Spotlights on the first Congress of gastronomy "BCNVanguardias: a meeting of contemporary cuisines"

Reggio Emilia, 12th March 2004 – BCNVanguardias, the first Spanish gastronomy congress, was held in conjunction with Alimentaria, the biannual agrifood exhibition that took place in Barcellona from 8th to 12th March: during the show Parmigiano-Reggiano confirmed its role as one of the fundamental ingredients for gastronomic innovation.

The congress saw the participation of prestigious international chefs (from Ferrán Adriá to David Bouley) who gave spectacular live demonstrations. Two main themes were covered: Spain’s Autonomous Communities, with a broad overview of the renewal of traditional cooking in these Spanish regions, and a parade of the brightest stars from the guest continent: America. The congress, which was conceived and organized by Alimentaria, offered to interested visitors an opportunity for gathering information and meeting people.

During the official opening of the works, which was attended by all the specialized Spanish press, Parmigiano-Reggiano underlined the cultural value and international recognition of Italy’s typical products, and offered the opportunity to sample the cheese at various stages of maturation (18, 25 and 30 months). Another highlight in the opening day was the buffet offered to participants where a risotto with Parmigiano-Reggiano was prepared and served in the best possible way, inside half a cheese wheel hollowed out to form an ideal “container”.

During the five days of the exhibition, a numerous group of cooks from the different Spanish regions took turns in the huge kitchen-stage set up especially for this event. In this setting, the country’s top chefs gave their personal interpretation of typical recipes from the region of origin, adding new ingredients and their imagination. Parmigiano-Reggiano stood out not only for being the only non-Spanish product officially invited to the congress, but above all for being included in all of the recipes presented because, according to the chefs, it is a fundamental ingredient in gastronomic innovation.
Among the cooks who attempted this modernization of traditional dishes, an outstanding name was that of Manolo de la Osa from the region Castilla La Mancha who prepared a Zuppetta di Parmigiano.

Another high spot for Parmigiano-Reggiano in Alimentaria coincided with the visit of Prince Andrew of England, who was present at the inauguration of the British stand. The exhibition centre organized a convivial moment in the protocol room of Alimentaria, attended by Spanish diplomatic and political representatives. The buffet offered by Alimentaria included Jamón Jabugo and Parmigiano-Reggiano, which the organization indicated as being the most representative products at the Spanish level and international level, respectively.

The Consortium for Parmigiano-Reggiano introduced its organization to the Spanish public in the stand set up by Afidop (Association of Italian PDO cheeses) and Ice (Foreign Trade Institute) who gave hospitality to our cheese and to other Italian cheeses throughout the exhibition.
The interest aroused by Parmigiano-Reggiano with its participation in Alimentaria and in the BCNVanguardias congress further reinforced the appreciation shown by Spaniards for this product which is the pride of Italy’s food tradition: in these last two years this cheese has already actively participated in Spanish culinary shows such as the congress “Lo mejor de la Gastronomia” in San Sebastiàn, during which they award the "Premio Parmigiano-Reggiano a la mejor labor a pro del queso" (prize for best work enhancing this cheese), so far won by Ferrán Adriá and Josean Martínez Alija.

Consortium for Parmigiano-Reggiano

Igino Morini – Press Office Consorzio del Formaggio Parmigiano-Reggiano
tel. +39 0522 700230; fax +39 0522 700240; mobile 335 6522327