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WEEK OF ITALIAN CUISINE IN MONTRÉAL 2023

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The Italian Cuisine Week in Montreal took place from 13 to 16 November, organized in collaboration with the ICE office in Toronto, which is responsible for the whole of Canada, and the Italian Cultural Institute in Montreal.
The highlight of the Week was the gastronomic event organized on the evening of 14 November at the restaurant of Montreal’s most prestigious hotel and gastronomic training institution, the Institut du Tourisme et de l’Hotellerie du Quebec (ITHQ). For the occasion, Calabrian chef Caterina Ceraudo – a Michelin star, best Italian female chef in 2017 and Michelin green star for sustainability – created an original and modern menu, proposing dishes made with organic products inspired by the traditions of Calabria. The wine list was curated, instead,  by the ITHQ students who won the “Grand Sommelier” competition, organised by ICE. With a view to integrated promotion, the tables were decorated with lamps supplied for the occasion by the iGuzzini company, an example of Italian excellence in the field of design. The video of the candidature of Italian cuisine as UNESCO intangible heritage and, in slideshow, the exhibition ‘Bello e Benfatto, curated by Confartigianato, were broadcast on the screens. Among the 65 selected guests present were Senator of Italian origin Tony Loffreda, mp of Italian origin Angelo Iacono, President of the ICAO Council Sciacchitano, representatives of the Quebec government and consular corps, members of the Italian community, entrepreneurs, food bloggers, critics, journalists and chefs.

The day before, Monday 13 November, Chef Ceraudo held three masterclasses: two for the benefit of about 40 restaurateurs and Ho.Re.Ca. operators and one for the benefit of 20 members of the delegation of the Accademia della Cucina Italiana. The first two masterclasses, during which she was accompanied by the well-known Italo-Quebec chef Pasquale Vari, who is also of Calabrian origin, served to enhance last September’s mission of Canadian importers to Calabria and Emilia-Romagna to discover the artisanal gastronomic production companies affiliated to Confartigianato. The choice of a Calabrian chef was also aimed at increasing the attention paid to the region, which in the days immediately preceding the Week, was the focus of the Montreal Tourism and Travel Show, a setting in which projects related to root tourism were also highlighted. The third masterclass was the fruit of this Consulate General’s ongoing collaboration with the Accademia della Cucina Italiana, whose 70th anniversary was celebrated. It was also enriched by an exhibition on the Mediterranean diet by expert Filomena Alati Sclapari, in keeping with this year’s theme ‘At the Table with Italian Cuisine: Wellness with Taste‘.

The programme was enriched by the initiatives organised by the Italian Institute of Culture, in particular the ateliers on risotto in Montreal and Quebec held by Valentina Cattero, a graduate of the University of Gastronomic Sciences in Pollenzo and currently a researcher in biology, in addition to the ateliers on pastry by Dario Bivona, Quebec’s best pastry chef 2023 and author of the book ‘Les desserts de Dario’ (published by Les editions de l’homme), which was presented at the Institute’s headquarters, with a wine and dessert tasting, during the Week of Cuisine and included in the Montreal Book Fair programme.

Consul General of Italy Dr. Enrico Pavone is happy to point out the great interest of the Quebec public in Italian gastronomy in a context that sees a constant growth in imports of wines and foodstuffs from Italy. The events had a considerable following on social media, were picked up by the Italian-language television stations Omni TV and ICI Television, and by local media. Of particular note was the article that appeared in Quebec’s leading French-language newspaper Le Devoir about the World Italian Cuisine Week 2023 in Montréal.