On a dinner like this, you open all your senses. Di Che Pasta Siamo makes you listen to the stories being told, taste the food that is being cooked, smell the magnificent scent of Italian cooking, admire the creativity of Italian design, and touch the texture of each creation. You ponder how sublime the Italian world can be. Family traditions continue for generations without failing on one single thing that is sacred to each and every producer of any product. Quality is a sacred word to any Italian production and for us consumers, we should strongly keep the concept of Made in Italy upright because it is an important seal of excellence, innovation and creativity.
3 March, I was on a morning train to Milan to attend the Di Che Pasta Siamo event at the newly-opened De Padova Furniture Showroom. Traveling from Rome to Milan on a 3-hour trip and a few more hours of waiting and more traveling to reach the hotel in the afternoon did not deter my desire to be there because I was driven by my belief in supporting quality Italian craftsmanship. It was going to be a night of celebration of excellence that family traditions kept synonymous with their products. There were 16 protagonists and Chef Vittorio Fusari, a Michelin-starred chef from Ristorante Pont de Ferr was cooking the dinner with their products.
Di Che Pasta Siamo is a series of dinner events created by Paola Barzano for Boffi Furniture Company in 2013 (De Padova merged with it in 2015) with fine Italian companies as partners that share their products in enjoying food, wine, and hospitality and to bridge meetings between the producers and the people behind the worlds of design, architecture, food and media. They have been taking place in different Boffi Showrooms like in Milan, Zurich, London, Los Angeles, New York, Rome, Berlin, and Copenhagen. Di Che Pasta Siamo was based on the idea of an organization of a party among friends at home where everyone takes something to share and enjoy thus the furniture showroom and the different producers of wines, oil, different kinds of food, plates, glasses, and the chef who cooks what they take.
With a solid foundation of 400 years of milling experiences of two historical Italian families, the Agugiaro and Figna families, Agugiaro e Figna Mills was born in 2003 after they merged their companies. The line of A&F Storie di Farina in Cucina is dedicated to the professionals who make bread, pasta, pasta and pizza. They also carry the brand Le 5 Stagioni which is the leading Italian flour brand that offers the highest quality flour products to pizza chefs. It's the same flour being used by Chef Pasquale Cozzolino of the NYC pizzeria called Ribalta who is known for his pizza diet.
The Rondolino family carries the rice that is considered the best in Italy (and perhaps the whole world too) by chefs and gourmet lovers because their Carnaroli superfine rice goes through stages of aging, refining and enriching which make Acquerello rice tastier, richer and healthier than its counterparts.
Four generations of pasta makers from its conception in 1872, Pastificio Benedetto Cavalieri continues to make superior pasta in its factory in the sunny hills of Apulia, south of Italy. They have received numerous local and international awards for their pasta and at the same time, they also give thematic lectures on pasta-making in the Slow Food University of Gastronomic Sciences.
|Photo taken from their site|
Brothers from the fourth generation of a family that produces extra virgin olive oil for over a century, Gionni and Paolo Pruneti preserved the family tradition and heritage. In their property in Tuscany, they continue to produce extra virgin olive oil, wine, and saffron plus they maintain a cultivation of iris that is earmarked for the making of French perfumes.
Levi Gregoris gives personal attention to every detail of the production of the prosciutto he produces down from the selection of the pork legs to the traditional method of aging. I Prosciutti di Levi was born in the town of San Daniele in Friuli, the Italian town that produces the much celebrated prosciutto di San Daniele. Levi Gregoris is armed with a long experience and passion for what he does. For these reasons, combined with the delicate balance between humidity and ventilation in the area and the antique tradition of making the prosciutto, the prosciutti that come out from his shop have exceptional quality.
|Photo taken from their site|
The consortium was started in 1991 when a group of breeders thought about starting again the production of Parmigiano Reggiano cheese using the milk of the ancient Red Cows of Reggiana breed just as how it was being done a long time ago. The milk of the Red Cows breed differs from the traditional Parmigiano Reggiano from the Holstein breed as the Red Cows produce milk with a higher performance in cheese making, aging, better digestibility, and a more persistent and delicate flavor. Aside from Parmigiano Reggiano, they also produce ricotta and butter and their products are available in these shops abroad.
Società Agricola Sterpo is situated in the town of Sterpo, in the heart of Friuli. It farms different kinds of trout within close proximity to the river of Stella with complete respect to nature and tradition. Sterpo defines the importance of having healthy living conditions of the trout which is having cool clear waters with abundance of oxygen and currents. The proper growth of the fish yields products with very good quality. Trout is a nutritious addition to our diet as it is fairly high in protein, and low in fat and cholesterol. You can find different kinds of ready-to-eat products that are available in their on-line shop.
|Photo taken from their site|
Like a lot of Italian artisan companies, small or big, there is always a family tradition that continues from generation to generation. Mediterranea Belfiore is owned by three sisters, Simoneta, Emiliana, and Antonella Ciarlo with the support of their mother Renza. The company was started by their father in 1952 in Cecina, in Tuscany, just a few steps from the sea. They specialize in preserving biological tomatoes and other vegetables with the best growing conditions in Tuscany.
|Photo taken from their site|
Formerly the Azienda Agricola Barzanò Barboglio, the company changed its name to Il Mosnel which means heap of stones in the local dialect in Franciacorta. Il Mosnel is currently directed by the fifth generation of wine growers in the family, the children of Emanuela Barboglio, Giuliò Barzano and Lucia Barzano, along with their expert staff. Il Mosnel is one of the most notable Franciacorta wineries that produce sparkling and still wines.
From the 16th-century, Villa Angarano had a rich history of changing hands from one important family to another and when the beginning of the 1800s arrived, it finally went to the Counts of Bianchi Michiel. Now it is currently owned by the five Bianchi Michiel sisters, Giovanna, Carla, Anna, Maruzza, and Isabella, who are not only maintaining the villa to its rich splendor but also producing excellent wines and extra virgin olive oil. They produce mono-varietal red, white and rosè wines of Merlot, Vespaiola, Chardonnay, and Cabernet Sauvignon.
It all started in 1963 when Leonardo Specogna bought a plot of land in the hills of Rocca Bernarda in the heart of of the vineyards in Friuli, where the soil has qualities that are exceptional and unique for winemaking. Today, it is being directed by brothers Christian and Michele Specogna, third generation wine makers of the family. Aside from Specogna, they own another winery called Toblar in Ramandolo, Friuli. Their gold medal winner Duality Sauvignon Blanc is not to be missed.
Rosso Ramina is an Italian ceramic factory located in Lucca, Tuscany. Its products are playful, young, colorful and just evokes happiness. These products are the result of the synergism of Federica Cipriani and Stefano Gambogi. It's a good partnership of creative ideas, quality and passion for what they are doing.
Directed by Federico de Majo since 2001, this Venetian glassware company produces tasting glasses and tableware in glass. Zafferano was born with the idea of bringing out the Italian talents that the country is well-known for. Federico de Majo has always been working with glass, starting from the family's Murano glassworks where he dedicated himself to the sector of illumination. From there, he created Zafferano, an all-Italian trademark where design and glass working find their perfect union.
Albertina La Rocca and Nina Almonte both had a dream of opening a pastry shop that portrays their love and passion to cakes and pastries. Three years ago, these two friends who were both working in the same advertising agency turned to another road where they followed what is in their hearts. Their pastry shop Tortatelier was born in the shop in Via Maroncelli in Milan.
A sweet success story of a simple chocolate cake that captivated everyone in Florence then to the world. Claudio Pistocchi's has been making exactly the same classic handmade chocolate cake with his secret recipe since 1990. Along with his sister, Claudia, they make their cakes by hand one by one without using eggs, flour, sugar and butter. It is a blend of up to seven different kinds of fine dark chocolates, cocoa powder and a little bit of milk cream. Apart from the chocolate cake, they also produce other chocolate products. Try their award-winning pistachio dragees.
The pure crystal clear water that has been running down the springs of Plose Mountain close to Giuseppe Fellin's summer house became the heart and source of Acqua Plose. In 1952, Giuseppe Fellin noticed the increasing consumption of mineral water during a food fair in Northern Italy. He remembered how, in 1913, Austrian Professors Lode and Bamberger from Vienna had analyzed the water close to his home and found them to be excellent. He collected yet another sample and had it officially analyzed where it received excellent results. Four years later, his project of bottling the water of Plose Mountain came into fruition and from then on, we enjoy one of the best Italian bottled mineral water fresh from the mountains. At present, they also produce softdrinks and fruit juices.