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Italian cuisine in the spotlight: week of events for “fine palates”

TORONTO – Italian cuisine is the best in the world. There’s no need to be “politically correct”, in this case: it’s ascertained. The best, the healthiest, the most creative. 

To have yet another confirmation, it was enough to be at the presentation of the Italian Cuisine Week in the World, held on Monday evening in the spectacular location of “Don Alfonso 1890”, the famous restaurant on the 38th floor of the Westin Harbor Castle, facing Lake Ontario, with a breathtaking view of the Toronto skyline (in the pic below).

Croquettes of organic vegetables, arancini, petit fours and, especially, Rigatoni’s Vesuvius and Alfonso’s meatballs: all the tastings prepared by the kitchen of Alfonso and Ernesto Iaccarino’s restaurant “designed” by the Liberty Entertainment Group (LEG) leaded by Nick Di Donato – and nominated best Italian restaurant in the world outside Italy – they enchanted the palates of those present at the event that officially opened the ‘Week’, scheduled until November 20.

“Arancino” and “Vesuvio di Rigatoni”

To do the honors, Nick Di Donato who emphasized the quality of Italian products, which, combined with creativity, makes the Italian cuisine unique in the world. Before him, the executive director of the Italian Chamber of Commerce of Ontario, Corrado Paina, and the General Consul of Italy in Toronto, Luca Zelioli, spoke: both underlined the importance of the ‘Italian Cuisine Week in the World’, aimed at enhancing what is a real art. One of the many, in the colorful framework of Made in Italy.

From left: the executive director of the Italian Chamber of Commerce of Ontario, Corrado Paina, the General Consul of Italy in Toronto, Luca Zelioli and Nick Di Donato, president of the Liberty Entertainment Group (photo Corriere Canadese)

The ‘Italian Cuisine Week in the World’ (which reaches its seventh edition this year) is an annual run by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation and by the network of Embassies, Consulates and Italian Cultural Institutes around the world to promote culinary traditions and food and wine as a distinctive trait of Italian identity and culture.

Many events scheduled until November 20, impossible to list them all here. But they can be found on the websites of the Italian Cultural Institute ( and of the Chamber of Commerce ( We mention just a couple of them, which perhaps represent the “peak” moments of this week.

The first is scheduled for tonight (starting 6:30 pm, at Istituto Italiano di Cultura, 496 Huron Street): a talk with the famous Italian chef Cesare Battisti of the “Ratanà” restaurant in Milan. The title of the conference-event, organized by the Italian Cultural Institute Toronto in collaboration with the Embassy of Italy in Canada, the General Consulate of Italy in Toronto and Eataly Toronto, is significant: “Sustainability & Innovation: the ingredients of Italian cuisine for personal health and Planet Earth conservation” (registrations here).

Over the weekend (17-19 November), chef Cesare Battisti himself will be the protagonist of “Ratanà X Eataly”: a taste of Milan at the trattoria … Milan, at 55 Bloor Street West. On this occasion, chef Cesare will “take over” the kitchen of the Eataly restaurant to serve some of his most loved dishes (reservations here).

Another event scheduled is the one for Friday 18 November, when the Chamber of Commerce will host the tenth edition of the “Pentola D’Oro Awards”, the annual event that celebrates food and wine excellence and rewards the extraordinary contribution of individuals and companies from the food and beverage industry in Ontario. Dinner and award ceremony will bring together professionals and food lovers to celebrate innovation and progress in this sector, interacting with key players to find out more about their most recent successes.

“While we celebrate the ‘Week of Italian Cuisine in the World’ – the Chamber of Commerce explains – the ‘Pentola d’Oro’ award is the perfect opportunity to pay homage to the flavors and authenticity of culinary excellence, enjoying Italian conviviality”.

A pic from the event at “Don Alfonso 1980” and Mirko Frangella from the staff

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