Mas­sive theme park to show­case Ital­ian food

Times Colonist - - Life - COLLEEN BARRY

BOLOGNA, Italy — The man be­hind the Eataly food em­pire is open­ing a mas­sive at­trac­tion — part per­ma­nent trade fair, part agro-food theme park — that aims to cre­ate a show­case for ex­cel­lence in Ital­ian food.

Eataly owner Os­car Farinetti hopes Eataly World, open­ing today in Bologna, will boost tourism and even food ex­ports. The ex­pe­ri­ence is de­signed to in­crease de­mand for Ital­ian food along with brand loy­alty and con­sumer in­ter­est in the 150 or so food busi­nesses rep­re­sented.

Eataly al­ready has nearly 40 stores world­wide, the new­est one in Los An­ge­les. The com­pany in­tends to list a 30 per cent stake on the Mi­lan stock ex­change in 2018 or 2019.

Vis­i­tors to Eataly World can fol­low food pro­duc­tion from field and stall right to their plates. They’ll see grain grow­ing in the fields, milled into flour, pro­cessed into pasta and served at the ta­ble. Work­shops will show how to re­fine rice and hunt for truf­fles, along with cook­ing classes for mak­ing fresh pasta, sor­betto or pizza.

Eataly World has 47 restau­rants and bars, some 40 pro­duc­tion ar­eas mak­ing ev­ery­thing from gelato to can­died fruit, 22 gar­dens and half a dozen stalls with cows, sheep, goats, pigs and chick­ens. The site cov­ers more than one mil­lion square feet in a for­mer whole­sale fruit and veg­etable mar­ket on the out­skirts of Bologna.

Farinetti wants to do for Ital­ian food what Mi­lan Fash­ion Week has done for Italy’s ready-to-wear in­dus­try: Cre­ate a global show­case for ex­cel­lence that stim­u­lates de­mand across the sec­tor.

“I hope that this be­comes the most im­por­tant place in the world for who­ever wants to study food, eat well and un­der­stand the his­tory of food,” Farinetti said dur­ing a pre­view this week. “In this, we need to think big, like in the fash­ion world.”

He said his goal is to show­case “the sim­plic­ity of Ital­ian food.”

“Ital­ian cook­ing, un­like that of the French, was cre­ated in the house. It was in­vented by our great-great-great grand­moth­ers. Since it was born in home kitchens, it needs to be sim­ple. But it is dif­fi­cult to be sim­ple, be­cause it needs to start from the earth, and you need to have healthy soil, with very lit­tle chem­i­cals,” he said.

Os­car Farinetti’s goal is to show­case “the sim­plic­ity of Ital­ian food.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.