Featuring fashion, food, interiors, travel and luxury properties, the show is in its 5th year and this year, will have an even greater emphasis on the splendours of Italian cuisine – celebrating traditional and seasonal Italian produce and wine. Pivotal to this, there will be a culinary feature called ‘Il Grande Menu’. Located in the central Piazza, the heart of the event, it will consist of a restaurant where five of well-known chefs cooking Italian food in the UK will each create one course. They include, Giorgio Locatelli of Locanda Locatelli, Francesco Mazzei of L’Anima, Theo Randall of the InterContinental on Park Lane and Andy Needham of the Michelin-starred Zafferano in Knightsbridge.
There will also be a Producers’ Market, where a hand-picked selection of artisan food producers from throughout Italy will showcase their cheese, meats, breads, cakes, pastas, olives, olive oils, vinegars and other items.
Melissa Ormiston of La Dolce Vita says: ‘We are saying a massive ‘buon appetito’ to London in spring 2009 with our enhanced foodie offering. Italian cuisine is truly the world’s finest. From the fondues of the Val D’Aosta to the risottos of the Veneto, the cheeses and cured meats of Emilia Romagna and the Arab and Spanish influenced seafood dishes of Sicily, there is no more delectable array of local specialities anywhere else on the planet. We want to show even the greatest Italian gourmet that there are still quirky regional treats that they don’t know about.’
Also new for 2009 is the Property Match Bar, which will give visitors the opportunity to meet with experts in buying property in Italy. It will be hosted by Sarah Fraser and Richard Turnbull from Channel 4’s The Great Italian Escape. Visitors will be able to glean tips on investing in property and legal and renovation advice will also be available.
* The Wine Academy
An opportunity to taste and explore wines from every region of Italy, in partnership with viticultural museum Vinopolis and Decanter magazine. Visitors to the show can pick the brains of the Wine Gang’s five expert oenophiles: Olly Smith of BBC1’s Saturday Kitchen, Tom Cannavan of wine-pages.com, Anthony Rose of the Independent, Joanna Simon of the Sunday Times and the Observer’s Tim Atkin MW.
* Scuola di Cucina
Live cookery sessions from talented Italian chefs
* Style and Design
‘It’ bags, designer shoes, handmade shoes, cutting edge furniture, the coolest gadgets and gizmos…the best of the country’s design, all made with inimitable Italian quality and flair.