There's no Identità without Identità di Sala. Even at the 16th edition of the congress

At Identità Milano 2021 the section dedicated to service and hospitality will explore its different facets, from catering to wines, from hôtellerie to pizza and ice creams, from digital payments to three Michelin star restaurants

Among the different sections of the Identità Milano congress, the day dedicated to dining room, hospitality and service, to the crucial work of waiters, maîtres and sommeliers is one of the most important ones. And of course it had to take place also in the 16th edition, which is coming up at the end of the week: the event will take place from the 25th to the 27th of September 2021 at MiCo in Milan, the edition having as its fil rouge the theme Building a New Future: Work. And in view of this theme too we can say it's even more important now to speak of those who work in the dining room, who welcome clients and interpret their desires, needs, and feelings.

Thoughts we find in the words of the creator and curator of Identità Golose Paolo Marchi: «I'm not sure when we started to talk of a “Dining room emergency”, years and years ago, perhaps ever since cooks became chefs and waiters remained waiters, more and more overshadowed by the success of the kitchen. I remember when, in the mid Zero years, Moreno Cedroni, speaking for the JRE Italia, promoted in one of the editions of Squisito in San Patrignano a very ambitious project: finding a new word to define those who work in the dining room and for sure are not just machines serving dishes. He had no success. For sure, there was no D’Annunzio among us, nor was there a Gianni Brera, who were formidable in their creating new words. You need creativity, culture, and that sudden sparkle in your head that has you pronounce something new, that is not however so perfect that it may seem like you found it in a book.

This time too we'll have a day entirely dedicated to service, which was penalised during the pandemic even more than the food itself. I'm afraid many restaurateurs and entrepreneurs often focused on the kitchen “because you can always find someone who can serve the dishes”. And now we must rebuild on rubble. We at Identità are giving and will always give our contribution. Never stop addressing the problem».

Identità di Sala 2021 will take place on Sunday 26th September, from 10.30 am in Sala Gialla 2-3. And this time it will include seven lessons, each one on a different aspect of service and hospitality. 

We will start with restaurants, and speak of the many topics that have to do with the new post-Covid phase, with a lesson titled Let's light up the dining room: Roberta Ceretto will also be there, representing the historic wine family from the Langhe and, in this case most of all, the three-starred restaurant Piazza Duomo in Alba; Francesca Ricci, owner in Alassio (Savona) of hotel Villa della Pergola which hosts restaurant NoveGiuseppe Pagano, owner of the Savoy Beach Hotel in Paestum (Salerno) where you can find restaurant Tre Olivi; and finally Giuditta and Arianna Gallo, the new generation directing Relais San Maurizio in Santo Stefano Belbo (Cuneo), which hosts the famous Guido da Costigliole

The next focus, Dining in the winery, will virtually take us on a tour of great Italian wineries, exploring the opportunities and hospitality offered in these special places. We will discuss this with Caterina Mastella Allegrini, who will talk about the experience with Villa della Torre in Fumane (Verona), bought in 2008 by the Allegrinis who transformed it into a wine&art relais; we will then move to the beautiful Sicily, where with Alberto Tasca we will talk about the prestigious Capofaro, "Locanda & Malvasia"; finally, Lorenza Sebasti will take us to Castello di Ama, in Gaiole in Chianti (Siena), with its Ristoro di Villa Pianigiani

Before the lunch break, we will have time to cover one of the most popular themes at Identità di Sala, with a lesson dedicated to Five-star hôtellerie. In particular we will do so with Salvatore Madonna, CEO at hotel Plaza e De Russie in Viareggio (Lucca); Laura Di Bert, Public Relations Director at Belmond in Italy, Spain and Portugal; Alfonso Pacifico, General Manager at Belmond Hotel Caruso di Ravello; and finally Valeriano Antonioli, CEO at Lungarno Collection

From 2.30 pm we will continue at Identità di Sala 2021: while it is surely important to talk of hospitality and service in prestigious, exclusive, luxury establishments like the ones mentioned above, it's perhaps more important, especially now to pay attention to establishments that are more popular, and receive plenty of guests every day. This is why this year's programme includes a focus on pizzeria hospitality, in which we'll listen to the ideas of Matteo Aloè, founder of the lucky chain BerberèVittorio and Saverio Borgia, owners of the BioEsserì pizzerias and restaurants; Andrea Graziano, who runs the Fud Bottega Sicula establishments between Sicily and Milan. 

The following lesson will have a similar spirit: as in the case of pizzerias, ice cream and pastry shops are also part of our daily life. So here comes the space dedicated to Ice cream and pastry shops, how to best welcome clients. We will discuss this with Paolo Brunelli, owner both of Gelateria Cioccolateria Brunelli and of the new Combo, both in Senigallia, in the Marche; Sal De Riso, the pastry chef from the Amalfi Coast who is now famous all over Italy and beyond; and Tuscan ice cream producer Sergio Dondoli, who runs his ice cream shop in San Gimignano (Siena). 

With the second-last lesson at Identità di Sala 2021 we will cover a different topic, that will bring us a little beyond the borders of service and hospitality, to explore the frontiers of digital payments. A crucial topic both for clients and restaurateurs, that have surely the need to make payments easier and guarantee their bookings, addressing the old problem of "no shows". We will discuss this with Andrea Arizzi, Head of New Business Italy, France and Belgium at TheFork, who's been tackling the topic for some time with the leading booking platform, and Silvia Attanasio, who is the Innovation Manager at ABI, Associazione Bancaria italiana. 

To finish on a beautiful note, we will have two famous guests with whom we will talk of restaurants on which three Michelin stars are shining: a very welcome return at Identità di Sala for Josep Roca, a master of hospitality at Celler de Can Roca in Girona (Spain), and Alessandro Tomberli, since 1995 dining room manager at Enoteca Pinchiorri in Florence. 



Translated into English by Slawka G. Scarso


IG2021: il lavoro


Identità Golose

This article is curated by Identità Golose, the publication that organises the international fine dining congress, publishes website www.identitagolose.com and the online Guida Identità Golose, on top of curating many other events in Italy and abroad

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