Ida Pusateri and Frank Luchetta of Pusateri's Fine Foods, co-winners of the Pentola d'Oro AwardIda Pusateri and Frank Luchetta of Pusateri's Fine Foods, co-winners of the Pentola d'Oro Award

On November 18 the Italian Chamber of Commerce of Ontario (ICCO) and Unico Primo hosted the 6th annual Pentola d’Oro Gala Dinner and Awards ceremony in Vaughan, ON.

The gala takes place during “Centitalia: Gusto Cultural!”, a week-long event that showcases authentic Italian food.

l - r Jim Slomka, Clorox Canada with Food Basics guests: Paula and Sal Galle, Paul and Anna Bravi with Chris and Joe LoCicerol - r Jim Slomka, Clorox Canada with Food Basics guests: Paula and Sal Galle, Paul and Anna Bravi with Chris and Joe LoCicero

l - r Paula and Rob with Unico's Bhavin Prashad Ralph, Vanessa and Mary Younesl - r Unico's Bhavin Preshad, Ralph, Vanessa and Mary Younes with Longo Bros. Paula and Rob Koss

The event celebrates the social role of the culinary arts, and the awards are bestowed in recognition of outstanding work by individuals and organizations in Ontario’s Italian culinary and beverage industry.

Here are the award winners for 2018:

Pentola d’Oro Award (sponsored by Jan K. Overweel Ltd.)

Ida Pusateri, owner, and Frank Luchetta, president, CEO and owner, Pusateri’s Fine Foods

True Italian Taste – Italy-Canada Award (sponsored by Air Canada)

Rob Nella, president, Nella Cutlery & Food Equipment

Best Pizza Award

Romolo Salvati, owner, Pizzeria Via Mercanti

Favourite Hotspot Award (sponsored by Pizza Nova)

Elena Morelli, Guido Saldini, Eron Novalski, owners, Aria Ristorante

LCBO Best Performing Italian Supplier

MASI Agricola S.p.A

l - r Sponsor Jan K. Overweel team: Giancarlo Morrone, Ingrid Rathgeb-Rodriguez, Emma Pelliccione and David Mancinil - r Sponsor Jan K. Overweel team: Giancarlo Morrone, Ingrid Rathgeb-Rodriguez, Emma Pelliccione and David Mancini

l - r Vince Scornaienchi, Fortinos, Oscar Farinetti, founder of Eataly and Jim Slomka, Cloroxl - r Vince Scornaienchi, Fortinos, Oscar Farinetti, founder of Eataly and Jim Slomka, Clorox

Paolo, Ida, Demetra and Sam PusateriPaolo, Ida, Demetra and Sam Pusateri

Pasta making demo at the receptionPasta making demo at the reception

Pentola d'Oro honoree Ida Pusateri with event sponsor Pat Pelliccione of Jan K. OverweelPentola d'Oro honoree Ida Pusateri with event sponsor Pat Pelliccione of Jan K. Overweel

Karen James, Grocery Business with Lucia Martella, Grano Caffe-FornoKaren James, Grocery Business with Lucia Martella, Grano Caffe-Forno

Paul Blake and Giovanna Varricchione, FinicaPaul Blake and Giovanna Varricchione, Finica

The Unico team l - r Joe Ruggiero, Paula and Nino Stelato, Mary and Ralph Younes, John, Sandy Porco and Brandon Porco, Nicole Gonsalves, Frank Bonello, Cesare and Tina Sisti, Frank VillantiThe Unico team l - r Joe Ruggiero, Paula and Nino Stelato, Mary and Ralph Younes, John, Sandy and Brandon Porco, Nicole Gonsalves, Frank Bonello, Cesare Sisti, Frank Villanti, Tina Sisti

The evening’s special guest was Oscar Farinetti, founder of Eataly and creator of FICO Eataly World. FICO – Italian Farming Factory is the world’s biggest food park with over a kilometre of shops, big brands, even farm animals, located in Bologna, Italy. Showcasing Italian biodiversity, the food park covers 100,000 square metres.

Farinetti explained his vision for Eataly’s opening in Toronto in 2019, and his love of all things Italian. The idea behind Eataly is to gather under one roof high-quality food at sustainable and reasonable prices, celebrate Italian biodiversity and create an informal, natural and simple place to eat, shop and learn.

The key difference between Eataly and other large food purveyors is that Eataly strives to make every store an experience unique to its location, Farinetti says.

“The speech by Mr. Farinetti was absolutely outstanding – and I would say incredibly uplifting,” ICCO executive director Corrado Paina told Grocery Business. “The whole idea behind food, for me, is that it’s not a competition to see who has the best food; it’s about making people aware that you have different options when you eat. The second big thing is that quality isn’t just about taste – it’s about health. That to me is the biggest issue.”

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