International Round-Up: Identità Golose, South Florida Rising Stars, and Mexican Salsa
This round up of features, wrap ups, and recipes is international and eclectic — from Italy to South Florida to Mexico and back in New York. It’s a small testament to the ever increasing awareness we have of what’s going on in the global culinary arena.
A recent trip to Milano, Italy and four whirlwind days at the fourth annual Identità Golose gave us a peek into what’s happening on the international scene. We were introduced to some of Italy’s finest chefs and reacquainted with some of Europe’s culinary wizards. British chefs made a strong showing in the line-up, proving their mettle and ever-increasing culinary influence around the world. Once a country mocked for its national cuisine, Britain has recently generated a number of internationally renowned chefs, including Sat Bains, Shane Osborne, and Heston Blumenthal, who, as usual, stole the show.
We walked away from Milan with confidence in the future of modern and traditional Italian cuisine. That said, we couldn’t help but notice the lack of innovation and experimentation on the sweet side. We missed the sweet and savory flavor combinations, and adaptations of scientific processes and equipment to create textures, temperature, and flavors. In general, it seemed Italian pastry is still firmly rooted in tradition; we look forward to seeing more innovation in this field in the future. Read more about what we saw at this culinary symposium in the Identità Golose 2008 Wrap-Up (which includes over two dozen photo galleries, as well!).
Several restaurant tastings in Milano also left an indelible impression, Carlo Cracco’s chief among them. Cracco’s inventiveness with ingredients and techniques was both surprising and brilliant. Check out a few of the dishes we tasted at Ristorante Cracco, along with dishes from Andrea Berton of Trussardi alla Scala, and Angelo Cangemi of Ristorante Don Carlo in our Recently Tasted Milano feature.
We’re finalizing the line up of presenting and host chefs, pastry chefs, sommeliers, mixologists, and other culinary luminaries for America’s own professional culinary symposium StarChefs.com International Chefs Congress (ICC), September 14th through the 16th in New York City. Check out our new additions to the line up — including Heston Blumenthal!
Delving deeper into the theme of this year’s ICC, The Responsibility of a Chef, we interviewed Manhattan’s Citymeals-on-Wheels’ Executive Director Marcia Stein. Making philanthropists of chefs was a founding principle for the organization’s creators, Gael Greene and the late James Beard. Read the interview to discover the mission and origins of the body- and soul-nourishing organization, and how they ask chefs to participate.
While you’re there, read about our South Florida Rising Stars, where they got their culinary inspiration, their backgrounds, and the dishes they’re serving at the South Florida Rising Stars Revue on March 3 in West Palm Beach, Florida. We’ve got their bios, interviews, dish and drink recipes, and wine tips. (And stay tuned for the announcement of our 2008 Chicago Rising Star award winners!)
Miami’s Allegra Angelo, Sommelier of Michy’s, shares tips for wine service, building wine lists, and customer service in this edition of Ask the Sommelier. Jim Clarke profiles three wines, a beer, and liquor in his Recently Quaffed piece, which includes a French sparkling cider, Italian red, Oregon white, Italian beer, and Mexican tequila. And Winter Drinks Party ’08 features four cocktails that take advantage of winter’s citrus, infusing rum, gin, tequila with lemon, orange, and blood orange zests and juices.
Last but not least is our technique feature about a deeply flavored and colored salsa. Mexico City’s Carmen ”Titita“ Degollado, a godmother of Mexican cuisine, shares her recipe and technique for making Salsa Negra.