The Israel chapter of the Italian Academy of Cuisine (Accademia Italiana della Cucina) hosted its annual ecumenical dinner and symposium on October 19, 2017, at the Tel Aviv restaurant Pomo. The dinner was organized by Dr. Cinzia Klein, Delegate of the Academy in Israel and Ms. Sabrina G. Fadlun, Vice Delegate of the Academy in Israel, who were joined as the evening’s symposiarchs by Ms. Joelle Inowlocki.
According to Dr. Klein, the ecumenical dinner is one that is held on the same date by all the worldwide chapters of the Accademia, which is represented in more than 300 cities in Italy and 70 countries internationally.
Ecumenical dinners also revolve around a designated universal theme.
“This year,” said Klein, “the dinner is celebrating cheese.”
During the course of the dinner, speakers commented on the use of cheese in the various dishes served, as well as the difficulties involved in introducing Italian cheeses into the Israeli market.
The four-course gourmet dinner prepared by Pomo commenced with three interesting
Antipasti: cauliflower on a bed of pecora yogurt; baked pumpkin with cheese and balsamic vinegar; and the restaurant’s Pizza Capricciosa, featuring tomato, mozzarella, artichoke, Portobello mushroom and Kalamata olives as toppings. The pizza -- like the focaccia that was served later -- were expertly baked in an authentic wood-fired oven.
The pasta course was ravioli al quattro formaggi, in which the gorgonzola was replaced by pecorino cheese -- a substitution which engendered some controversy among participants.
The main course offered a choice of salmon or veal cheek, served with sides of either mashed potato, baked potato, cooked seasonal vegetables or salad. Diners pronounced themselves pleased with their selections.
Desserts comprised a fluffy tiramisu, plus lemon tart with gelato made in-house. The meal was paired with excellent white and red wines imported from Italy.
Among the distinguished guests at the dinner was a significant delegation from the Italian Embassy, headed by H.E. Gianluigi Benedetti, the new Ambassador of Italy to Israel, and his wife Sabina; Mr. Gianmarco Macchia, First Counsellor and Deputy Head of Mission; Mr. Niccolò Maniello, First Secretary and Political and Consular Affairs Attaché (and his wife Elmina); and Mr. Francesco Meucci, Head of Office and Economic and Commercial Attaché.
Also in attendance were Ms. Clelia Di Consiglio, Secretary General of the Israel-italy Chamber of Commerce, and H.E. Oded Ben Hur, former Ambassador of Israel to the Holy See (Vatican) and Senior Diplomatic Advisor to the Knesset, and his wife Edna.
The Italian Academy of Cuisine works together with other Italian cultural and economic entities in Tel Aviv, as well as the Italian embassy, to promote authentic Italian cuisine and genuine Italian agricultural and food products.
Photos by Silvia G. Golan