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An Illustrated Report from this Year's Festa a Vico

An Illustrated Report from this Year's Festa a Vico

This year saw the 10th edition of the Festa a Vico, the grand culinary festival celebrating Italian haute cuisine. Here is an illustrated tale of the event.

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Created by chef Gennaro Esposito of the two Michelin-starred restaurant Torre del Saracino, it’s become an unmissable event for lovers of fine dining. The first evening, there were two different parties: at the Torre del Saracino, some of Italy’s most famous chefs gathered together for a 12-course dinner – an example of Italian cooking at its highest levels. At the same time, many emerging talents came together in the streets of Vico Equense, having set up kitchens in the shops of Vico. It was a great city-wide event, with excellent food, music and dancing.

The second evening of the Festa a Vico was a new addition for the event: starred chefs, pizza makers, artisan beer makers and great wine producers all came together for an evening dedicated to street food at its finest. Renowned names like the three-starred Enrico Cerea and the team of Massimo Bottura all created amazing “take away” dishes. Joining the event was chef Antonino Cannavacciuolo - the Gordon Ramsay of Italy – along with Davide Scabin, Fabio Pisani from the restaurant Aimo e Nadia as well as a battalion of young chefs from all around Italy.

Turin’s beer-maker Baladin was on hand, alongside artisan pizza makers. Simultaneously, on the waterfront a concert by the composer Nicola Piovani (whose music was featured in La vita è bella by Roberto Benigni) took place. With gourmet desserts for everyone once the show was over. The third day was dedicated to starred chefs. From the northern region of Alto Adige, to the southernmost Sicily, a hundred of the best culinary talents gathered on the breathtaking Bikini beach for a session of collective cooking. Many dishes were inspired by the party’s theme: Tu vuò fa l’americano… ma sei made in Italy (“You want to be American…but you’re made in Italy”), a title taken from the famous Italian song by Renato Carosone.

It was a chance to revisit the roots of Italian cuisine, although there were three Japanese chefs present, making their own traditional specialties. For the entire evening, guests strolled up and down the beach, wandering from one culinary treat to the next. One of the highlight’s of this special event was when the former Editor in Chief of Italy’s Michelin Guide cooked for charity. The evening concluded with dancing under the stars.

Fourth day in Naples, the home of some of Italy’s most famous dishes, is not far away. So it made sense that the final day of the event was dedicated to the city’s most beloved export: pizza. Some of the most renowned executors of this simple but technically intricate dish, were on hand to discuss the secrets and know-how behind what it takes to make an extraordinary pizza. And to conclude: a guided tasting session. Guests included some of Naples’ most famous pizzaioli: Gino Sorbillo, Enzo Coccia, Franco Pepe and the Salvo brothers.

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