In the beautiful setting of a panoramic terrace of Rooftop & Terrace in New York City, on 5th Avenue, we met Alessandro Schiatti, founder and president of I love Italian Food. The occasion was the event “100% Italian Night” he organized, which merged the taste of Made in Italy food with the modern atmosphere of New York for a sensational experience. The combination was excellent with the prestigious guests and the partners like Parmareggio, Cantine Ferrari, Aceto Due Vittorie, Bauli USA, Auricchio, Ferrarese, Goldplast, Smeg, Molino Vigevano and Piccolo Cafe’ NYC.
Alessandro, tell us about the project “I love Italian Food
ILIF has been designed to preserve Made in Italy products, through means which now let companies connect with the whole world without any middle man involved.
What are the strengths you stress on to promote made in Italy goods?
Think of the 100% Italian project that allows companies to be clear about their totally Italian production chain in ways that defeat all possible doubts of counterfeit. And let’s remember the project was created as a non-profit organization.
We often hear about counterfeit Italian goods. How can this be stopped?
Counterfeit can defy security controls and police requisitions. Yet the real issue is not so much counterfeit, as the Italian sounding, with a yearly revenue of 60 billion Euro. That’s almost twice compared to export figures. Thousands of goods bearing the Italian flag, yet far from being Italian. Only recently technology has made it easier to overcome the bureaucratic hurdles. Our 100% Italian project is an example of that, and there are many more. Companies can now speak to their customers about the background and history of their goods and their own, directly and without any middle man.
From Emilia Romagna to New York, with an ocean of opportunities in between, was it so for you?
Last year we started off right here, in New York. An ocean of opportunities, that’s right! You just have to learn how to sail that ocean.
If you were to make a ranking list, which would be the top ten Italian products in the World?
We asked this question to our international community at the end of 2014. From that we took the top 12 products and that has been our project for this year, involving the great representatives of Italian cuisine. First places go to Prosciutto di Parma and Parmigiano Reggiano. You can find the full list and foodie project 2015 here http://www.iloveitalianfood.it/foodle-2015/
There is always room for new ideas; food is one thing that is always in evolution. Italian food is loved and appreciated, as we were saying, though it may not always be authentic. So there is still a lot to do, even here in New York where Italy has been in the spotlight forever.
Are your future plans in Italy or in the US?
I think I’m going to stay in Italy, I love my town, but our team is full of skilled, young people and I think they will gladly move to NYC.
What’s your biggest dream as an agricultural businessman?
I’m not an agricultural businessman, that’s just too much for me. I’m an unusual businessman, just as unusual as ILIF and Italy itself. Made in Italy is part of our heritage, the result of centuries of skills together with the incredible biodiversity of our Country. That is our cherished treasure, and I want to contribute to bring it to the whole world. So that’d be my biggest dream workwise.
A great night, lots of friends and authentic lovers of Italian goods. The goal of such events, which we organize with the help of our supporting companies, is to give international professionals the true Italian experience for a night. I can gladly say I think we achieved that last night.
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