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Paris: the night of The World Restaurant Awards – Italian Cuisine


Here's what happened at the first edition of "The World Restaurant Awards" in Paris, at the Palazzo Brongniart. Awards and winners

It was fun to participate in this first edition of "The World Restaurant Awards"Last night in Paris, in that Brongniart Palace that was once the stock exchange. The prize created by the English journalist Joe Warwick among the founders of "The World's 50 Best Restaurants" and ours Andrea Petrini, influencers and talent scouts of gastronomy, together with the event agency IMG, covered the most disparate and creative categories.

Joe Warwick and Andrea Petrini (GettyImage).
Joe Warwick and Andrea Petrini (GettyImage).

With music, including Pink Floyd, and with the television presenter Antoine de Caunes, explosive and funny as always, who spoke a perfect English-speaking guy making the audience laugh (of the series you have to speak French to understand his English), they are nominated shows and winners of 18 categories.
The most surreal were the "Tattoo free chef of the year" award Alain Ducasse, which was rewarded for the skin completely diaphanous and free of tattoos with an equally white plate symbol of the event. Monsieur commented that he does not even think about getting a tattoo in this life (too busy with his Ducasse sur Seine, the Bateux Mouches gourmet that has just inaugurated) but that, if it were, you would tattoo a little square of chocolate.
Strange also the prize assigned to Alain Passard for the best Instagram profile: the three-star Michelin chef of L'Arpège in Paris, famous for his vegetables, won the award with great confidence: «I do not do anything special, every day is like the first, I love my work".
Among the presenters there were also mega musicians like Laurent Garnier, hero of French techno who awarded the prize for the best atmosphere at Jordan Kahn Vespertine, the Los Angeles restaurant with a unique concept where dishes are a magical game, sometimes even empty … "I called architects, noses, musicians to invent my concept," he says.
Bravo too Riccardo Camanini Lido 84 in Gardone Riviera, which won the "House special" award with its cheese and pepper cooked in the pig's bladder; and good too Lara Gilmore that with Refettorio and its "Food for Soul" initiative (the non-profit association created to fight social inclusion waste), it received the "Ethical Thinking" award.
The restaurant of the year is Wolfgat in Paternoster, South Africa, above Cape Town. Kobus van der Merwe, the chef, every morning he goes to the beach in front of the restaurant to look for the raw material. I think it's worth the trip.

A thousand dollars for the most stinking fruit in the world – Italian Cuisine


So much is the rarer variety of durian, considered a delicacy in much of Southeast Asia. Its price is equivalent to three times the average salary of a local resident

It costs three times the average salary of an Indonesian: the durian, considered the most stinking fruit of the way, in the variety "J-Queen", is sold to one thousand dollars (about 875 euros), in Indonesia. And its stratospheric price is triggering a series of controversies.

This rare variety of durian is sold in a shopping center in Tasikmalaya, west of the island of Java. It is packed in transparent boxes closed with a red satin ribbon and decorated with fake flowers. On the card the price is indicated: about 14 million rupees, when the average monthly salary in Indonesia, according to data from the Ministry of Labor, is about 3.94 million rupees.

Nobody buys it (it seems that only two have been bought, since it is on sale in the Plaza Asia shopping mall), but many locals go to the supermarket just to go a selfie together with the fruit, considered a delicacy in much of Southeast Asia.

The expensive "J-Queen" variety was developed by a 32-year-old Indonesian psychologist, Aka, who claims to have created a new and rare version of the durian crossing two superior varieties from different regions of Indonesia.

The "J-Queen" tree, he says, bears fruit only once every three years and its durians have a "taste of butter and peanuts". They are not oblong in shape, like the most common varieties, but round and golden yellow. "My intention was to improve the living conditions of farmers, creating top-level durians," Aka told the Indonesian news site Tribunnews, before revealing to have durian crops throughout Java. "I have it in Kendal, Pekalongan, Banyumas, Pangandaran and Gunung Tanjung, Manonjaya, Tasikmalaya."

The local farmers, however, say they have never heard of this supposedly unique variety, and confirm that the most rare and top quality Indonesian durians, the Montong and Kumbokarno varieties, they are normally sold for around 200,000 rupees, around 12.5 euros. Which for a fruit is not so bad.

Today is World Nutella Day – Italian Cuisine


It is celebrated on February 5 for 12 years: it was launched by an American blogger, Sara Rosso, passionate about the hazelnut cream signed by Ferrero

What world would it be without Nutella? We have been asked so many times in the 90s, the commercials of the legendary chocolate cream gianduia signed Ferrero. But no one has ever managed to imagine it: Nutella is the gluttony that everyone recognizes, is the branded jar, is the Italian icon that breaks down all the class differences.

It was right to give her a party: the World Nutella Day it is celebrated today, 5 February, for the past 12 years. To found the first day dedicated to the hazelnut cream was American blogger Sara Rosso, in 2007. His love for Nutella has encouraged her to bring together all the other fans of the legendary Ferrero product to celebrate their passion on social media, through photos, recipes and messages. The World Nutella Day has become a global phenomenon, the day when we talk about Nutella at home, at work and at school, in off and online communities, with family and friends.

Hazelnuts, because cocoa was too expensive

Nutella was born in Alba. In the territories around the Piedmontese city, they are historically cultivated hazelnuts: Pietro Ferrero, who had opened a small pastry shop in the city, had decided to use them to make up for chocolate, when the taxes on the importation of cocoa beans discouraged the spread of conventional chocolate. In the 40s, Ferrero sold the first batch of his "Pasta Gianduiot", chocolate gianduia, the most local chocolate version. But it is at the beginning of the 60s that the "Spreadable Super Cream" turns into the myth: Michele Ferrero, Pietro's son, proposes it in glasses, perfecting the recipe and relaunching it with the name of Nutella, from "nut", hazelnut in English, and "ella", the Italian suffix that smells of softness and gluttony. April 30th 1964 the first jar leaves the Alba factory.

It weighs like the Empire State Building

It is the beginning of a history of unparalleled success: today production, beyond 400 thousand tons, it occupies eleven Ferrero plants all over the world, with employees in 97 countries. If all the jars sold in a year were lined up, the Great Wall of China would be covered 8 times, and the weight of Nutella produced annually is equal to that of the Empire State Building.

Nutella goes with a simple and good product like bread, helps to face the day («Energy to do and to think), looks for the complicity of mothers («The experience of mothers is always Nutella). And claims its genuineness, after the controversy raised for palm oil in its formula. It is without a doubt Ferrero's first line in terms of volumes, and contributes to the positive reputation of the Italian company, which is the one with the best reputation in the world in the ranking Global RepTrak 100.

And now, for Nutella, it's time to celebrate.