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Locals get taste of ‘la dolce vita’ in Italian cooking night

By Camille Dupire - Nov 23,2017 - Last updated at Nov 23,2017

Italian chef Filippo De Maio conducts a live cooking show at Spago restaurant in Amman on Wednesday (Photo by Camille Dupire)

AMMAN — Local gourmets on Wednesday had the chance to experience a taste of “la dolce vita”  (the sweet life) in a live cooking and musical show held as part of the World Week of Italian Cuisine.

“We are here to share the knowledge of the Italian gastronomy, and to promote the quality and nutritional value of this cuisine,” said Federico Vidic, head of the Economic and Cultural section at the Italian embassy.

As part of the global event, which is held by 200 embassies and consulates around the world, the Italian embassy organised a live cooking show led by famous chef Filippo De Maio, with the aim of promoting the richness and diversity of the Mediterranean cooking. 

“This second edition of the culinary event seeks to highlight the accessibility of a healthy and nutritional diet, which can be made with the simplest ingredients,” Vidic, who initiated the idea of the Italian Food Week in Jordan, told The Jordan Times at the restaurant. 

“We share many features with the Jordanian traditional cuisine, including the use of tomatoes, aubergines, oil, etc,” said Italian Ambassador Giovanni Brauzzi, stressing the importance of promoting a healthy diet and locally sourced products to ensure sustainable growth.

The celebrations will run through November 25, under the umbrella of quality, sustainability, culture, food security, the right to food, education, identity, territory and biodiversity, according to an embassy statement. 

Stressing the inclusive message conveyed by the event, Vidic said: “This night is not targeted to the elite or the upper class; we are trying to shed light on the fact that anyone in Jordan — from the urbanites living in Amman to the refugees living in the camps — can create healthy, simple recipes that require only a small number of easily accessible ingredients.”

Referring to the cooking sessions led by the Italian chef at the Zaatari and Azraq refugee camps on Tuesday and Thursday, the diplomat said that the global week comes in line with the Italian vision of food sustainability, as promoted by the Expo Milano 2015, held under the theme “Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life”.

Organised by the Italian embassy in cooperation with Instituto Polispecialistico Sorrento under the patronage of the Italian ambassador, the event witnessed the attendance of some 120 people, including the EU Ambassador to Jordan, Andrea Matteo Fontana, several Italian diplomats, local chefs and personalities, among others.

“The Italian cuisine has always been part of my inspiration,” said Iman Ammari, a noted Jordanian chef who animates the cooking show “Roya Kitchen”, commending the quality of the Italian gastronomy.

 

“Cuisine is one of the essential components of Italy’s identity and culture, and it is an honour to be hosting this event,” said Ali Goussous, manager at Spago restaurant.

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