Opportunities, growth, connection. These are the three key concepts emerged during the Emirati appointment of 100per100 Italian Talks, the international conference organized by I Love Italian Food, on the occasion of the 24th edition of Gulfoof, and realized on February 20 at Roberto’s, an Italian restaurant icon in Dubai. 

“2020 is the year of EXPO in Dubai and we are confident that this exposition represents for Italy an opportunity for growth and visibility of our expertise. We decided to realize a Talks in Dubai to understand how to benefit from this opportunity and to do that we involved five opinion leaders who live and work in Dubai. Because of their understanding of the market they can give an analytical and in-depth point of view of it”. Comments Alessandro Schiatti, founding member of I Love Italian Food, an international project committed to promoting and defending the authentic Italian gastronomic culture worldwide. 

On the stage have followed interventions by experts and opinion leaders involved on the 100per100 Italian Talks including contributions from entrepreneurs, chefs, distributors, restaurateurs and institutions.

Amedeo Scarpa, Director of the ICE Office in Dubai, who sponsored the initiative, after giving an overview of the local market and the figures related to Italian F&B exports, stated that Expo can only represent a win-win opportunity for all the involved actors who, by teaming up, can bring out the value of our made in Italy.    

He mentioned then the motto of the Italian Pavilion at Expo 2020: “Beauty connects people”, where beauty is intended as a strategic resource to build a future based on dialogue and collaboration between people and nation, respecting values, competition, rights, innovation and sustainable development.

It was followed by the point of view proposed by the world of chefs, represented by Francesco Guarracino, Roberto’s Group Executive Chef, for year one of the protagonists of the Emirati restaurant. Chef Guarracino, after explaining how people’s  awareness and knowledge about Italian food has changed, brought his vision about Expo, stating that the universe exposition will represent a showcase for the Italian culinary heritage, classic and not only, that brings with it the feeling of our real local experience. 

The same experience also highly appreciated by those who do not have Italian origins, but contribute with their work to the development and diffusion of our products. This is the case of Bhushant Gandhi, General Manager of Truebell, one of the major F&B distributors in the Middle East. The visione emerged on Expo 2020 from a person who has always believed in Made in Italy, even against his father’s will, is that union and team work can contribuite to the development of small or medium-sized producers, who aim to enter the Gulf market, not only food, but also beverage.

To complement the vision on the main theme of these Talks also the point of view of an Italian entrepreneur who has invested in Dubai, bringing our know-how and promoting Made in Italy every day with catering and catering activities. As speaker we had Giuseppe Esposito, Chairman of EP World, the company that owns restaurants’ chains Ecco – Pizza & Pasta and Cappuccini Italiani, and one of the leaders in the catering sector. The businessman told about EP’s experience , which has lasted for over 45 years: how they brought the expertise of Italian cuisine from Naples to the Emirates, while always maintaining respect for the local taste. EP is also the only Italian company that has been awarded a contract within EXPO, where it will be present for six months with a catering space, naturally made in Italy. Here, explained Giuseppe Esposito, they will focus on all Italian regional cuisine, thus enhancing the variety of our table, undoubtedly one of the strengths of our food and wine culture.

But in addition to being varied, the Italian diet is also among the healthiest. From this healthy concept Giacomo Casinetto, Managing Director of Casinetto, leader among the distributors of made in Italy products in Dubai, presented his vision on Expo 2020. From his speech it emerged again how Expo represents not only an opportunity for growth for the Italian economy, but also an increase in consumption and an opportunity to promote the renowned Italian lifestyle.

The appointment is therefore on 20 October 2020, the day on which Expo will inaugurate in Dubai at the new World Expo and for 173 days it will animate the Gulf, promoting culture, sustainability and connections between nations, bringing, we are sure, growth and opportunity also for our made in Italy.

100per100 Italian Talks is a project realized thanks to the support of I Love Italian Food’s partners, in particular thanks for the support: Redoro, EP World, Flavor, Authentico, Gustatus International, Roberto’s, venue partner of the event, Dubaitaly, media partner of the project, and ICE – Italian Trade Agency for the patronage granted.