Tuesday, January 18, 2011

IDIC 2010

From left: Massimiliano Alajmo, Dorothy Cann Hamilton, Cesare Casella

It's that time of year again when Italian food lovers (top chefs, restauranteurs, food industry professionals) descend upon the school to celebrate authentic Italian cuisine. On January 12th and 13th, Italian Culinary Academy Dean Cesare Casella (executive chef/partner of Salumeria Rosi) and Dorothy Cann Hamilton (founder and CEO) hosted the launch of the International Day of Italian Cuisine (IDIC) with two days of culinary workshops, demos, tastings, and dinners, showcasing all things Italian. Massimilano Alajmo, the famed chef at the three-Michelin-starred Le Calandre in Rubano, Italy, prepared the Gala dinner and closed the celebrations with a master demo.

The dish for this year's IDIC was pesto alla Genovese, which chefs around the world prepared on Monday, January 17th. This annual event is organized by the Gruppo Virtuale Cuoci Italiani (GVCI). Chef Cesare is the leader of the GVCI in the United States.

The event began with a session about pizza dough made with long leavening and the art of making Italian pizza, led by Nicola Demo of Agugiaro & Figna mills and Pasqualino Barbasso, world-champion acrobatic pizzaiolo.

Nicola Demo (left) and Pasqualino Barbasso (right)

After a pizza lunch, attendees were able to learn more about typical Italian products, such as grana Padano (introduced by Lou Di Palo, Lou Di Palo Fine Foods, New York City), De Longhi, and Birra Moretti beer.

The evening finished out with dinner prepared by Massimiliano Alajmo and a Chef's Night Out.

Massimiliano prepping

Dorothy Cann Hamilton welcoming guests

Massimiliano and Cesare talk with Tony May, owner SD-26

Thursday's activities began with the IDIC Worldwide Launch. Chef Andrea della Gatta of Tratoria Andrea, in Genoa, and president of the Consorzio del Pesto Genovese lead a panel discussion followed by a pesto competition.

Chef Paolo Monti of Gaia, in Hong Kong, prepared a special lunch, featuring Italian extra-virgin olive oil.

The day finished with a master class taught by Massimiliano Alajmo.

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