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Week of the Italian Cuisine in Kosovo – between taste and health

Kosovo, Settimana della cucina tra gusto e benessere
Kosovo, Settimana della cucina tra gusto e benessere

Training, health, taste. These are the ingredients of the “Week of the Italian Cuisine in Kosovo” (13-19 November), organised by the Italian Embassy in Pristina and the Italian Trade Agency (ICE) to promote the very best that the “Made in Italy” food and wine industry and know-how has to offer. The theme of the 2023 edition – “At the table with Italian cuisine: health with taste” – combines the promotion of Italian quality with the enhancement of the Mediterranean Diet as a healthy and sustainable food model.

Four teachers and five students from the “Tor Carbone – Alessandro Narducci” professional institute for food, wine and hospitality in Rome, one of the most prestigious hospitality training institutes in the Italian capital, have come to Kosovo for the “Week”. They will organise two “author’s dinners” in Pristina (Hotel Swiss Diamond) and Peja (Hotel Dukagjini) and two cooking demonstrations in the shopping centres of Kosovo’s capital (Albi Mall and Pristhina Mall). Students and teachers, accompanied by Headmistress Cristina Tonelli, will then hold master classes on Italian cuisine for new and experienced professionals of the sector in two well-established local institutions, respectively at the “Ktc” professional institute in Fushë Kosovë and at the Pristina headquarters of “Frigo Deluxe”, a company specialising in catering equipment. Organised by ICE and the Italian Sommelier Association (AIS)-Club Albania, the event will include a special “pizza and bubbles” tasting held at “L’Antica Pizzeria Da Michele” pizza restaurant in Pristina, aimed at operators in the Ho.Re.Ca. (hotel, restaurant and catering) sector, as well as specialist journalists and institutions.

The theme of the event will also be discussed in depth, with a workshop dedicated to the enhancement of the Mediterranean Diet, hosted in the Embassy and held by lecturer Ombretta Carnevali (food science and culture) of the “Tor Carbone – Alessandro Narducci” institute, aimed at nutritionists and wellness operators.

“This year’s theme wanted to emphasise the relationship between food and health and the admirable combination of experiences, methods and skills that inspire the principles of the Mediterranean food model. A lifestyle that, over the centuries, has shaped the Italian territory, managing its resources in the best possible way, using techniques best suited to the climate and the land and obtaining products of great quality that are internationally appreciated. Besides the benefits for the environment, there are also well-known health benefits. It is no coincidence that Italy has for years been at the top of world statistics for life expectancy and the average level of health of the population, especially when it comes to reducing the risks of cardiovascular diseases. Moreover, the success of Made in Italy food worldwide, which we are celebrating, does not reside only in the aggregate numbers that, in 2022, marked a new formidable record, with an export value of EUR 60.7 billion, but also in an industrial model centred on quality, where traditions and territories blend with innovation, research, culture and design”, explained Ambassador Antonello De Riu.

“Thanks to the strong connection between excellent agri-food products and their territories of origin, the agri-food industry also plays a crucial role in attracting tourists, thus providing professional opportunities for a young and open country like Kosovo. To achieve these objectives, it is necessary to focus on school programmes structured on the specific skills required by the food, wine and hospitality sector, capable of offering theoretical education and practical training through workshops, internships and training in partner companies, so as to transform schools into a point of reference for the professionalisation of young people within the local production context. The presence here in Pristina of one of the most important hospitality training institutes at the Italian national level, the “Tor Carbone – Alessandro Narducci” institute, is aimed at providing an educational model centred on Italian skills and standards to significantly increase the quality of the workforce in a country like Kosovo, which aspires to become an emerging destination by exploiting its rich natural and cultural heritage”, added Ambassador De Riu.

For the second consecutive year, during the entire “Week”, selected restaurants in Pristina will offer special Italian menus at the reduced price of EUR 10. The restaurants in question are “Bagolina”, “Bruni”, “Da Michele”, “Delish”, “Extra Fish Pejton”, “Il Gusto”, “Jana Napoletana”, “La Napoletana”, “Perla”, “Ponte Vecchio”, “Sette”, “The White Three”, and “Tutto Vino”.

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