Be Italian with Identita Golose

Identita Golose kicked off its seventh edition in the US at Chicago’s own Eataly last weekend. Its theme, “Don’t Waste the Planet,” a hot topic in the culinary community, brought together some of the world’s most talented chefs in this celebration of all things Italian. In intimate cooking seminars, these chefs, using the latest culinary techniques, taught their captive audience how to get the most out of some of the most humble ingredients. Hosted by everyone’s favorite Italian Nonna, the venerable Chef Lidia Bastianich, this outstanding lineup of culinary events was open to the public.

Identita Golose

“We are so excited to welcome these all-star chefs to Eataly under such unique circumstances,” said Eataly CEO Nicola Farinetti. “They are coming from across the globe to share cutting-edge trends with each other – and with us – in the same markets where people do their daily shopping.”

Identita Golose

“The beauty and the brilliance of Eataly is that the ingredients to execute are within arm’s length,” said Eataly partner Mario Batali. “Identita Golose brings the greatest culinary practitioners and adventurers to US each year. And we invite all of our customers to join in the fun, so we American consumers can better understand how produce can be treated to achieve its peak deliciousness. And they can do it all while drinking a glass of wine.”

Identita Golose

Identita Golose was founded in 2004 by Italian food journalist Paolo Marchi, aiming to highlight the best in modern Italian cuisine. It strives to honor the top Italian chefs and showcase the unique styles of cooking of many Italian regions. The first Golose event was held in Milano in 2005, and it was a great success. Identita Golose first arrived in the US in 2010 hosted by Eataly NYC Flatiron, where this year’s events continued upon leaving Chicago. Windy City hosted its first series of Identita events in 2014.

Identita Golose

Identita Golose

I was fortunate enough to be invited to attend Master Class with Chef Giancarlo Perbellini of two Michelin star Casa Perbellini in Verona, and Chicago’s own Chef Sarah Grueneberg of critically acclaimed Monteverde. Both chefs demonstrated dishes that, in line with event’s theme “Don’t Waste the Planet,” used underrated and overlooked ingredients in their dishes. While sipping on Guido Berlucchi Franciacorta and noshing on Grana Padano cheese, we watched and took notes on how to make gnocchi out of day old polenta, how to enrich broth with Grana Padano rind, and how to use the whey left behind after making homemade ricotta to make delicious Cacio Whey Pepe pasta. Each dish was beautifully paired with a water, a wine and a beer. We watched seasonal ingredients get treated with utmost care while chefs told us about their inspiration. Quite the inspiration themselves, they took a bow together. Two hours had flown by. I walked away educated.

Identita Golose

I also attended the All-Star Chefs’ Lunch hosted by the Nonna herself, Lidia Bastianich. Any day that starts with a nice serving of Calvisius caviar is going to be a good day, I thought to myself looking down at my plate. Chefs Carlo Cracco, Michael Tusk, Giancarlo Perbellini and Eataly’s Rob Wing all took turns at the pass, producing a stellar four-course meal, not counting the cheese course. Smoked egg rolled dramatically in vegetable ash gave way to sunchoke pasta. Melting lamb shoulder, selection of cheeses, buttermilk crostata and Lavazza espresso… By the end of the meal I was ready to move to Italy. Once again, each course was paired masterfully with a water, a wine and a beer.  Swoon worthy.

Identita Golose

Identita swiftly moved on to New York City. But the message remained. Even the most humble things can have their turn in the spotlight when handled with care. Don’t waste the planet. Be mindful in your cooking and in your shopping. Learn Italian. After all, you only live once.

Identita Golose took place at Eataly Chicago, 43 East Ohio Street in Chicago’s Gold Coast.

The Local Tourist press access to Identita Golose events courtesy of Wagstaff Worldwide.

All photos by Gourmet Rambler.






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