If you have read ‘Italy on A Spoon‘ – our coverage of last year’s Sydney Italian Festival and World Week of Italian Cuisine double celebration; you’d know that the Italians know how to put on fantastic parties.
After spending an unforgettable six and a half weeks in Northern Italy, Kent and I are all about everything Italian lately. So it’s nice to have been invited back to The Second Annual Italian Chefs Event by The Federation of Italian Chefs (FIC); not only were we excited, it fits perfectly with White Caviar Life’s current Italian series.
On arrival we were greeted by Alpino Gelato’s Laura Nobile (AKA Gelato Queen), who’s a member of FIC and one of tonight’s sponsors. We loved the green-white-red (Italian flag) gelato macaroons Laura created for last year’s event. Knowing Laura being the inventive gelato maker, I was excited to find out what special treat she had up her sleeve.
Laura we already knew, Kent and I soon spotted My Kitchen Rules (MKR) 2018 Semi-Finalist Josh Sama and MasterChef 2018’s Gina Ottaway or ‘Nonna G’. I happened to watch the entire series of both cooking shows this year, so call me a fan. To me, it was a great surprise meeting Gina and Josh in person. So warm and very nice as these TV personalities are… ‘I feel like I know you!’ I couldn’t help saying it to them both. Well you can’t underestimate the power of the reality TV, or a glass of Prosecco – can you?!!
We knew last year’s ‘Italy on A Spoon‘ was about celebrating the Italian cuisine; this year’s FIC event was much more intimate. It’s about people, or should I say foodies. Besides the Consul General of Italy and media, most of the guests in the room were from Italian food and beverage industry. Nicola, the director of Emporium Food, Paolo, the director of Genella Fine Food, for example, were among the industry guests we mingled with.
Martin, head of MAK Catering, who came straight up to Kent and said to me: ‘This man built my first website for me.’ There you go, part of Kent’s secret creative past revealed right there.
Several glasses of Prosecco and many canapés later, came the speech time.
The newly appointed President of FIC Tony Sabia gave us all a warm welcome. ‘It’s a new era.’ Mr. Sabia said referring to his new role. And of course, ‘Thanks to the Italians for the good coffee in this country.’ The loud clapping and hurrah in the room said it all.
Mr. Arturo Arcano, Consul General of Italy in Australia also took the lectern and gave a brief talk, followed by Laura Nobile, who represented FIC’s Lady Chef members. In Laura’s speech, she talked about women in this male dominant industry and herself being a fourth generation gelato maker.
And then, trays of colourful gelato – a creation between ‘Gelato Queen’ Laura and ‘Nonna G’ Gina – arrived. They were colourful and popular: strawberry, pistachio; hazelnut, vanilla and chocolate.., yummy! Not only was my pistachio gelato delicious, it took me back to my memory of Italy! Gina’s cannoli cone was crispy, light; not too sweet and it added a crunchy element to the bite – I loved it! This collaboration was match made in dessert heaven! The only down side was that I couldn’t take them home with me!
But wait there’s more – We also enjoyed the ‘Gelato Burger’. Laura’s gelato and brioche buns by Chef Paolo Gatto. It’s the first time I tried a gelato burger – ‘watch out your lipstick ladies’! It was a sweet sensation and just look at Josh’s demonstration on how to take a bite (Can anyone open their mouth wider than that?)!
And of course, we had some networking time, exchanging ideas and thoughts with Karen from Entrée Chefs and Lifestyle Management; enjoyed our chat with Mary-Jane, director of Paper Phoenix PR/Marketing company. Kent and I were delighted to catch up with our friend, FIC Chef Sandro Isabella who I was behatted by.., well my expression wearing his chef hat says all about me and cooking!
‘All good things come to an end’ as we Chinese often say; a great food gathering is no exception.
Kent and I are happy to be part of the network supporting FIC. ‘Food brings people together.’ – my famous last words!
Last but not least, we thank Alpino Gelato and the Federation of Italian Chefs for your invite.
Until next time… Ciao~
Need a photographer for your next event? Contact Kent Johnson Photography.