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May 29, 2010

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Celebrating Chilean and Italian food

THE rich culinary traditions of Italy and Chile will be showcased at weeklong food festivals that kicked off yesterday at the Hilton and Longemont hotels.

The celebrations running through June 6 will include visiting chefs and a series of trade events that highlight the countries' distinctive products.

The Flavors of Chile Week will feature events at both the Longemont Hotel and at Chile Pavilion at the World Expo.

Organized by the Italian Trade Commission and the Hilton Hotel, the Italian Wine and Gastronomy Week will feature a special promotion of Italian food at the Hotel's Atrium Cafe.

It also includes promotional trade activities at the Italy Pavilion.

Italian famed cuisines will be a highlight of Italy's National Pavilion Day celebrations on Wednesday.

Kicked off with a launch at Cloud Nine Shopping Mall yesterday, the Chilean food week will feature Chile's Culinary Ambassador Pilar Rodriguez.

Rodriguez was a chef at famed Michelin three-star restaurant Ledoyen in Paris and brings her modern, innovative cooking style to classic Chilean dishes such as shrimps and citrus ceviche with merk??n dressing; roasted Chilean sea bass served with bay leaf-infused tomatoes flan; and pork loin in adobo sauce with sweet potato and caramelized onion puree flavored with merk??n olive oil and crispy bacon.

"My cuisine is committed to reflecting a philosophy of thoroughness, flexibility and balance, while striving to achieve a harmony of flavors, textures and colors," Rodriguez says.

"Chile's unpolluted natural conditions produce top-quality seafood, vegetables and fruits."

Salmon, wine and grapes are the so-called "three treasures" of Chile.

Chile is the world's biggest grape exporter and the second largest kiwifruit and avocado exporter. In the southern hemisphere, Chile is a major exporter of apples, plums, peaches, nectarines and berries.

Chilean food and beverage exports to China have grown strongly despite the global downturn last year, with Chile exporting 693 million liters of wine in 2009, an increase of almost 18 percent from the previous year.

"Chile's wine producing areas enjoy very favorable geographic, climatic and cultural conditions for various varieties of grapes, which produce wines of different taste, color and aroma," says Albeton.

Compared with other Latin American foods, Chilean cuisine is known for being lighter and using a wide array of ingredients.

It also reflects the diverse cultural heritage of the country, fusing Spanish influence with a variety of regional cultural influences. It has also been shaped by immigrant communities, such as German, Italian, Middle Eastern and Polynesian.

Chilean food week includes a seminar and a seafood and business workshop at the Chile Pavilion on Monday, and a China-Chile business networking event at the Longemont Hotel on Tuesday.

Along with the weeklong celebration of Italian food at the Hilton Hotel, visitors can sample a wide array of traditional Italian dishes at the country's Expo pavilion.

Along with a series of daily food promotional activities during the week, there are also four distinctive Italian restaurants offering authentic food and wine from different regions.


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