The Extraordinary Italian Taste


CENTItalia: Gusto Cultura!

The True Italian Taste at Centennial College from November 13 – 16, 2018

The third edition of CENTItalia will take place from November 13 to November 16, 2018.  Prominent chefs, food and wine experts, restaurateurs, influencers, educators, journalists, and foodies will come together to celebrate the charm and simplicity of Italian cuisine, showcase the authenticity and traceability of its ingredients and demo regional Italian dishes and specialties, while enhancing their qualities and uniqueness.

This year’s Week of Italian Food and Cuisine will feature a video and a publication on Coffee, its history and culture, and its evolution through the decades; an opening day with tastings on coffee and Italian pastries with the participation of Chef Andrea Tortora,  who was voted best pastry chef in Italy in the “L’Espresso Guide 2019”; workshops, master classes and tasting events for industry people, media, general public and culinary arts students. Regional focus will be on the food excellencies, olive oils and wines of Tuscany, with the participation of a delegation from the Region of Tuscany which includes Michelin Star Chef Silvia Baracchi.  On Friday Nov. 16, a lecture will be given by ICCO’s special guest Oscar Farinetti, founder of Eataly and of FICO in Bologna.

CENTItalia 2018 builds on two successful years of collaboration between Centennial College School of Culinary Arts and the Italian Chamber of Commerce of Ontario.

In 2017 the week’s focus was on authentic Italian Pizza, with the presentation of Pizza Cultura, ICCO’s latest publication, and the attendance of the #1 Mastro Pizzaiolo in Italy Franco Pepe.  Michelin Star chef Cristina Bowerman from Rome and Chef Ugo Mura from IFSE Culinary School in Turin contributed to the success of the event.

In 2016 the week’s main event featured the first ever Italian Food Symposium – included a Q&A with Chef Rob Gentile (Buca Ristorante), as well as a panel discussion with industry experts. Workshops and master classes on food and wine specialties, as well as DOP and IGP products were presented by visiting chefs from Italy. Chef Ugo Mura, Chef Rocco Grisoni, Chef Paolo Cacciani, and Michelin star Chef Filippo Saporito showcased the culinary excellencies of Piedmont, Emilia Romagna, Lazio and Tuscany.

CENTItalia: Program Highlights

All events (with exception of Pentola d’Oro) will take place at Centennial College – School of Hospitality, Tourism and Culinary Arts, 937 Progress Ave, Toronto.


DATE: November 13, 2018
TIME: 6:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.
COST: Free, Register here
This event marks the official opening of the third edition of CENTItalia, a week-long celebration of authentic Italian food products and cuisine.

Caffe’ Italia will focus on coffee throughout the centuries, its history and its evolution to become one of the most beloved drinks in Italy.

The evening will feature the presentation of ICCO‘s documentary and publication on coffee and a tasting event on coffee specialties and the best Italian desserts prepared by local businesses and a visiting pastry chef from Italy, Chef Andrea Tortora.
Michelin Star Chef Silvia Baracchi will feature authentic Tuscan specialties.


DATE: November 14, 2018
TIME: 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
COST: Free – Register here

DATE: November 15, 2018
TIME: 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
COST: Free – Register here
Chef Andrea Tortora will show preparation and insights to make the most renowned and delicious Italian pastries, cookies and desserts, including the famous Panettone/Pandoro, with the best ingredients available on the market. The demo will be followed by a tasting and Chef Andrea will mingle and take questions throughout the event.


DATE: November 14, 2018
TIME: 6:00 p.m.
COST: $75+HST – Purchase tickets here
Centennial College Chefs with Chef Andrea Tortora
A Multi-course dinner prepared by Centennial College Chefs in collaboration with Chef Andrea Tortora with wine pairing. The Chefs will be demonstrating courses before delivery of each course, mingle with attendees and take questions.

DATE: November 15, 2018
TIME: 6:00 p.m.
COST: $125+HST – Purchase tickets here
Michelin Star Chef Silvia Baracchi
A Multi-course dinner prepared by visiting Michelin Star Chef Silvia Baracchi (Relais Il Falconiere, Cortona) from Tuscany. Chef Silvia will be preparing traditional dishes inspired by the region of Tuscany highlighting regional ingredients. She will be demonstrating courses before delivery of each course, mingle with attendees and take questions. A portion of the proceeds will be donated to a student scholarship fund.


DATE: November 15, 2018
TIME: 2:00 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.
COST: Free – Register here
An event focused on olive oil from the region of Tuscany. An olive oil connoisseur will introduce different kinds of olive oil and their qualities to participants.


DATE: November 15, 2018
TIME: 4:00 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.
COST: Free – Register here
An event focused on wines from the Region of Tuscany presented by a sommelier who will introduce different wines and their qualities.

LECTURE WITH OSCAR FARINETTI: “People, nice to meet you in 100 words”

DATE: November 16, 2018
TIME: 08.30 a.m. – 11.30 a.m.
COST: Free – Register here
ICCO presents Oscar Farinetti who will hold a lecture sharing his experience in the Food&Beverage Industry, offering a comprehensive overview about his experience dedicated to sharing the biodiversity of Italian cuisine in the world. During the presentation he will talk about his personal experience, about the Eataly’ project, what marketing means to him and what the “secret” ingredient is that makes the difference in being a leader.


DATE: November 16, 2018
TIME: 6:00 p.m.
COST: Purchase tickets here
The week long initiative will conclude with ICCO’s Pentola d’Oro gala evening, an annual event for the food industry, to be held at the Universal Eventspace in Vaughan.


Andrea Tortora

Chef Andrea Tortora
AT Patissier Srl

Son of confectioners and with a strong international resume to his credit – from Paris to London and from Singapore to Venice – Andrea Tortora is since summer 2015 the Head Pastry Chef of the three Michelin stars Restaurant St. Hubertus of Rosa Alpina Hotel & Spa in San Cassiano – Dolomites. In 2017 he was appointed Maestro AMPI and the Italian guides Il Gambero Rosso and Identità Golose have named him Pastry Chef of the Year. In the “L’Espresso Guide 2019” Andrea Tortora will be nominated Pastry Chef of the Year.

Given the success achieved, Andrea Tortora is continuing with his AT Patissier project – alongside the activities carried out at the restaurant – with the aim of offering great yeast products with contemporary elegance. His proposal is that of a big classic of the Italian confectionery, the Panettone Glassato, in a 1 kg format, without any compromise on the quality of raw materials (vanilla from Tahiti, candied oranges Agrimontana, cocoa Domori, dairy butter and fresh eggs) and on the processing of the mother yeast. Another strong point is also the product’s packaging, as the Panettone is presented in an elegant total black metallic tin, whose graphics have been designed by the Italian illustrator Gio Pastori.

“In front of the greatness of the Italian tradition,
I felt this courageous hypothesis that subtraction could be an opportunity.
My role is simply to respect it, to present it at its best
and to make it accessible through contemporary channels”

Chef Silvia Regi Baracchi

Chef Silvia Regi Baracchi, Maitre de Maison & Chef
Relais & Chateaux Il Falconiere & spa – Cortona

Born in Perugia, she opened Il Falconiere restaurant in 1989 together with her husband Riccardo, restoring his family villa.

Today Il Falconiere features 34 rooms and an award winning restaurant including One Michelin Star in 2002, Gambero Rosso 83/100, Veronelli 2 stars, Espresso 16/20 and many others. Il Falconiere has been part of the world famous association of “Relais & Chateaux” since 1997.

Riccardo and their son Benedetto, together with oenologist and agronomist Stefano Chioccioli, collaborated to create a company of 32 hectares of vineyards located in different locations. Some of Chef Silvia’s culinary experiences include the participation in Chef in the Sky in Helsinki, Brussels and Riga, signing the First and Business Class Menu of the Russian flight Company AeroFlot in 2014, the collaboration with great chefs like Cannavacciuolo, Paolo Gramaglia, Claudio Sadler and Andrea Alfieri, Valeria Piccini and the great Gianni d’Amato.

Furthermore she participated in numerous television programs and events in the food and wine world as well as charity events, some of which received international reviews. In 2016 she published her first book “Red of taste passions in the kitchen”. Among her achievements is the entry into the prestigious association “Le Soste”.

Chef Silvia was in Dubai last March for the Taste of Dubai, accompanied by her executive chef Richard Titi, and in May she was in China, between Shanghai, Beijing and Guangzhou where she participated in different culinary events.

Oscar Farinetti

Oscar Farinetti
Founder and Creator of Eataly and FICO Eataly World

Oscar Farinetti is the founder and creator of Eataly, the first supermarket dedicated to the Italian high-quality foods. In 10 years it has opened 40 branches, 22 in Italy and 18 abroad: 2 in Japan, 4 in the US, Moscow, Istanbul, 2 in Dubai, Rhiad, Doha, Seoul, San Paolo, Munich, Copenhagen, and Stockholm. Paris and Las Vegas will open within the end of 2018. By 2019 Eataly will be listed in the Stock Exchange and it will become “a global public company representing the Italian lifestyle with ever increasing intensity and strength.” His new project is FICO Eataly World, the world’s largest agri-food park: 100 thousand square meters inaugurated on November 15th, 2017 in Bologna. FICO Eataly World is the only place in the world where one can experience the whole food production chain. Two whole hectares dedicated to demonstrative fields and stables with more than 200 animals and 2000 different cultivars. Over 40 farming factories and consortia, over 40 places to eat the best Italian dishes, 100 traditional shops and Italian farmers market, congress centre, educational areas for wine tasting, cooking shows, training ground for a sensorial and educational experience about food and its biodiversity, 6 walk-through and interactive multimedia carousels dedicated to the extraordinary story of Man and Fire, Earth, Sea, Animals, Bottled Goods, and Future. And much more. Mr. Farinetti is working on a similar project in Japan of 1,000 square meters which promises to become the “temple” of food Made in Italy in Asia. Oscar Farinetti collaborated in the research for several institutes including Cermes-Bocconi University and the University of Parma. His awards and acknowledgements include: Honorary Doctorate of Business – American University of Rome (2016), Honorary Doctorate in Marketing and Communication – Urbino University “Carlo Bo” (2014), “Premio America” – Fondazione Italia USA (2013), “Premio Scanno” (2012). In 2014 Mr. Farinetti was listed as eligible to be appointed Minister of Agriculture. He has published several books: “Coccodé” (2009), “Vino, I love you” (2013), “Mangia con il pane. Storia di mio padre, il comandante Paolo” (2015), “Nel blu. La biodiversità italiana, figlia dei venti” (2015), “Ricordiamoci il futuro” (2017).

CENTItalia is presented by

in collaboration with

Main Sponsors

Concord National + Illy
Italian Tourism Board
Regione Toscana

ICCO Partners


Participating Vendors

Pizza Nova

Video Production Sponsor

Render Media