April 22-25: TASTE OF TOSCANA. “Ex-Breda Cathedral,” Via Sandro Pertini, Pistoia. Open 5 pm- 12 midnight on April 22; 11 am – 12 midnight April 23-25.
The third edition of Taste of Toscana (Toscana in Bocca) is dedicated to the city of Pistoia, the 2017 Cultural Capital of Italy.
To celebrate its rich gastronomic heritage, the emphasis of the festival will be on local food producers and the excellence of Pistoia’s restaurants. The area boasts of an award winning schiacciata (focaccia), is famous for its excellent cheeses, cold cuts, and extra-virgin olive oil, what’s more, the Pistoia countryside is home to artisan chocolate workshops and some of the best Vin Santos and white wines of Tuscany.
The festival will be held at ex-industrial building, the “Ex-Breda Cathedral” in Pistoia. The venue will host 35 stands staffed by 49 chefs in addition to 20 producers, all from the province of Pistoia. Each will present food samples and two regional recipes daily. The menus will vary from antipasto, through first and main courses to desserts, including vegan and celiac dishes.
Special guests of the event, Erica Liverani and Lorenzo De Guio, winners of Masterchef 5, will give a two-day presentation, “Outside Tuscany,” about contemporary Tuscan taste, changing trends, and young chefs’ interpretations of traditional recipes. Liverani will also organize a cooking show to present her new book Step by Step – My Seasonal Kitchen (A piccolo passi – La mia cucina stagionale), inviting the audience to participate.
This year the organizers have paid special attention to kids. Apart from the cooking demonstrations and talk shows on food, healthy living, and the region’s cuisine, cooking labs will be open to children with the participation of prominent chefs.
Taste of Toscana, though, is not only for the delight of taste buds. The festival closes every day with live music. The overall aim is to promote healthy lifestyle, support traditional wine and food production, and to tries to enhance the reevaluation of cultural heritage and the joy of the Dolce Vita. (gréta szabó)