26-11-2021 by Freddie del Curatolo
The highlight of the Kenyan edition of the Week of Italian Cuisine in the World was held on Wednesday 24 November at the residence of the Italian Ambassador in Nairobi.
Much more than a "show cooking", it represented the moment of attraction and the icing on the classic cake of an evening in which the gastronomic specialties of our home made the master.
In fact, as suggested by this year's theme of the event ("Tradition, Innovation and Sustainability") and by a leitmotif dear to Ambassador Alberto Pieri, that of inclusiveness in the name of environmental protection and territorial culture, the evening in which a reduced number of guests were able to participate, due to the limitations of the pandemic, proposed several themes and interesting ideas.
Before the performance of chef Giacomo Gaspari, in turn "ambassador" (of the tradition of Italian cuisine in the world), thanks to a video produced by the Italian Cultural Institute, six Italian non-profit organizations working in the field of agriculture and food production, in close contact with local communities and with social projects and linked to development and environmental protection, were presented.
From the NGO Manitese, which has been working for years in the difficult areas of Baringo and Nakuru, to IPSIA, which intervenes in the semi-arid areas of Laikipia, to the dairy project of Caritas, a video broadcast in preview presented these praiseworthy Italian initiatives on Kenyan soil, with the possibility of also tasting the final products: honey, cactus juice and mushrooms, which found their best position in the Italian dish proposed by chef Gaspari, risotto.
A cooking academy performance in front of a very interested audience, who couldn't wait to taste the creation. But Gaspari had already been the day before in a real institute in Nairobi for aspiring chefs, holding a masterclass for the enthusiastic students.
Sautéing, toasting carnaroli rice, watering and evaporating white wine, cooking with broth, mantecatura with parmesan cheese and final "jump". All the stages of a classic Italian risotto explained in full by the talented chef of the Diamond Dream of Africa in Malindi with an exceptional "sous chef", complete with hat: Ambassador Pieri. Dish garnished with a brush of beet, crispy sage, red turnip and raw mushrooms marinated in oil and lemon.
A real delight, tasted by those present who were then able to enjoy a roundup of other Italian specialties offered by the "Pomodoro" restaurant in Nairobi, ending with the inimitable desserts of "Nonsologelato", including ice creams produced for the occasion with milk from the "Milky" project of Caritas. A more than successful evening that combined the pleasure of deepening the culture of good and healthy Italian eating, nowadays very much linked to environmental sustainability.
The final event of the cooking week, moving from the Nairobi plateau to the shores of the Indian Ocean, and from a land dish to fish, where sustainability is called "Blue economy", will be held in Malindi, again with Giacomo Gaspari and in the presence of Ambassador Pieri and many local personalities and operators in the "front line". Show Cooking by invitation only at Dream of Africa.
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