Monday, July 1, 2019

TurinEpi19 talk show 1

Time flies by so quickly when you have fun and, not only the days in the Langhe and Roero wine districts were packed with fun visits, food and wine but also the Turin days were full of food, fun and sighs.

*Lucia Hannau presenting the first talk show of this 6th edition

We started this 6th editon of Turin Epicurean Capital in Turin with Gelato Village founders and owners Antonio De Vecchi and Daniele Taverna who moderated Alessandra Gambini - aka A Queen In The Kitchen - and Jyothi Aimino, Slow Food - University of Gastronomic Sciences alumna and founder of L'Erm winery in the Canavese wine district.

As it happens with most of the Italians living abroad, three of our four guests also started their career in food and wine by necessity. To Italians eating and drinking well is vital and when they can't eat what they crave, well, they make it.
This is how Italians keep their culture alive as well as their memories, social connections and businesses alive.

Antonio followed his personal passion for gelato and with the help and support of Daniele, they finally opened Gelato Village in Leicester, UK. When Ale Gambini moved to the US around 2009 she was shifting from her music career to her culinary one and without knowing it, she had planted the seed for her new path: Italian ambassador of food and culture in the USA.

*Jyothi Aimino and Antonio De Vecchi with the interpreters: Yan Wan Hua and Ginevra Palumbo

As for Jo, as we familiarly call her, her story is definitely different as she was born in India and spent the first three years of her life in an orphanage where food was scarce to say the least.
By reaction, when she was adopted by her Canavese parents, she immediately felt the bond with the land and all it represents: products, relationships and business. To these days, she dreams of helping promoting her territory, to return the bountiful she received.
Unlike Antonio, Daniele and Ale, growing up, Jo had always wished for a life dealing with food, because simply put: she loves eating, trying new flavors, textures, and sharing her food and wine adventures with like-minded people.
At first she thought she would be a nutritionist but then she learned about the Slow Food University University of Gastronomic Sciences and she didn't think twice and jumped on the wagon!
Now with her own winery and farm she is finally free to combine her passion and job, keeping the memories of growing up in the nonno's vegetable garden alive!

*Daniele Taverna with Ale Gambini and the interpreter: Maria Oliva

For both Antonio and Daniele the main mission is sharing the authentic flavors and philosophy of the Italian cuisine. They made of the Slow Food motto: fair, clean, good their own mission in life and and with their gelato parlor they basically educate while feeding.
They teach the difference between gelato and ice-cream, the importance of working with local and seasonal ingredients to respect the environment and follow a healthy diet. They try to import all the things they don't have access to in the UK, yet keeping the originality of their Piedmont roots. All this translates into: no industrial nutella gelato but rather a bunet one (Piedmont traditional chocolate pudding with amaretto cookies).

Ale Gambini's mission is teaching Americans about the food of her childhood. As Antonio put it, all around the world we easily find 'free interpretations of the Italian cuisine' and this is even more true in the US where people have generally access to a modified Southern Italian cuisine.
So, over the years, after taking cooking classes, Ale decided to devote herself to spread the Northern Italian cuisine, especially those dishes she learned from her grandma Fernanda, the real queen in the kitchen.
As she teaches at the Italian Institute of Los Angeles, she covers all the Italian 20 regions and also educates about our all Italian terroir and exact recipe regulation with DOP and IGP products. Ultimately, she conveys all those things, that when you live in Italy, you just take so much for granted.

*Left to right: Daniele Taverna, Ale Gambini, Jyothi Aimino and Antonio De Vecchi

Daniele asked about new trends in food and wine, and how social media can help bringing business today. In the Gelato Village case for example, they don't care about the trends, as their priority is the authenticity in terms of flavors and origin. Ultimately, in their case, more than just a good pic, people want the real experience: eating their amazing gelato.
Ale Gambini said that the new trends like rawtarian, vegan, gluten free and such didn't really touch her much at all, maybe because many Italian specialties are already vegan (see pasta al pomodoro or al pesto) or gluten free (some luscious risotto, guys???). As for the Social Media, they are not all the same, she prefers Instagram but in the end, only her youngest students got to her via IG, as most of her students hear about her via the Italian Institute.

Finally, Jo is not only young but also very active online and yet, she has chosen not to follow the trends like: making organic or natural wine because due to the Italian regulation, it would have been an extremely long process, if not virtually impossible. As for the Social Media, she said that she uses them to communicate the life on her winery, to invite the customers to the harvest, to enjoy the tastings at her winery and farm and ultimately to buy!

*Left to right: Antonio De Vecchi, Jyothi Aimino, Ale Gambini, Daniele Taverna

This was a very insightful talk show and we were very happy to hear our guests opinions and experiences!

As per TurinEpi tradition, after this first talk show we went to lunch!! As Antonio and Daniele were at Latteria Bera's for the cheese tasting, we had the following day, the rest of us went for lunch.

On the left: Jyothi Aimino, Christina Conte, Ale Gambini with her husband Otto;
on the right: Benedetta Oggero, Alberto Bonis, Cynthia McCloud Woodman, Jan Egan and Reine Bouton

This lunch was also the occasion to wish happy birthday to Cynthia of What A Girl Eats.
As you can see, there was a big a variety of food from gnocchi to rice salad, bresaola, pizza, farinata and one large dish of focaccia with Bra sausage had to be served yet!

TurinEpi brings people over to Turin to eat and drink their way around town😋

*Photos by Alberto Bonis

1 comment:

  1. Great speakers and wonderful lunch! Wish I was back there now, I could go another one of those fantastic pizze!! :)