Do you know the Ospitalità Italiana quality seal? It stems from an initiative by Unioncamere, a worldwide association of Italian chambers of commerce in collaboration with two Italian institutes: the Federazione Italiana Pubblici Esercizi and the Istituto Nazionale Ricerche Turistiche.
The Ospitalità Italiana program has for objective to develop and promote Italian gastronomy throughout the world, notably by imposing strict standards of quality and authenticity to qualify.
To receive their seal of authenticity, restaurants must have:
1. At least one employee who can serve clients in Italian (!);
2. At least 50% of authentic Italian recipes on their menu;
3. A wine card comprising at least 30% Italian vintages;
4. Recipes using authentic ingredients sourced in Italy such as olive oil, parmigiano reggiano, San Marzano tomatoes, etc.; and
5. A chef who has studied or apprenticed in Italy or a recognized Italian restaurant.
In Québec, a few restaurants have received this seal, 10 of which will be serving guests at the next Souper Gourmand Italien, a fundraising benefit evening held by the Italian Chamber of Commerce in Canada, this next September 24 in Montreal. Part of the evening’s proceeds will go the Shriners’ Children Hospital. If you love Italian cuisine and wish to treat yourself, tickets are going for $160 each plus tax (to make a reservation, visit Eventbrite here).
It’s a unique occasion to discover the breadth of Italian cuisine in Montreal, while sipping on wines by renowned winemaker Michele Chiarlo. Local celebrity Josée di Stasio will also join in the festivities. The evening will be held in the Passerelle Perspective of the Montreal Science Centre, a unique room located on the second story of the… outdoor parking. The popularity of this venue can be explained by its spectacular view on the St.Lawrence River (above is a photograph I took during a previous event for Dans la rue). Whatever you do, don’t miss the sunset from the terrace. And buon appetito!
In the kitchens: