The VI edition of the World Week of Italian Cuisine, the international event organized by the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and dedicated to the promotion of the Italian food and wine tradition abroad, was celebrated worldwide from 22 to 28 November.

Settimana della Cucina Italiana
World Week of Italian Cuisine

The activities and events included in the programme were organized by Italian embassies and consulates,  Italian Cultural Institutes and the Italian Trade Agency. The main theme of the 2021 edition was “Tradition and perspectives of Italian cuisine: the awareness and enhanced appreciation of food sustainability”.

Together with the promotion of Italian food products, the World Week of Italian Cuisine also focused on the Mediterranean Diet, considered as a model of healthy and sustainable diet and lifestyle and characterized by the combination of preservation of inherited culinary heritage and experimentation and innovation.

As Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio said during the inauguration of the event: “italian cuisine expresses culture, research and innovation, training, territorial identity and biodiversity. Promoting it in the world is a priority of the Foreign Ministry’s economic diplomacy”.

The inauguration of the World Week of Italian Cuisine
The inauguration of the World Week of Italian Cuisine

The celebrations of the Week of Italian Cuisine in the Mediterranea area started in advance: from 15 to 19 November, the ICI in Rabat, Morocco, organized “Waiting for the Week of Italian Cuisine: Cinema is served”, a review of 5 films which have as a central theme or take inspiration from Italian food and culinary traditions, opening the doors to a rich program of meetings, master classes and promotions of products of Italian food fairs.

The program of events in Amman, Jordan, involved Italian Chefs Giuseppe Silvestri and Salvatore Aprea, who held cooking classes at the Royal Academy of Culinary Art (Raca). The two chefs also held meetings and cooking lessons at “Mar Yousef’s pizza”, a lab which carries out training courses for Iraqi refugees, hosted in the Mar Yousef pastoral center in Amman.

Remaining in the Middle East, the Embassy of Italy in Kuwait signed a first agreement for the launch of a “Food Academy” which will organize classes and workshops of Italian cuisine, as well as specialized seminars on food, with a focus on Italian agri-food products.

typical italian food

Sustainability and fashion came together during the celebrations in Nur-Sultan, the capital of Kazakhstan: “Food and fashion are important industries for Italy”, said the Ambassador of Italy in Kazakhstan Marco Alberti, explaining what makes food and fashion so iconic for Italy: “It is the ability to transform the superior quality of ingredients not only into products but into experiences”.

A sustainable and regenerative agricultural model was presented in Nur-Sultan in cooperation with the Future Food Institute of Bologna, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), and the Kazakh State Agrotechnical University. This was accompanied by workshops on sustainable nutrition for school children, a seminar on food, the history of hospitality, a master class and a festival of Italian Wine and Food in Almaty.

Moving to East Asia, the Italian Embassy in Seoul, South Korea, decided to focus on innovation and interaction with the public, organizing a gaming event. Italian and South Korean teams played ‘ITALY. Land of Wonders’, a video game that is aimed at bringing the cultural heritage and wonders of Italy to a worldwide audience in general, and to young people in particular.

Federico Failla, Italian ambassador to South Korea
Federico Failla, Italian ambassador to South Korea

“For the Week of Italian Cuisine 2021 we wanted to adopt an approach that combines tradition with innovation and education with entertainment.” commented the Italian ambassador in Seoul, Federico Failla“In addition to webinars and online cooking classes, we wanted to talk about Italian cuisine, culture and beauty”, concluded the Ambassador.

In Mexico City, where gastronomy “also represents art, culture and awareness of the origin of traditional flavors”, as explained by the Italian Embassy in Mexico City, the World Week of Italian Cuisine was more focused on tradition. As part of the program of events, typical menus of the periods that have marked the history of Italy, including a menu dedicated to Italian Poet Dante Alighieri, were presented.