The Gruppo Italiano held its first event at Il Gattopardo Restaurant in NYC the other night. Gianfranco Sorrentino, the President and Chairman of the Gruppo Italiano, and owner of Il Gattopardo, welcomed the guests and spoke about the Gruppo Italiano’s mission. The organization is dedicated to popularizing authentic Italian cuisine, products and the Italian life style and enhancing its image in the United States through education, member restaurants and promotions.
Gianfranco said the Gruppo Italiano strives to provide a constant flow of information about Italian cuisine and wine to member restaurants, food and wine importers and distributors, the press, culinary schools and the general consumer with a serious interest in authentic Italian food. The GI also helps fund the Giacomo Bologna Scholarship program for culinary students through a partnership with the National Restaurant Association. They plan to organize events throughout the year to support the scholarship program.
Each year the GI will organize a trip to a different region of Italy with the purpose of highlighting its history, food and wine. Invitations to join the trip will be extended to members and the press. Trips to Italy for students of the American Culinary Institute are also planned as well as hosting Italian culinary students to study in the US.
Bloomberg news reported just a few days ago that despite Italy’s current problems, the country it has the healthiest people in the world and we know why. There is no better way to eat than to follow the Mediterranean diet. The GI would like to educate members and the public about eating well and to pay more attention to the quality of the products they buy.
Maurizio Forte, Italian Trade Commissioner, spoke about the importance of authentic Italian cuisine and authentic Italian products. He also said it was very important to have an association composed of Italian restaurateurs, importers and distributers that are so passionate about Italian food and wine.
Journalist John Mariani spoke about what he thinks is authentic Italian cuisine and its evolution in the United States.
I spoke about the American market for Italian wine, and the importance of the small “boutique” importers and distributors that are promoting Italian indigenous grapes and artisanal wines versus industrial or mass-produced wines.
The annual membership is $50.00 to receive all of the services provided to GI members.
Contact: 13-15 West 54th Street NY, NY