The international culinary congress Identita Golose, sponsored by S.Pellegrino, arrived stateside this month for a series of delicious events held across Chicago, New York and Boston.
Identita Golose has been spreading their unique brand of Italian based culinary curiosity for nine years in the U.S and this year's edition was no different with the likes of Massimo Bottura, Davide Oldani and Roberto Cerea crossing the pond to present alongside international chefs such as Virgilio Martinez, Ana Roš and Eric Ripert.
Starting in Chicago, the first theme focused in on Pizza and Pasta, two stalwarts of Italian cuisine but also two foundations that are being interpreted by chefs around the world in many different ways. These days brought about a collision of ideas as four chefs and four pizza makers, pooled from Italy and America, presented dishes, ideas and reflections on the Two Ps of Italian cooking.
Pizza was presented in many ways as different makers from Italy and America stepped up to offer their take on the dish: Vittorio and Saverio Borgia from Italy, Fernando Darin from LA and Sarah Minnick from Portland, Oregon, were just a few of those presenting. Corrado Scaglione who operates the Enosteria Lipen pizzeria in Italy surprised the most with a tempura pizza creation he said he discovered by accident late one evening, lubricated a little by alcohol.
Pasta was represented in many ways as Davide Oldani, Luciano Monosilio and Giancarlo Perbellini all showed off exciting takes on pasta. Stand out idea of the day came from Chicago based chef Sarah Grueneberg. She used the stage to present a clever dish of cacio pepe style spaghetti that utilised whey in the finishing of the dish, a smart move that created a deep flavour and perfectly shiny sauce.
Massimo Bottura, Virglio Martinez, Eric Ripert, Ana Ros, Caterina Ceraudo and Roberto Cerea helped create a stellar line up for Identita New York as a host of master classes, dine around events and presentations took place. The central theme of the festival was Don’t Waste The Planet and Bottura, having made food waste his mission in the past few years, was on hand to tackle the issue with food and ideas.
The Italian chef presented his newest book, Bread is Gold, which offers up a huge collection of high quality recipes that can be applied to leftovers. Bottura also presented a clever dish of mallard breast stuffed with slow cooked veal tongue, belly and tail, given what Bottura called a “royal” edge thanks to the edition of foie - yet another example of the chef adding luxury to ingredients many would discard.
Virglio Martinez during his presentation used the stage to update guests on some of his latest missions in Peru, mainly a new technique of dying quinoa using natural colours from plants and seeds. After explaining this idea the chef created a magical dish of of High Altitude Grains - a colourful plate that showed off one of Peru’s main ingredients.
Local chef Eric Ripert, of the world famous fish based restaurant Le Bernardin, gave the strongest words of warning from the entire event, telling guests about his worry of depleting resources in the ocean and his commitment to using and sourcing sustainable fish varieties. Someone who handles as much great fish as Ripert really knows his topic and his stark words on the star of the oceans stock were a take home for everyone in the audience.
For the first time ever, Identita added a new location to their US tour with a stop in Boston for a special eight-hands dinner inside Eataly at the Prudential Center. As with all the events, US/Italian culinary relationships were on display as the US based chefs Michael Schlow, Michele Carter and Chris Fischer were joined in the kitchen by Caterina Ceraudo from the Dattilo restaurant in Italy.