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The “Week of Italian cuisine in Kosovo” between taste and well-being

A young woman buys vegetables and fruits at the market .

Training, health, and taste. These are the ingredients of the “Italian Cuisine Week in Kosovo” (13-19 November), organized by the Italian Embassy in Pristina and Italian Trade & Investment Agency/Agenzia ICE to promote the best of the agri-food sector and the culinary knowledge “Made in Italy.” The theme of the 2023 edition – “At the table with Italian cuisine: wellness with taste” – combines the promotion of Italian quality with the valorisation of the Mediterranean Diet as a model of healthy and sustainable nutrition.
Four teachers and five students from the State Professional Institute for Food and Wine Services and Hospitality “Tor Carbone-Alessandro Narducci” in Rome, one of the most prestigious hotel schools in the Italian capital, will enrich the diversified program of the “Week” in Kosovo. They will organize two “gourmet dinners” in Pristina (Swiss Diamond Hotel) and Peja (Dukagjini Hotel), as well as two “show cooking” events in the shopping centres of the Kosovar capital (Albi Mall and Pristhina Mall). Accompanied by the Principal Cristina Tonelli, students and teachers will hold also masterclasses on Italian cuisine for the benefit of young people and professionals at the “Ktc” Vocational Institute in Fushë Kosovë and at the HQs of the “Frigo Deluxe” company in Pristina, specialized in catering equipment.

Organized by the Italian Trade & Investment Agency/Agenzia ICE and the Italian Sommelier Association (AIS)-Club Albania, a special “pizza and sparkling wine” tasting will take place at “L’Antica Pizzeria Da Michele” in Pristina, aimed at Ho.Re.Ca. sector operators, as well as hotel schools, culinary professionals, specialized journalists and institutions.

There will also be space for an in-depth exploration of the event theme through a workshop dedicated to the valorisation of the Mediterranean Diet, hosted at the Embassy and conducted by Ombretta Carnevali, a professor of food science and culture at the “Tor Carbone-Alessandro Narducci” The workshop is aimed at nutritionists and wellness sector operators.

“With this year’s topic, the emphasis is focused on the relationship between nutrition and well-being, and on the remarkable synthesis of experiences, methods and skills that inspire the principles of the Mediterranean dietary regime. It is life-style that, over the centuries, has shaped the territories, managing successfully natural resources by using techniques that are most suitable for the climate and the land, resulting in high-quality products that receive appreciation at the global level. In addition to the environmental benefits, we should consider the well-known health benefits as well. It is not coincidental that Italy is consistently ranked among the top world’s countries for life expectancy and the overall health level of its population, especially in reducing the risks of cardiovascular diseases”.

“The power of the ‘Made in Italy food’, celebrated worldwide, does not solely reside in the aggregate numbers which, even in 2022, reached a remarkable record with an export value of 60.7 billion euros. The recipe for this success also lies in an industrial model focused on quality, where traditions and territories blend with innovation, research, culture and design. This achievement is ‘certified’ by the highest number of agri-food products with protected designation of origin and geographical indication recognized by the European Union, with 325 protected designations of origin (PDO, PGI, TSG) and 527 wines with DOCG, DOC, IGT labels”, explains Ambassador Antonello De Riu.

Thanks to the strong connection between agri-food excellences and the original territories, the food processing industry also plays a crucial role in terms of tourist attraction and professional opportunities for a young and open Country like Kosovo. To achieve these goals, it is necessary to focus on well-designed educational programs to provide the specific abilities required by the food and wine sector and hotel hospitality. These programs should offer both theoretical education and real-world training through workshops, internships, and training on-the-job in partner companies. In this way, schools can become a benchmark for the professionalization of young people within the local production context. By having one of the most important national hotel institutes in Pristina, the “Tor Carbone – Alessandro Narducci”, we aim to promote an educational model focused on Italian skills and standards to significantly enhance the quality of the workforce in a country like Kosovo, which aims to become an emerging destination by leveraging its rich natural and cultural heritage”, concluded Ambassador De Riu.

For the second year in-a-row, during the entire “Week,” selected restaurants in Pristina will offer special Italian cuisine menus at a discounted price of 10 euros. These restaurants include: “Bagolina,” “Bruni,” “Da Michele,” “Delish,” “Extra Fish Pejton,” “Il Gusto,” “Jana Napoletana,” “La Napoletana,” “Perla,” “Ponte Vecchio,” “Sette,” “The White Three,” and “Tutto Vino.”