The fourth edition of the Week of Italian Cuisine in France included about 40 events aimed at promoting the Italian approach to healthy food and to food and nutrition education organized thanks to the support of the Italian institutions in the Country, primarily the Embassy of Italy in Paris and the Consular network but also the Institutes of Culture, the Chambers of Commerce, and many others as well as local public and private actors. The rich calendar of events took place in the main French cities: Paris, Lyon, Strasbourg, Metz, Marseille and Nice. The common denominator of this multitude of events was the attention and passion of the French public for Italy and its cuisine, with a special mention for Venice – affected by the recent floods.
The events organized for the Week were covered widely by the press and echoed extensively across the social media. Among the many events that were held, mention should be made of the cocktail offered by the Italian Ambassador in Paris, Teresa Castaldo, with the participation of over 350 personalities and protagonists from the cuisine and catering worlds. In the Paris region alone, as many as 16 events were held, covering a plurality of languages and formats – from tastings to conferences, from cinema to music, from competition to the market. It is worth pointing out that many of these events received momentum from the twinning of Italian and French cities – Lille and Turin, Tours and Parma, Dijon and Reggio Emilia, Orleans and Treviso, Burges and Forlì.
Numerous events were held in various regions also under the auspices of the Italian Consulates in Nice, Marseille, Lyon, Metz, and Strasbourg. Here as well, the many different facets of Italian cuisine and culture were celebrated through a variety of different approaches and languages – cooking workshops, scientific conferences, book presentations, art exhibitions, documentary screenings, and much more.
The exhibition hosted at the Italian Cultural Institute in Paris deserves special mention, “Diplomacy at the dinner table. A journey through the menus of Giulio Andreotti’s archive “, curated by Luciana Devoti and organized in collaboration with the Sturzo Institute in Rome, the institution where the personal archive of Giulio Andreotti is kept. By focusing on about fifty menus, out of the 1300 preserved by Andreotti during his fifty years of political life, the exhibition represented a journey into the heart of the history of the twentieth century through famous people and famous dinner tables, underlining the importance of Italian gastronomy in international relations.
The public showed special appreciation for the four workshops dedicated to handmade puff pastry, organized in Marseille with the participation of the “mariette” of Casa Artusi, a prestigious foundation of excellence created by the Municipality of Forlimpopoli and supported by the Emilia-Romagna Region for the promotion of the regional and Italian gastronomic heritage. Three out of the four workshops were reserved for the students of the local elementary and middle schools of Chevreul-Champavier, Marseilleveyre (Italian international section) and Victor Hugo, and were aimed at promoting food and nutrition education among the younger students of French society.