Bellavita 2018: tradition meets innovation

This article and photos were commissioned by The Upcoming, where they appeared for the first time.

Photo Credit: Cristiana Ferrauti
One of the most commonly known winning factors of Italian cuisine is the high quality and wholly tasty ingredients which hail from the country. It’s true, however, that there are many more elements to take into consideration, such as creativity, flexibility and that warm friendly smile that Italians add to every recipe.

Whether you are familiar or new to this cuisine, Bellavita is one of the best places to learn, rediscover and be surprised by the most traditional offerings as well as the latest trends in the food market from the peninsula.

Photo Credit: Cristiana Ferrauti
From the 17th to the 19th June, the Business Design Centre hosted the UK’s biggest Italian food and beverage exhibition. From more renowned brands to companies just casing out the export system, the trade event aims to take each enterprise by hand and lead them into the international scene.

The three-day event was in the British capital for the fifth time, and in addition to the 200 exhibitors, this edition offered an exciting programme of masterclasses, industry talks and award ceremonies crowning the best products featured.

It would be a crime to miss any of the delicacies on show, but unfortunately there were time constraints, just as this page has a certain word limit. We sensed, tasted and did shots of some of the over 1,000 products available, yet the choice was huge. The red threads connecting them all were variety and naturalness.

The first thing to bear in mind is the regional distinction between territories, as moving across Italy definitely influences the degrees and flavour notes.

Photo Credit: Cristiana Ferrauti
The exhibition space was divided into drinks and food, with this further organised into savoury and snacks, bread and main courses. [...]

Despite Brexit fears, the food export and import figures seem not to have suffered too much. Though they provide some of the most refined products to grace British tables, the Italians still face quite a competition against French rivals for wine supremacy.

The section dedicated to alcohol was an extensive one, comprising three major regional divisions. From the Emilia Romagna stalls, we tried the fresh Pignoletto Frizzante Colli Bolognesi DOCG by la Tenuta Santa Cecilia. But also the red selection, with fizzy and plain varieties, is not to be missed – like the rich Viburno, which takes its name from a local plant. [...]
Photo Credit: Cristiana Ferrauti

No meal in Italy could end without coffee. Besides some strong espresso by Caffe Milano and Filicori Zecchini Coffee, the morning tasting session by Lavazza in the Food Academy Area was simply unforgettable. After being led on a journey in space and time through the history and circulation of the black beans, the audience had the opportunity to experience Alteco, KAFA and Tierra varieties, a great sensory tour.

Later in the day, the same stage saw also one of the most known culinary TV personality and Michelin-starred chefs cooking and explaining in action how innovation and creativity can take place in Italian kitchens.

Carlo Cracco prepared a special risotto with horseradish sauce, mascarpone, topped with a thin chocolate button to melt and rebalance the overall tangy flavour. The dish, whose recipe would normally never include mascarpone, indeed was received with great pleasure by the tasters: one of Cracco’s best examples of successfully mixing tradition and innovation.

Watch here my interview with Carlo Cracco on innovation and Italian food in London:

Next up, Bellavita will be in Mexico City, and then onto the exhibition’s international tour, including Warsaw, Bangkok and Moscow. With such a great variety and guaranteed high-quality food, the show marks one of the best events to showcase the excellence of Italy.

Read the article and view all the photos on The Upcoming -

Dates: 17 - 19 June 2018
Venue: Business Design Centre