Paris: Enjoy Italian Food Culture Exposition – CULTUR-AL 2017!

Cultur-al Alimentare Italiana, Bastille Design Center, Paris
Cultur-al Alimentare Italiana, Bastille Design Center, Paris
A visitor to the exposition enters the building.

Cultur-al Alimentare Italiana, Bastille Design Center, Paris

This past weekend, Saturday through Monday, presented the second edition of Festival CULTUR-AL in the form of a ‘Cultural Festival Della Cultura Alimentare Italiana.’  The annual event dedicated to the Italian food culture was hosted in the historic Bastille Design Center, Paris 11th Arrondissement.

view to the upper level lined with exhibitors, and visitors

Cultur-al Alimentare Italiana, Bastille Design Center, Paris

This monumental industrial building from the early nineteenth century, a warehouse that received goods shipped into Paris via Canal Saint Martin, now is transformed to accommodate various expositions, conferences and events. The ground floor is original wood-block.

Staircase leads to upper levels entries left and right.

Cultur-al Alimentare Italiana, Bastille Design Center, Paris

The ambiance is one of quality and timelessness, perfectly compatible to showcase the traditions of Italian Alimentation. Designer Philippe Model is credited for the setup for the event. Eighty exceptional guests participated, among whom were cultivators, producers, chefs, pizza makers, bakers and sommeliers. More than 30 events had been organized including master classes, workshops, round tables and special dining experiences.

Chef Pepe Guida, Antica Osteria Nonna Rosa, Vico Equenpse, Italia

Cultur-al Alimentare Italiana, Bastille Design Center, Paris

Italian food culture brought speciality and excellence to the table in this exposition of exceptional breadth and detail. For example, Chef Peppe Guida, Antica Nonna Rossa, from Vico Equense prepared a lemon pasta in which the cultivator of the wheat presented an artful informative video showing the farming practices that eventually resulted in the fine pasta product.

Ancient wheat variety, and various unique rice varieties.

Cultur-al Alimentare Italiana, Bastille Design Center, Paris

And authentic rice (and speciality wheat) farmer Alice Cerutti of Casino Oschiena presented an artful video which described the precise attention that is considered in cultivation of ancient wheat varieties. The precision and attention extends to the land, the surrounding environment and the ecosystem, as well as to the product itself. The optimal qualities of the wheat grains and resulting flour will determine the quality of the pasta. Then the chefs, just as in choosing materials for the design in haute couture creations, carefully select the best products to ensure the desired form, texture and density of the pasta used to create the ideal blends in flavors that blossom at each stage of creation, preparation and taste.

Pasta Molino Di Gragnano

Cultur-al Alimentare Italiana, Bastille Design Center, Paris

Cultivation and handcrafted products are fundamental to the outcome of the chef’s work. The exhibitors of Italian speciality food products included pastas, olive oils, conserved tomato and other fruit products, cheeses, pastries and of course a wide variety of wines.

Conserved fruits etc.

Cultur-al Alimentare Italiana, Bastille Design Center, Paris

Speciality chefs presented pizzas, pastas and pastries, and producers and sommeliers offered their regional varieties and blends. There were over 30 opportunities for programmed activities and demonstrations to taste and learn, including master classes, workshops, panel discussions and special dining pleasures.

Cultur-al Alimentare Italiana, Bastille Design Center, Paris

Above Frisino is a family olive oil cultivation and production offering a Apulian flavor (province of Taranto). The three-day event promoted “Culinary Excellence in Food Culture by honoring  distinguished quality products and presenting highly regarded ‘chef-inspired’ preparation techniques.” These are the must-have life ingredients. The project, simple yet ambitious, clearly demonstrated support for small speciality producers.

Fine wines of central Italy.

Cultur-al Alimentare Italiana, Bastille Design Center, Paris

The workshops celebrate chefs and producers, instructed in cooking techniques and intended to raise awareness of delicious food and to encourage healthy eating practises. Sunday was dedicated to families by offering several tasting workshops that end with an “Italian style lunch”.

Selection of Italian cheeses distributed in Paris.

Cultur-al Alimentare Italiana, Bastille Design Center, Paris

Above varieties of Italian cheese, and below the producer and ‘Raffiniti’, the  Paris distributor in the 18th Arrondissement .

Cheese producer with Paris distributor.

Cultur-al Alimentare Italiana, Bastille Design Center, Paris

The exposition included a small market where select items were available for purchase. The market dedicated a corner to the world of culinary books.

Cultur-al Alimentare Italiana, Bastille Design Center, Paris

Of course the expo offered plenty of pastry tasting. The line of Sal De Riso offered tastings of this Italian Costa D’Amalfi pastry. Varieties ranged from a gentle lemon that easily pairs with any meal to a slightly more potent lemon liquer ‘Limoncello’. Among the line also are the rich ‘Amerena’ of black cherry bourbon vanilla, the ‘Smeralda’ Sicilian pistachio plus Sicilian pistachio cream, and the ‘Primavera’ custard with the spring fruits of peaches and strawberries.

Bio Motadela, Artigan Quality

Cultur-al Alimentare Italiana, Bastille Design Center, Paris

ARTIGIANQUALITY offers bio della mortadella from Bologna.
While I am far from an ‘expert in gastronomy’, I absolutely learned and enjoyed a lot!

Pizza tasting every 50 minutes.

Cultur-al Alimentare Italiana, Bastille Design Center, Paris

The exposition presented a pizza tasting every 50 minutes!

The chef brothers, Manual and Christian Costardi used a clever Andy Warhol tribute (tomato can) to serve an amazing tomato risotto.

Cultur-al Alimentare Italiana, Bastille Design Center, Paris

The chef brothers Manual and Christian Costardi used a clever Andy Warhol tribute (tomato can – forgetting Campbell!) to serve an amazing tomato risotto! And in the photo gallery there are more chefs, exhibitors and visitors in action.
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