The Food Protocol was launched

Signed by three ministers, it includes scholarships, promotion abroad, the Food Week...

Group photo with chefs and institutional represent

Group photo with chefs and institutional representatives after signing the Protocollo per la cucina italiana. In the first row, Fulvio Pierangelini, Vincenzo De Luca (general director at Promozione del Sistema Paese for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs), the president of the Agricultural Commission at the Chamber of Deputies Luca Sani, the undersecretary Ivan Scalfarotto, ministers Paolo Gentiloni and Maurizio Martina, Ice president, Riccardo Monti, and Antonio Santini

When you’re optimistic, you risk appearing naive, which is ultimately a nice way of saying foolish. Still there’s something changing. Not long ago there were doubtful smiles, scornful glances as we were telling the first steps taken by the Forum of Italian cuisine and the Food Act, here and here. This week, the third act took place, one year after the first one. And it gave some concrete results, in black and white: the Protocollo d’Intesa per la Valorizzazione all’Estero della Cucina Italiana di Alta Qualità was presented at Palazzo della Farnesina and signed by ministers Paolo Gentiloni (Foreign Affairs), Maurizio Martina (Agricultural Policies) and Stefania Giannini (Education).

It was a turning point, as Martina himself pointed out when speaking to the many chefs participating in the imposing Room of the International Conferences at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, from Davide Scabin to Carlo Cracco, from Davide Oldani to Giancarlo Perbellini, from Simone Padoan to Renato Bosco, from Cristina Bowerman to Marco Sacco, and then Francesco Apreda, Franco Pepe, Antonio Santini, Cesare Battisti, Pietro Zito, Francesco Salvo, Fulvio Pierangelini, Valeria Piccini, Giulio Terrinoni, Antonia Klugmann, Fabio Pisani, brothers Sandro and Maurizio Serva, Andrea Berton, Sal De Riso, Marco Stabile, Matteo Baronetto, Gianfranco Vissani, Marco Reitano. «I believe it’s the first time in history that the team of Italian cuisine is welcomed in such a way by such an important ministry», pointed out Martina.

What does the protocol mean? Among the main actions included, there will be the organisation of the Settimana della Cucina italiana [Italian Cuisine Week] organised by embassies, consulates and Italian institutes of culture on the last week of November, every year starting from this one; then master classes directed by foreign chefs so as to spread the values of the Mediterranean Diet and promote the knowledge of Italian food and wine excellences around the world; scholarships will be assigned to Italian chefs under 30; Italian days dedicated to high quality cooking will be organised and promoted by Coni within international sports events, starting from the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio. Throughout 2016-2017 promotional actions will include, to begin with, United States, Japan, China, Russia, United Arab Emirates and Brazil, and will then spread a bit everywhere, through the 600 Italian delegations abroad.

«Promoting real Made in Italy food, even through the collaboration with famous chefs, means reinforcing our presence in foreign markets and conquering new ones too. It’s a widespread action, included in the internationalisation plan of the government, which believes and invests more and more in a crucial sector for our country’s economy», said Martina. Valorising fine dining is one of the necessary steps: «Still we need to continue to act like a team. We, meaning the government, have taken a precise responsibility: one year ago we started a project which was no longer individual, but collective, and I must thank Paolo Marchi for this».

Ambassadors from the G20 countries, institutions and cultural and economic organisations participated as well as many of the most acclaimed chefs in Italy and abroad, as we mentioned. Cracco explained: «It’s a beautiful day, today it’s the beginning of an important action to safeguard part of our heritage, through cuisine. We need to keep a team spirit, because united we can win. We have a great potential, as we’re basically starting only now with this kind of actions».

Giancarlo Perbellini, Carlo Cracco, Simone Padoan, Pietro Zito, Marco Reitano, Max Bergami, Paolo Marchi, Antonio Santini

Giancarlo Perbellini, Carlo Cracco, Simone Padoan, Pietro Zito, Marco Reitano, Max Bergami, Paolo Marchi, Antonio Santini

Cristina Bowerman pointed out how «today Italian cuisine is united», while Oldani told us about his new role as Coni testimonial in Rio 2016, «I’m proud and honoured to work so that food and sport can become a duo focused on wellbeing. As a group of chefs united to give value to our cuisine, we felt the need to have a careful institutional representative. We now have it», and it touches four coordinated ministries, if one also counts the previous commitment taken by Dario Franceschini (Cultural Heritage).

His colleagues were not less so. «Farnesina will coordinate the promotion of fine dining and Italian high quality food and wine products in the world through our widespread diplomatic, consular and cultural network – said Gentiloni – Italian cuisine and our premium food products are an essential part of our culture and speak about Italy and our taste to millions of consumers in the world. Minister Giannini, on a mission to Africa with Mattarella, sent a video-message announcing the allocation of one million euros for 50 scholarships for young chefs under 30: «The activity we launch today reinforces the country’s strategy in the aftermath of Expo».


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