Tag: Inclusive

Inclusive Identities, to discover the world we would like to live in – Italian cuisine reinvented by Gordon Ramsay

Inclusive Identities, to discover the world we would like to live in

It is called Identità Inclusive because no other name could have immediately clarified the concept: «Identità Golose, too well known not to use it at all, would have been generic. Adding something that alluded to “social catering” would not have had the same immediacy as “inclusive”. Paolo Marchi – creator and founder, in 2004, of the first, famous annual Italian congress dedicated to international haute cuisine – has just launched the new project with Vito Valenteamong the promoters of XFood restaurant at the ExFadda urban laboratory in San Vito dei Normanni, in the province of Brindisi. An inclusive restaurant, precisely, because it has been giving for exactly ten years regular employment for girls and boys with cognitive disabilities. To which the Virgola therapeutic pastry shopnot far away, where he led the excellent brigade to which others would not have given any chance it is nothing less than Nicola Di Lena, former pastry chef at the Seta** restaurant at the Mandarin Oriental in Milan. It was he who, last summer, recommended XFood to Paolo Marchi, on holiday near Leuca, who in August finally faced the 140 km distance to dine “in the excellent restaurant”, where the chef Giovanni Ingletti enhances local excellence in menus mainly based on fish based on seasonality. And where the idea of ​​Identità Inclusive was born from the meeting with Vito Valente, which concerns good cuisine because «if I go to a place that employs disabled people and I eat badly, I clear my conscience once and never go back adds Marchi. And so not only does the project fail in the long run, but it also lacks respect for those who invest passion and effort in it every day. Especially if that effort is already burdened by the limits imposed by disability.

Maximum examples of inclusion

To best summarize the concept, during the first edition of the event – on 9 and 10 June – it was Dario Siciliano, disability guarantor of San Vito dei Normanni, who during the meeting with the local authorities in the magnificent Castello Dentice di Frasso in nearby Carovigno, said “simply” this: «When the Virgola pastry shop opened in the village, all my friends they recommended going there because the desserts were delicious. Nobody explained to me that disabled kids also worked there. Here you are, this for me is the greatest example of inclusiveness. And it’s the common thread of two incredible days, from the first informal dinner on the XFood terrace to the final one which involved internationally renowned chefs. While in the adjacent theater of ExFadda – a disused wine factory transformed into a space for social aggregation and innovation – the protagonists of small, large stories of love and respect finally spoke out: that of Giovanni Primiceriofor example, which has just launched the workshop for autistic children in Ostuni Orecchiette-The pasta I would like, gluten free and with purified sea water, without added salt. You hate Davide Macchifather of Carlo, who founded thePappalunga bio-inclusive farm: the products grown by young people with cognitive disabilities are already in the kitchens of starred chefs, and will soon also arrive on Cortilia. And again: the award-winning pizza chef from Campania Franco Pepe he recounted his past experience as a support teacher in difficult neighborhoods, in “schools that were not suitable for at-risk kids, or for anyone else.” This is why you left almost immediately and founded it pepper in grains in Caiazzo, in the province of Caserta, «involving 7 of them, who have now become 50. An attitude shared, in Lecce, by the chef Floriano Pellegrino of the two-starred Bros’, which across the Bros Rugby Club engages young people from the Apulian suburbs with the aim of involving them in the Italian and international professional scene. He was also there at the first edition of Identità Inclusive Antonio Guidachef of the Seta** restaurant at the aforementioned Mandarin Oriental in Milan, but above all father of Viola, suffering from a very rare cognitive disorder: every month, he opens the doors of his house together with his wife Luciana for a special lunch, the proceeds of which he claims The small houses, a new center in Milan for autistic children, managed by the non-profit organization L’abilità. «I have a disabled daughter, and for me everything I’m listening to today is wonderful, she commented, and then underlined the crucial importance of donations: «They must be constant. Better a little regularly than a lot at once, to guarantee continuity for the associations.” However, his friend and colleague was not there Massimo Bottura, who in the same days addressed these very issues at the UN, and who, following the diagnosis of autism of his son Charlie, created the well-known Tortellante training center in Modena. But his Casa Maria Luigia he was still present thanks to Jessica Rosvalchef of the Al Gatto Verde restaurant and co-founder of Roots, intended for the professional inclusion of immigrant women. “The conversations are changing,” she told us. And after the two days of San Vito dei Normanni, we are convinced of this. «Now that we have finally met, let’s stay in touch, talk to each other, network, concluded Paolo Mancinelli of the Trattoria de Gli Amici, in Rome Trastevere, which belongs to the community of Sant’Egidio and employs staff with disabilities. And this is precisely the objective of Identità Inclusive, through a website and possibly a double annual event, one of which is in northern Italy.

Respect for beauty

And finally we talked about beauty. Because giving dignity to work, especially in this field, also means valuing it in hospitality. As the designer did Sara Mondaini with the XFood restaurant – his project was nominated for the Golden Compass in 2015 – designed to «make people feel at home and invite conviviality. Through, for example, «a very long table created by placing extensions of old tables side by side, where we can all dine together. Since not everyone is always ready to break down their barriers towards others, she made sure that the individual extensions could be removed, thus obtaining divided tables. “I would have been sorry, but in ten years no one has ever asked.” And it is precisely on this table that we participated in the final charity dinner, enjoying in order: the Fried pizza which embraces the world of Franco Pepe; there Crispy anchovy onion salad by Giovanni Ingletti; there Eggplant Suya by Jessica Rosval; The Raspberry risotto and herb cream by Antonio Guida; The Beef and capers by Floriano Pellegrino; The A summer night’s dream by Nicola di Lena. The room was full, the pace was fast-paced, there wasn’t even a small, more than understandable, flaw in the service. «We always tend to underline the limitations of disabled people, never their potential, he maintains Vito Valente. «Instead they all have, truly, a lot to give. We also had proof of this behind the scenes, and it was an honor to witness their incredible professionalism.

Jessica Rosval talks about her inclusive cuisine – Italian cuisine reinvented by Gordon Ramsay

Just enough time to realign with the time zone, and Jessica Rosval is already in San Vito dei Normanni for the first edition of Identità Inclusive, on 9 and 10 June, a new format by Paolo Marchi and Vito Valente aimed precisely at connecting the most socially virtuous realities in the world of catering. Because, obviously, she couldn’t be missing here: born in 1985, Canadian, chef of the Al Gatto Verde restaurant at the Casa Maria Luigia hotel (fresh from three Michelin keys) by Massimo Bottura & Lara Gilmore, in 2020 she founded together with Caroline Caporossi L’Association for the Integration of Womento help immigrant women – “the most disadvantaged on a socio-economic level in all of Europe” – to take root in the territory.

The interiors of Roots, in via Francesco Selmi 67 in Modena, open from Tuesday to Saturday evening.


In 2022, with the third co-founder Maria Assunta Ioele, they opened Roots, the «restaurant where the people of Modena can discover who their new neighbors are and appreciate also through food the great value that all immigration historically entails thanks to Nigerian-inspired menus, for example, or Moroccan ones created by Jessica Rosval. To which are added training courses on meat, fresh pasta, cutting techniques and so on to provide “a very solid basis”. After three months of intense work, regularly paid, the interns change: «In two years of activity, 43 women have participated in the project so far. And we’re happy to say that those who have completed the entire course are working regularly in the kitchens of Modena in 95% of cases. But it’s already time to look further: «Now we would also like to help them build their own business plan and launch their own businesses. And above all, now, after the confirmation of the great interest aroused at an international level, we would also like create a model that can be reproduced anywhere. Because every city needs its own Roots intended for disadvantaged people, obviously without profit: in our hearts we know that the world needs this.”

Identità Inclusive, the 2 days to enhance social and sustainable catering – Italian cuisine reinvented by Gordon Ramsay

La Cucina Italiana

Creating a network between realities that promote work inclusion through gastronomy: this is the goal of Inclusive Identitiesthe new initiative to be held on 9 and 10 June in San Vito dei Normanni, in the province of Brindisi. The program includes a meeting and an inaugural dinner Sunday 9 June at the restaurant XFood. Monday 10 Juneinstead, participants will visit the Torre Nature Reserve Guacetorecently awarded as the best inclusive park in terms of accessibility for people with disabilities, followed by a talk in Dentice Castle in Frasso di Carovigno and a final brunch with local producers. The afternoon will be dedicated to debates in the restaurant theatre XFoodwhich will end with a charity dinner hosted by chefs such as Franco Pepe, Giovanni Ingletti, Jessica Rosval, Antonio Guida, Floriano Pellegrino and Nicola di Lena. Among the guests of the two days, in addition to Felicita Pistilli, journalist of Tg1 and always attentive to social and Third Sector issues, there will also be Davide Groppi, Domitilla Dardi, Patrizia Catalano, Sara Mondaini who, together with other guests from the world of design, will hold talks dedicated to the theme of beauty.

Over the years, the numerous solidarity projects involving the restaurant sector have had countless merits. However, one aspect often overlooked was gastronomic quality: virtuous projects that lacked an imprint of culinary excellence. Recently, however, more and more initiatives are emerging which, while maintaining the principles of solidarity and inclusiveness, offer products and dishes of the highest quality. Emblematic examples are Tortellante by Massimo Bottura and Roots by Jessica Rosval. Identità Inclusive was born with the aim of filling this gap in the gastronomic quality of solidarity projects.

Even the choice of the city is not random: in San Vito dei Normanni, it has been operating since 2014 XFood, a “social restaurant” that for ten years has combined good food with 0 km products and a commitment to solidarity by promoting the dignity of work for women and men with disabilities. It also opened in San Vito dei Normanni Comma, a “therapeutic pastry workshop”, a space that offers training and employment to young people with disabilities (in particular those affected by autism), to single-parent families with a precarious income, to victims of domestic violence and to people with social difficulties. A project of great importance, which earned Nicola di Lena, pastry chef of the project, the recognition of the President of the Republic Sergio Mattarella as one of the thirty “everyday heroes” of 2024.

«These extraordinary realities that previously remained hidden are increasingly coming to light – he explains Paolo Marchi, Founder of Identità Golose and of the Identità Inclusive project, together with Vito Valente, president of the Cooperativa Includi, – Identità Inclusive wants to give them afurther showcase, thus helping them to make themselves known and become reference models for many others. The meaning is: I don’t participate in a solidarity dinner, I don’t buy a productsocially committed company, solely for ethical reasons, because “I want to be generous”, but also because I recognize the quality of the work behind it.”


The welcome

Inclusive – the fried pizza that embraces the world of Franco Pepe

Crispy anchovy onion by chef Giovanni Ingletti

Eggplant Suya by chef Jessica Rosval

Raspberry risotto and herb cream by chef Antonio Guida

Beef and capers by chef Floriano Pellegrino


A summer night’s dream by master pastry chef Nicola di Lena

Dessert buffet at Virgola Pasticceria


When: Monday 10 June

Where: XFood restaurant in San Vito dei Normanni (Brindisi), via Brindisi 72019

Cost of dinner: €150.00

To book or receive further information, call +39 366 8913041 or write to the email address info@ristorantexfood.it

Reservation required by Thursday 6 June by bank transfer made out to:

Include Società Cooperativa Sociale Onlus

Reason: Booking of the charity dinner for the 10th June Identità Inclusive Festival

IBAN coordinates: IT16D0103079280000000400142

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