Gruppo Ristorati Italiani Presents Landmark Symposium: "Italian Cuisine: A Victim Of Its Own Success?"

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Seminars to Debate the Current State and Future of Authentic Italian Cuisine and Products in the United States

Italian Cuisine, A Victim of its Own Success?;

Today and tomorrow, a distinguished group of culinary world luminaries are gathering at NYU's Casa Italiana Zerilli-Marimò to debate the importance of authentic Italian food in restaurants and homes in the United States. Gruppo Ristorati Italiani (GRI; http://www.gruppo.com) has organized three seminars to take place over the two days titled: "Italian Cuisine, A Victim of its Own Success?;" "Does the Italian Restaurateur or the Consumer Need a New Seal of Authenticity?;" and "Educating Operators, Consumers, and Institutions: How Do We Go About Doing It?"

Participants in the symposium include such authorities on cuisine and culture as Massimo Bottura, Chef of Osteria Francescana (awarded #6 in the world by S. Pellegrino World's 50 Best Restaurants 2010), Paul Bartolotta of Bartolotta Restaurant at the Wynn Resort, John Mariani, author and restaurant critic, Ferdinand Metz, Chef & Managing Partner of CMC/Master Chefs Institute, Lou Di Palo of Di Palo's Fine Foods, and Dr. Tim Ryan, President of the Culinary Institute of America.

The brainchild of celebrated restaurateur and GRI founder & Chairman Tony May and GRI president and owner of Il Gattopardo restaurant Gianfranco Sorrentino, this symposium is designed to generate lively debate about what constitutes authentic Italian cuisine and restaurants - and whether it really matters. True Italian cuisine and products are often misunderstood, and their authenticity is under threat from imitators. The distinguished panelists - chefs, educators and journalists - will explore these issues and hope to arrive at a consensus that will establish guidelines to safeguard Italian cuisine, identity and culture. Said Mr. May, "As the leading advocacy group for Italian restaurants in the US, I think it's up to us to raise these issues in the community and increase awareness and understanding of what 'Italian food' really means."

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