International Day of Italian Cuisines

IDIC 2009: a clear goal and a positive balance

By Rosario Scarpato

The recent celebration of the International Day of Italian Cuisines (IDIC) in almost 100 cities around the world the past 17th January leaves different points to be considered. The 300 chefs and restaurants of the GVCI (Virtual Group of Italian Chefs) that glued themselves to the preparation of a genuine Risotto alla Milanese, not only decreed the success of the initiative but also gave testimony that, at whichever longitude and latitude, there is a great desire for authentic and quality Italian wining and dining. Everywhere, the public’s participation was enthusiastic. Many restaurateurs, excited by the pleasure expressed by so many of their guests offered a free taste of Risotto alla Milanese to everybody.

Furthermore, seen purely from the point of view of marketing, the IDIC demonstrated that a promotional activity coordinated and carried out directly by professionals of the sector, chefs, restaurateurs and the itchefs-GVCI promoters, although done with the tightest of means, pays off much more than the hundreds of fragmentary (and often million-dollar) initiatives managed by unprepared personnel. However, the International Day of Italian Cuisines is today first and foremost a cultural movement, and then and only then a commercial one. Defending Italian oenogastronomy worldwide from supposedly Italian fakes is not a neoprotectionist reaction. Instead, it is preserving a legitimate advantage Italy has on the market, as well as both guaranteeing the consumers in every country the right to receive the products they pay for and contributing to maintaining the pleasure of culinary diversity in the world.
For Italian chefs and restaurateurs worldwide, not only those of the GVCI, the IDIC is a way of elevating their profile and of promoting a product, their Italian cuisine that is, that gives them their exclusivity.
This year’s success lets us hope that the next International Day of Italian Cuisines, the one of 2010, may turn out to be the biggest promotional event of Italian oenogastronomy in the world.