Italian Heritage Month marked by collaborative party by Faema and Aurora Importing
By Naomi Szeben
By Naomi Szeben
Toronto – Lorenzo Di Donato, vice-president, marketing strategist and business developer for Faema Canada, described the kickoff to June’s Italian Heritage Month at the company’s showroom in Toronto as a “perfect marriage” of likeminded lovers of Italian food, culture and culinary expertise. Aurora Importing and Distributing was one of the main sponsors; they fell in love with the glass and stone architecture of Faema’s showroom and school and the concept was born.
Di Donato spoke warmly of the collaboration with Aurora Importing. “We do a lot of work together, and we started talking and we said, ‘It would be cool to start a launch party.’ The thing is, both of our companies are old. They are an importer of Italian foods, and we’re an importer of Italian equipment. So it’s a perfect marriage. We’re showcasing our finest products, here. Our culinary academy is in full activation: We have pastas being made, using their ingredients. Our pasta station, with all our pasta equipment and their ingredients is a perfect pair. It’s a great social environment to get everyone together and really enjoy the event.”
Music rang out and the delighted chatter of attendees created a steady buzz. The food was plentiful and the joy that the chefs had in sharing traditional dishes was sincere. Bloggers, journalists, food importers and equipment suppliers enjoyed the best that Italy has to offer. From a polenta that was poured onto a greased wooden serving table and shared by eager guests, to various pasta stations that featured various authentic ingredients, everyone felt caught up in the love of Italian food culture.
“We started talking about six to eight weeks before the event was scheduled,” said Di Donato with a laugh. “That’s when the pieces started coming together, and we kept building and building from there. We had a really great time spearheading and organizing and worked towards putting it together. We offered our venue as a space to host the event and it went off really well.”
The event had the spontaneity of being invited to a friend’s house for dinner, but with the polish of a well-honed culinary event that showcased the company’s equipment and the flavours of Italy. Di Donato shared the inspiration behind the event. “It evolved originally from the consumer side. I wanted to take it to that level . . . I’ve seen how people gravitate towards the Food Network. I can see how people really respond to gourmet food and I thought how we have a great facility for it.”
“We’ve trained people on how to make proper gelato, espresso, pizza and pasta. From there, we started doing consumer classes. And it just took off immediately because there are so many people in the city that really have become foodies. They want to know understand how to improve ways to make these types of products at home. It’s just been an automatic success for us.”