There were some tasty events happening on the show floor. I met Nancy Radke among an impressive array of opened wheels of Parmigiano Reggiano at a booth in the Italian neighborhood. “Coming to the Parm cracking at the Rogers Collection Booth?” she asked. I did not have to be asked twice.
It takes skill, time and at least two people to properly crack a wheel of Parm. While this delicate (but at the same time strength-requiring) task was taking place, Nancy regaled the small audience of cheese buyers and press with facts about real Parmigiano Reggiano. Everyone knows about Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) status, but did you know that every wheel can be traced to its manufacturer through a QR code?
Then there was Cooking with Nonna at the Casillo booth. Rossella Rago, host of that TV series, had brought not one but two nonnas, and one of them was her actual Nonna (Italian grandmother for non-paisanos), Nonna Romana. They demonstrated making pasta with Casillo products, and everybody had a taste. Buona!
Out in the hallway, there was a taste of the high-tech future. A ChefJet 3D printer had been set up, and it was busy printing sugar sculpture – fantastic shapes and colors which could hardly have been imagined until recently.
There were little cube variations, almost too cute to eat.
And there was a convoluted masterpiece to admire.
Liz van Hasseln of 3D Systems told me that they have digitized and printed rare orchid specimens for the Smithsonian Institution. I can’t wait to see what chefs and food designers come up with to produce on these machines! They are getting less expensive and more accessible every day.
Lastly, a party at the hip Hotel Americano (a very Eurostyle place, despite its name), hosted by the Casillo Group, featured Rossella Rago and Nonna Romana from the booth demo.
The occasion was the launch of Casillo’s new video campaign, which was previewed at the party. We met a man wearing a beautiful jacket, who turned out to be the film’s director, Carlos Solito.
There were beautiful people, delicious pasta, signature cocktails, copious antipasti, and loud music.
A good time was had by all.