At a time when Italians and Americans are asked to stay home to contain the risk of COVID-19 contagion, the Italian Embassy in Washington, together with the 9 Italian Consulates and the Italian Trade Agency offices in the USA, launched the “Stay at home and #cookitalian” campaign aimed at supporting the Italian agro-good export in the USA, by promoting the use of original Italian products at home.
The campaign is a continuation of the previous initiative aimed at supporting the purchase of Italian products and food online for home delivery from supermarkets, stores and restaurants (Stay at Home and #orderitalian).
Chefs and well-know personalities from Italian restaurants in different states of the USA, and personalities from the world of culture have enthusiastically joined the campaign.
Starting on May 4, the Italian Embassy in Washington and the Italian Consulates will publish on their Facebook pages 11 videos prepared “at home” by Italian and Italian-American personalities showcasing their favorite recipes. Deliberately simple recipes, which can be easily reproduced in your kitchen, using original Italian products readily available on the US market. All the dishes are paired with a classic Italian wine.
The first video, published on the Embassy’s Facebook page and presented by Lidia Bastianich, TV star and author of best-selling cookbooks, will be followed by those of Mario Rizzotti, culinary expert and television judge of Chicago, Marisa Iocco owner of the Spiga restaurant and the only woman executive Italian chef from Boston, Giancarlo Ferrara chef and owner of the Amalfi restaurant in Houston, Giada De Laurentiis from Los Angeles, television star and owner of many restaurants in the USA, Alice Waters of San Francisco Vice President of Slow Food International, owner of Chez Panisse in Berkeley and author of the best seller “The art of Simple food”, Luciano del Signore chef and owner of the restaurants Bacco, Bigalora and Pernoi, reference points for Italian cuisine in Detroit, Giorgio Rapicavoli chef and owner of restaurants at the center of the gastronomic scene in Miami such as Eating House and Glass & Wine, Stefano Secchi Chef of the restaurant Rezdora in New York and Danilo D’Eugenio and Monica Fenocchio, chefs and owners of DaMo’ Pasta Lab in Philadelphia. Each of them presented a recipe reflecting their personal history and a long culinary tradition, combined with a creative approach with unique ingredients.
The last video will see the exceptional surprise contribution of Isabella Rossellini, actress and iconic figure of the Italian cultural scene in the USA. She will present a recipe with a family touch.
The exports of the agro-food sector constitute a fundamental part of Italian exports to the USA. In 2019, the sector’s sales in the US reached $ 5.4 billion, 9.4% of Italy’s exports to the country ($ 1,96 billion were constituted by wine) with such iconic products as olive oil, cheeses, pasta, mineral waters, coffee, vinegar and spirits.
A figure that has been constantly growing, both in terms of quantity and overall value, and which due to the crisis of COVID-19 and the closure of restaurants and the Ho.Re.Ca channels, is likely to slow down, only partially compensated by the increase in sales at supermarkets and online stores.
“Supporting and encouraging the consumption of original Italian products in this difficult phase for our producers is imperative – the Ambassador underlined. We decided to do it in the most practical way and with famous testimonials, encouraging the American public to experiment with easy recipes with Italian products found in most stores and online.”
The campaign was also an occasion to reiterate that Italian food products do not present – as certified by USDA and EFSA – any health risk deriving from COVID-19. DOP e IGT (and more) are synonymous with excellence, quality and tradition but also easy to prepare and enjoy at home.