INTERVIEW — Lunch with Benedetta Parodi But only if the tablecloth is real cloth

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The queen of Italian kitchens, whose latest book – “Ricette in famiglia” – is now available in bookstores, will participate in Host as an advocate for the “Notice the difference?” campaign launched by Assofornitori to promote the use of cloth – rather than disposables – in food service. The initiative is made possible by three leading businesses: Masa, Parotex and Tessiltorre

It is always a pleasure, perhaps because it doesn’t happen very often, to meet a celebrity who is exactly the way you imagined she would be. And this is precisely what happened with Benedetta Parodi, star and host of iconic TV programs like “Cotto e mangiato”, as well as hugely popular author on the subject of food and the (simple) pleasures of life. In fact, we cross paths as this super-mom returns from taking Matilde, Eleonora and Diego home — her children with equally-famous husband Fabio Caressa, the “voice” of Sky TV’s top sports commentaries. Which just goes to show how spot-on the decision of Assofornitori and EXPOdetergo International was when they selected her to endorse the “Notice the difference?” campaign, on October 26th in Milan, during Host, the global trade show dedicated fotoBP_AR_OK
to food service and hospitality.

  • Benedetta, you have been asked to play host at the EXPOdetergo International and Assofornitori stand, welcoming journalists and industry professionals amid the tables set with linens from three outstanding firms like Masa, Parotex and Tessiltorre. Why did you agree to accept this role as host?

“I have always had a passion for tablecloths, like the snow-white ones that clearly announce — as soon as you sit down at the table — that you are in a clean environment. I am also a fan of the delightful warmth exuded by gingham (large or small) check tablecloths, the perfect touch as you end your day in the countryside at a local trattoria, or spread out in a field for a nice picnic”.

  • The ideal complement to our bountiful Italy.

“Of course, anyone who imagines Italy as a land of vast beauty – both in art and in cuisine – can truly appreciate a lovingly set table. And, if this person is a foreigner and is inspired, even at our restaurants, to speak well of our country, that is good for us and promotes more tourism”.

  • Does that mean you believe that a good menu, by itself, is no longer enough?

“Exactly, and that is why I am so excited about an initiative like “Notice the difference?”.” Because it is specifically designed to remind the public that in 2015 restaurant dining has become a global experience, where a perfectly-cooked risotto is not enough to completely satisfy the customer. There are other requirements”.parodi date 09 INTERNET 2015-001

  • At one time, it was cleanliness.

“Which is still a must, absolutely, but understood as an element that contributes to ensuring an even more significant greater good: safeguarding the environment”.

  • Therefore, coming back to the title of the event, it is crucial to notice the difference…

“Absolutely. It’s one thing to dine on a beautiful tablecloth made of Italian fabric that will then be laundered and re-used many more times. Which is quite different from eating only organic products, but using disposable tableware that ends up flooding landfills that are already overflowing with waste; this contributes to a kind of pollution that impacts everyone, including the patrons of trendy little restaurants”.

  • A philosophy, of cooking and of life, that immediately calls to mind your books. The latest one, recently published by Rizzoli, is titled “Ricette in famiglia”. What inspired you to write this?

“It grew out of a love for wholesome dining and sharing meals with friends and family, that I have nurtured since I was a child, going on wonderful outings with all my loved ones at the family farmhouse in Monferrato. Those clearly-etched sensations and those early life lessons fueled my passion for preparing — all together in the kitchen — wonderful dishes to be eaten in company, without the need for a chef’s credentials. All you need are good ingredients, a bit of experience and, of course, a gorgeous, fabric tablecloth”.

 

Masa, Parotex and Tessiltorre ready with Benedetta Parodi at “Notice the difference?”

 Yes, everything is ready for the big “Notice the difference?” event, on the calendar October 26 at noon, at the Assofornitori stand at Host. Here, Benedetta Parodi, (you can read the interview with her on the preceding pages), will be the amazing host and proponent of the finest Made in Italy table linens, welcoming invited guests to the event amid the sumptuously appointed tables furnished by the three partner businesses in the initiative: Masa, Parotex and Tessiltorre — introduced below.

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