Summer’s about to get a whole lot tastier with Bellavita, the first Italian tradeshow to be held in London. Far from being your average food market, the aim of Bellavita is to promote lesser-known Italian food producers and companies, who may not have had the chance to trade directly with London buyers. The show will showcase over 200 producers from around Italy, with the expo split into food and wine – aptly named Le Vie del Gusto (the way of taste) and La Passione de Vino (the passion of wine).
Bellavita have recruited top Italian names to be part of the inaugural expo – award winning sommelier Luca Gardini and chefs Giorgio Locatelli and Agostino Jacobucci, to name a few. If merely reading those names don’t fill you with Italian joy, I don’t know what will.
It may come as a surprise that such a well-loved cuisine needs an expo, but many of the smaller producers find it impossible to enter the British market. As Stephan Hack, who works for Bellavita, tells me: “A lot of the Italian producers can’t speak English, so even if a British supermarket picked up the phone, they wouldn’t be able to communicate. Bellavita gives them the chance to show their produce, meet suppliers and talk business”.
When you think about the truly substandard Italian food served up daily by high street chains (not pointing any fingers…Pizza Express…) it makes sense to have a place where authentic supplies have the chance to flourish.