Food is passion, tradition, innovation, but it is also – and above all – culture. For this reason, it can become a powerful tool to promote dialogue. This is what the Italian Embassy in Kosovo believes in, therefore for the “Week of Italian Cuisine in the World” (14-20 November) it presented a calendar of events focused on young people, training, as well as intercultural dialogue, all this during a particularly tense moment of negotiations between Pristina and Belgrade for the normalization of their relations.
Symbolically, students open and close the program. It starts with an evening at the Italian Embassy (Monday 14 November) dedicated to students of the Italian language from different ethnic groups, who will meet for a film forum and to enjoy typical lasagna bolognese, personally prepared by the staff of the Diplomatic Representation. The event closes (Saturday 19 November) with an Italian cooking workshop at the ‘Botanika’ kindergarten in Pristina, where parents and children – also of different ethnicities – will prepare pumpkin and spinach tortelli in the canteen that was recently renovated by the NGO “Volontari nel Mondo RTM” as part of a project funded by the Italian Agency for Development Cooperation (AICS). In between, traditional convivial events (show cookings, author’s dinners, wine and olive oil tastings) will take place with protagonists from the Technical Pole of the Mediterranean “Aldo Moro” in Santa Cesarea Terme (Lecce, Apulia), a training center of excellence for the food and wine as well as the hospitality sector, together with the Italian Sommelier Association (AIS), whose aim is to promote and disseminate the culture of wine.
«This year, the theme of the initiative is “Conviviality, Sustainability and Innovation: the ingredients of Italian Cuisine for people’s health and the safeguard of the planet”. Nothing better then, to remind us how cuisine is a formidable tool for mutual understanding, in a historical moment characterized by strong tensions, just like a flywheel of economic development for a young country open to innovation such as Kosovo, with a great potential for the agro-industrial and hospitality industry as a tourist attractions. We Italians would be happy to contribute actively to this development: with our operators, our products, and above all our expertise», Italian Ambassador to Kosovo, Antonello De Riu, has said.
The calendar of events of the “Italian Cuisine Week” in Kosovo includes two author’s dinners (hosted at two of the most prestigious hotels of the country, the “Swiss Diamond” in Pristina and the “Dukagjini” in Peja) with menus inspired by Apulian gastronomic tradition prepared by altogether six chefs, teachers and students from the High School of Santa Cesarea Terme, led by Director Paolo Aprile, who will present menus inspired by Apulian gastronomic tradition. The same chefs will collaborate with the famous Kosovar food blogger and TV presenter Linda Haxhibrahimi: together, they will carry out a cooking show at the Albi Mall in Pristina, with a diverse selection of freshly prepared pastas, again from the Apulian tradition. Finally, there will be an exclusive evening (once more at the ‘Swiss Diamond’) organized by Italian Trade Agency (ITA) and the Italian Sommelier Association (AIS), dedicated to the tasting of Italian wines and olive oil and their pairing with Italian menus.
Throughout the “Settimana” some selected restaurants in and around Pristina will offer exclusive Italian cuisine menus at the special price of 10 euros. These are “Bagolina”, “Bruni Pizzeria”, “Delish Te Linda” (Albi Mall), “Extra Fish Pejton”, “Jana Napoletana”, “Mimoza” (Graçanica), “Perla Te Linda”, “Pinocchio”, “Ponte Vecchio”, “Soma Book Station”, “The White Tree“.