The Italian Food Festival opened in Yangoon for the first time and was a big success. Organised by the Italian Embassy to Myanmar, the event enabled all Italian restaurants operating in Yangoon, along with importers and distributors of Italian food and wine products, to set up a common platform with a view to promoting and coordinating Italy’s image and its culinary traditions for the first time since Myanmar started opening up to the world a few years back. At least 1,600 people attended the event that the Italian Ambassador, Alessandra Schiavo, hosted in the gardens of the residence. A soprano sang Italian opera arias and an Italian-Burmese group played pop music, while the event’s rich program unfolded: wine masterclasses, storytelling sessions on the origins and characteristics of Italy’s most renowned products, live mozzarella-making demos and show cooking. The initiative had a two-fold goal: promoting Italian wine and food products and combating the Italian sounding phenomenon.
Seventeen “exhibitors” attended the event, including restaurants, pizza parlors, representatives of Ferrari, Aperol, Campari, Illy and Lavazza, and the most important importers and distributors of Italian products. An Italian NGO producing organic honey was also present along with an Italian grower of top-quality fruit and vegetable, an Italian cheese factory and the Myanmar Deaf Chefs, and Association founded by an Italian citizen.
The idea of opening the doors of the “Casa degli italiani” in Yangoon has contributed to attracting people that otherwise would not have had the opportunity of stepping into an Embassy, producing a very high media coverage.