of Italian cuisine right here in Dubai – the city that fast is becoming the undeniable food capital of the world – and we are looking forward to spectacular evenings spent enjoying a delectable range of Italian specialities.”

The Capital Club Italian Cuisine World Summit line-up will include 
  • Claudio Sadler from **Sadler Restaurant
  • Igor Macchia from *La Credenza
  • Marco Sacco from  **Piccolo Lago  (he will also be presenting the Summit dining room laboratory at the Club).
  • Pino Cuttaia from La Madia 
  • Vincenzo Candiano from Locanda Don Serafino
  • Anthony Genovese from Il Pagliaccio 
  • Andrea and Maurizio Serva from La Trota Restaurant (each with two Michelin stars to their credit).

Watch the preview of Capital Club Michelin Dinners in the video below

Book now at Member.Services@capitalclubdubai.com  |  +971 4 364 0111

Capital Club, 7pm onwards  |  Members AED 420* per person   |  Guests AED 490* per person
*Inclusive of 4 Course Set Menu & Ferrari sparkling wine welcome drink

To view the Chefs’ schedule & bio, visit Capital Club Events Calendar at www.capitalclubdubai.com/PublicEventManagement.aspx

Yalla back soon with more....


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