International Day of Italian Cuisines

IDIC 2013 Launch in NYC: “Tradition is not the preservation of the ashes, but rather the transmission of fire”

Giancarlo Perbellini, Rosario Scarpato and Cesare Casella (photo: Josephine Bono)

International Culinary Center Auditorium (photo: Oggi a New York)

The launch of IDIC 2013, our 6th Edition so far, took place in New York City at the International Culinary Center - School of Italian Studies with a day of great events. In the morning, Dorothy Cann Hamilton, director of the ICC, opened the Press Conference and Live Connection with Italy where the IDIC was celebrated simultaneously, as well as in other 70 countries in the world. Cesare Casella (Salumeria Rosi), ever present figure of Italian cuisine in new York City and Dean of Italian Studies at the ICC, was the host of the day. Rosario Scarpato, creator and director of the IDIC, talked about the aims of the celebration and introduced the live connection with Italy. On the other side of the Atlantic, Jerry Di Benedetto, Maurizio Palazzo and Roberta Lara, were coordinating the Tiramisu day at the Aldus Cooking School in Milan, where qualified Master Pastry Chefs prepared the classic version of the most beloved Italian sweet around the world. During the connection, Gerry di Benedetto, the coordinator of Galdus, to describe the spirit of the IDIC, mentioned the famous aphorism by Gustav Mahler: “Tradition is not the preservation of the ashes, but rather the transmission of fire”.

Tony May, Cesare Casella and Piero Selvaggio (photo: Oggi a New York)

Sirio Maccioni (photo: Oggi a New York)

“The IDIC is also the opportunity to celebrate and reward special people who gave a very important contribution to the spreading of authentic Italian cuisine around the world”, said Rosario Scarpato, introducing the Tony May´s 50 Years in the USA. Tony May, former owner of the legendary San Domenico Restaurant in New York City (now closed) and the current owner of SD26 restaurant, has been, during is long career, a pioneer in the promotion of authentic Italian food and wine in the States. He has been the controversial (for his fundamentalist stances on Italian cuisine) animator of Italian Restaurateurs’ associations and a passionate fighter of fake Italian eateries, accusing them of counterfeiting the good, healthy and tasteful Italian fare. After Cesare Casella, three people who had known Tony May very well were invited to speak: Sirio Maccioni, the founder of Le Cirque and a veteran of the New York hospitality scene; Piero Selvaggio the owner Valentino Restaurant Santa Monica (California), another icon of Italian Cuisine in the US and finally Odette Fada, May’s Executive Chef for almost 10 years. All the speech highlighted Tony’s passion, capability and determination in his life, as well a huge dose of humanity. Tony concluded remembering some of the most important steps of his career, thanking the present, and making clear that he has no intention of retiring.

Soon afterwards the IDIC inaugurated another tradition: the proclamation of New York Best Emerging Italian Cuisine chef. Based on the nominations made by 20 of the most prestigious chefs and restaurateurs of New York City (who were rewarded last year with the Italian Cuisine New York Awards), the Award went to Matteo Bergamini of SD26 Restaurant. A causal but very welcome coincidence, because Bergamini is the current chef of Tony May restaurant.

At noon started the Master Cooking Class by Guest Master Chef from Italy Giancarlo Perbellini who revealed the secrets of making the original tiramisu, with a segment on wine pairing. Rosario Scarpato, IDIC Director explained why Tiramisu was chosen to represent IDIC 2013 and stated "If there is such a thing as globalization, then Italian Cuisine has invented it. When we defend our cuisine, we defend our culture."

Giancarlo Perbellini and Alessandra Rotondi (photo: Oggi a New York)

The day ended with the IDIC 2013 Gala Dinner at the Four Seasons NYC restaurant. It was prepared by Guest Master Chef Tonino Verro (La Contea Ristorante: Neive, Region of Piemonte). A true privilege. During the Dinner the Grana Padano Italian Cuisine Worldwide Awards were presented to the winners that will flew from all over the world to receive the Award.

Click here to read the whole Program of Events.

Photo gallery