International Day of Italian Cuisines


Conceived to honour individuals who have made an outstanding contribution to the introduction, spreading and preservation of the Italian food and wine culture in the countries they live in. The Awards, promoted by, are granted annually to chefs, writers, journalists and business people, for the work performed in the previous year or during their careers.

From Left: Mr. Mahmoud Al-Maeena, Mr Rosario Scarpato, Mrs Nashwa Taher, Ms Elisabetta Serraiotto (Grana Padano), Mr Amin Kadrie, Mr Francis K. Poulose, Mr Gennaro Miele and Chef Cesare Casella.

Based upon the nominations of the Italian Cuisine Master Chefs, the jury voted for the winners who this year are:

Ms. Nashwa Taher

Mr. Francis K Poulose

Mr. Amin Kadrie

Mr. Gennaro Miele

Special Jury Award to the International Culinary Center, Dean Cesare Casella and Stephanie Lyness for the Book “The Fundamental Techniques of Classic Italian Cuisine”


About the motivations:


Mrs Nashwa Taher´s story with Italy is a love story. She´s a pioneer of authentic Italian Food & Cuisine establishments in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. As a reaction to the overwhelming presence of industrial foods in the Saudi market and driven by both her broadly acknowledged business acumen and motherly instincts, she decided to import Italian food free of preservatives and artificial colouring. She has imported Italian Olive Oil for being “a natural product that even the Prophet (peace be upon him) ate and advised people to use”. On her journey to success, Mrs Taher overcame many difficulties and hurdles, together with her husband. Today, Il Villaggio Restaurants and Lounges are a unique concept with six Italian restaurants, one gourmet shop (with 75 ingredients imported from Italy), all managed by Italian chefs. 


For having created and managed in 2013 a new high profile initiative in Singapore, called Gusto Italiano, in which Italian cuisine, foods and wines are celebrated in an exemplary way. Mr Poulose showed a passionate, knowledgeable yet highly professional approach to the promotion of Italian Cuisine: with the above mentioned Gusto Italiano he managed to put together the best Italian chefs of Singapore, their restaurants, and some of the best ingredients and wines produced in Italy. Gusto Italiano is a very important educational event, which educates discerning consumers to authentic and quality Italian cuisine.


For having created what is, possibly, the most successful Italian Restaurant in the United Arab Emirates: Roberto’s, Dubai. He has surrounded himself by a deeply knowledgeable management. Quality has never been compromised in his establishment: the ingredients used in Roberto´s are, as many as possible, made in Italy. The style of cuisine of Roberto’s is true to the Italian traditions with a contemporary twist, which however doesn’t confuse consumers. Mr Kadrie has a comprehensive, up-to-date business vision of the promotion of his beloved Italian cuisine. As a part of his vision, he has recently announced the 2014 opening of Roberto’s in Abu Dhabi, and is working on other projects that will be undoubtedly beneficial to the spreading of authentic quality Italian Cuisine in the world.


For having created and managed the best Pizzeria in Beijing but, overall for having constantly educated his consumers in the appreciation of the Neapolitan pizza culture, its quality and authentic ingredients. His obsession with quality foods drove him to import his own ingredients, mainly from his family firm in Italy and also from other Italian producers. Italian chefs in Beijing acknowledge his hard work to provide them with specialty ingredients often never imported to China, a very difficult task. Mr Miele has a deep sense of community and is known for being very supportive of Italian Chefs and restaurateurs in China.


Special Jury Award to the International Culinary Center, Dean Cesare Casella and Stephanie Lyness for the Book “The Fundamental Techniques of Classic Italian Cuisine”