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Francesco Ardito. Last Minute Sotto Casa, the practical start-pp for avoiding food waste

Innovation / -

A concrete solution to combat food waste, Last Minute Sotto Casa, the start-up created by Francesco Ardito, is designed to interact with merchants who don’t want to throw away food that is still fresh.

Antonino Cannavacciuolo: “Expo Milano 2015 is like a babà. And a babà is a very serious matter.”
Expo Milano 2015 Ambassador and chef-owner of the two-star Michelin Ristorante Villa Crespi at Orta San Giulio, Antonino Cannavacciuolo loves Italy and its ingredients, and is convinced that, if Expo Milano 2015 sends the right messages, 15 years from now the whole world will insist on Italian ingredients.
A gentle giant who rarely smiles and believes passionately in what he does. Antonino Cannavacciuolo, an Ambassador of Expo Milano 2015  who runs the Michelin two-star Villa Crespi, is the protagonist and author of a special menu dedicated to Expo Milano 2015 and served in the Identità Expo Restaurant until August 23rd. Devoted to cooking since the age of 13, he has fully served all his necessary apprenticeships. An innovator by nature, 15 years ago many people thought he was mad when he decided to include dry pasta in the menu of his restaurant. “You’ll never win a Michelin star like that”, they said. Uncompromising and intelligent, he stuck to his guns because, as he says “If you don’t fully believe in something, the message is only half transmitted, and the customer realizes that.”
Expo Milano 2015. What do think of it? Do you like it?
It’s an explosion of energy. You only have to look at people’s faces: they’re smiling, they’re happy. That means that it’s working as it should. Expo Milano 2015 is a unique opportunity: if we take advantage of it to make the world really aware of our extra virgin olive oil, our mozzarella, our vegetables and citrus fruit, in 15 years from now the whole world will insist on our products. Not on the insipid imitations circulating outside Italy.
The battle against food waste. What can be done?
Nowadays it’s become fashionable, but actually it has always been part of Italy’s culinary culture. I remember from when I first began to work as a cook, at the age of 13, that in all the top chef’s kitchens I used to see a big saucepan on the stove, boiling all the leftover bits of meat: that was the brown base, the essential background of every dish, the concentrate of flavor that enriched every creation. In those days it was indispensable, but today it has been forgotten. That was real zero waste cooking. Today, when I order fish from my fishmonger, I ask for 10 boxes of fish and 5 of leftovers: with the heads, the skin, the bones I make my broth, my aspics and concentrates to intensify my dishes.
And with vegetables?
The same thing. You use the leftovers to prepare the white base flavoring: the outer part of fennel, the hardest and most bitter parts of escarole, the onion skins… these are all mines of taste which should never be wasted. Anyone who really loves cooking uses everything.
What menu have you prepared for your week of “residence” at Identità Expo, where you’ll be in the spotlight at lunch and dinner until August 23rd?
In order to be faithful to what I just said, and to be in line with the theme of Expo Milano 2015, Feeding the Planet – Energy for Life, I didn’t want to bring scampi, foie gras or exotic or complex food, but simple things which express our traditions. Baccalà alla pizzaiola and mayonnaise with octopus water for starters, then Mixed Pasta with potatoes and mussels, followed by Eggplant Parmigiana with melted Provola cheese, and for dessert a bowl of Bonet, a ‘spoon dessert’ from Piedmont.
What is Mixed Pasta?
Another contemporary paradox: when I was child, the shops often gave it away free, because it was the leftovers from various different kinds and shapes of pasta. Nowadays it’s the most trendy and costly kind of pasta.
Expo Milano 2015 is…
It’s like a babà. And a babà is a very serious matter.

Oscar Farinetti. Food scarcity? It’s just myth. In fact, there is too much food.

Taste / -

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Food scarcity? It’s just myth. In fact, there is too much food. To get out of the crisis, Italy has to rely on the winds of change. Entrepreneur Oscar Farinetti says he’s looking forward to Expo Milano 2015 and gives a preview of what to expect at Eataly’s space at the Universal Exposition in Milan.

In 2050 there will be 9 billion of us. How can we all be fed?
The world currently produces enough for  2 billion people.  Currently there are 7 billion of us and there are one billion people suffering from hunger. Yet we throw away about half of the food produced. The great challenge of the future is not so much to increase its production but to combat waste. Then there are other big problems, a lack of democracy, wars, a lack of civic responsibility. We could talk for hours, but I don’t want to take too long.
What will be on display in Eataly’s spaces at Expo Milano 2015? What will we eat and what surprises do you have in store for visitors?
The goal of Eataly is to celebrate the true primacy of Italian cuisine and its biodiversity. It is a superior result of the blend of our winds, which create a unique microclimate in the world. The winds coming of the sea, that meet with those of our mountains and our hills, giving rise to the greatest variety of plant and animal species that exist on the planet and consequently, the largest variety of agricultural food and wine. For this Pavilion, Eataly calls us with: "The answer, my friend, is blowing in the wind." Twenty restaurants on site, one for each Italian region, each one entrusted to local representatives from each region, each providing examples that interpret history, tradition and character. During the Exposition, there will be a 120 seat restaurant which will take turns to offer visitors the real traditions of Italian cuisine. There will be an unparalleled choice of about 80 dishes, each made with a respect for tradition, but also recounted through a powerful narration of its entire journey. We will explain Italian biodiversity on four fronts: food and wine, landscapes, characters and art, and the extraordinary art of Italy.
It has been stated that Italian exports must double from 400 billion to 800 billion euro. Can you explain in detail how that can be achieved?
It will take the five industries where we have an intrinsic primordial power - agriculture/food, fashion and design, manufacturing, cultural heritage and tourism - and an exaggerated promotion. Yes, exaggerated. But we need to do it all together, with one common thread, without wasting resources. Some of these groups can triple their volume of business, some can double and some can achieve double-digit increases. In short, if we can work on what we do well already, Italy will have no rival in the world.

If the Italian food excellence system worked better, how many jobs could be created? 
The jobs that could be generated with a strong investment in “Made in Italy” are in the millions. And we are talking about jobs in Italy for Italians, who consume in Italy, thus creating a powerful increase of internal customs.

What are the most interesting markets for Eataly and “Made in Italy” today? Will they be the same five years from now?
There are 194 Countries and all are interested in Made in Italy and Eataly. In the first place, in the whole of Europe and in the Americas where eating Italian food is quite typical. But the desire for Italian food is booming all over the world and I think it will grow exponentially in the coming years.

In your opinion what will be the most sought-after Italian products among the public in the coming years? It is evident that pasta and pizza represent an answer, but the task of Eataly is precisely to give the fruit of Italian biodiversity to the world.

You inaugurated the project "Vino Libero." (Free Wine)  This type of organic and natural production, is happening more and more or is it just a fad or will it solidify over time? Why did you choose this project?
All in all, to be fashionable is a good thing, but for fashion to last, it must know how to renew itself each season, from year to year. Wine needs to be "liberated" from so many things and every year we try to free it from one thing or another. The things that remains in fashion has basic values ​​consistent with design that is its continuous renewal. For "Vino Libero" I hope that it will be the case. I chose Vino Libero because it is a simple thing that is easily understood and holds true.

Is the Eataly  model, with its culinary excellence, replicable in other environments such as Japan, France, China, USA, etc..?
Anything can be done; however, it is more difficult for other countries to express the beauty of its cuisine in a format similar to that of Eataly. No other country in the world has at its genesis the triangulation of domestic predominance in food biodiversity, history and traditions, which forms the foundation of Italian cuisine.

At the close of Expo, F.I.Co  will open, a large space on the outskirts of Bologna, which celebrates the beauty of the Italian agriculture. 80 thousand square meters to meet the supply chain and the uniqueness of each single product, which can then be tasted and purchased. Will it be a sort of passing of the torch?
Yes, I see it quite like that. F.I.Co. could be a great example of a permanent kind of Expo. It is a big challenge, but since you only live once, I like challenges.

Eataly has announced that it is ready to go public. Has the target date been confirmed for a 2016/2017 listing? Have you already identified the advisor and the share capital for the market?
I can confirm that the target for the listing is between 2016/2017. For everything else, advisors and share capital are yet to be determined. These are questions that Gianni Tamburi will address, who knows infinitely more on these topics than I.

From this point forward through the next two years, are you expecting shareholders in addition to Tamburi Investment Partners, and if so with who?
No, there is no forecast for others to take part in the listing.

Is it possible that the listing of Eataly will not only happen in Milan, but also in New York or in the Asian markets, given the desire to create a company that is increasingly globalized?
Eataly, unfortunately, is currently the only Italian retail food company with a global concept and penetration and it expand on this even more. As for the markets where we are listed, that is up to Gianni Tamburi.
When are the next confirmed openings
Between late 2014 and 2015 when we will open in Sao Paulo, Moscow, and there will be a second location in New York. There will also be openings in Forli and Trieste in Italy. In 2016 we expect to see stores in Los Angeles, Monaco, Munich, London and Verona. We are finalizing agreements for other markets such as Boston, Washington, Paris, Seoul and Singapore, the city where we have as yet no indication of an opening date.  

So far we have talked about the economy, but you are also famous for having convinced the great poet Tonino Guerra to do PR for your appliance chain stores. What is poetry for you? What does it evoke in you?
Poetry is the ability to give, but also to grasp an emotion. There is excitement in that moment when the inner music that each of us should have, called conscience, is brought to a climax and make us unfathomably happy to exist. We have the ability to make or receive poetry in many ways, and even shopkeepers can take part in it. I try tirelessly, also while taking into account the purist detractors who think that a shopkeeper cannot fly so high.

Women’s projects. How we make a network and promote beneficial initiatives

Innovation / -

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Da destra, Marina Olwen Fogarty, Elena Bellacicca, Diana Bracco, Elena Carmagnani e Emanuela Saporito.

Their names are Elena Carmagnani, Marina Olwen Fogarty and Elena Bellacicca, and they are the three winners of “Progetti delle donne / Women’s Projects”, the competition promoted by Padiglione Italia and WE-Women for Expo to highlight and promote women’s entrepreneurial talents. “Ortialti”, “Alto Piemonte. Al-Top!” and “Find my Lost” were the titles of the three innovative projects selected by Diana Bracco and the jury of experts.

Launched on July 4 2014, the competition was conceived with the aim of rewarding the best start-up ideas from women, capable of offering a significant contribution to women’s empowerment, to innovation, and to environmental and economic sustainability. The competition attracted nearly 150 participating projects for 100 competing ideas, originating from all over Italy and involving the most varied fields of application. The presentation of the potential start-ups took place on July 10 inside the Me and We space in Pavilion Italia, as part of the dense schedule of events in The other half of the Planet - Women's Weeks: a series of events, shows and innovative meetings with well-known figures from the worlds of politics, show business and culture which has dominated Expo Milano 2015 from June 29 to July 10, involving its visitors in the major issues of women’s food security and empowerment.
All the advantages of roof-top vegetable plots
The architect Elena Carmagnani won first prize with her OrtiAlti project for promoting the creation of urban roof-top vegetable plots, winning – together with her colleague Emanuela Saporito – a contribution of 40,000 Euros based on contributions from the Milano Expo 2015 Foundation, the Giuseppina Mai Foundation and Accenture.
“The seed for the idea of OrtiAlti was sown a few years ago, from a first experience between myself and my partners in our Architectural Studio, as we created a small condominium vegetable plot on the roof above our office. This project might well have remained unknown, but for various reasons it became known, was much admired, and even won a prize from the Legambiente environmental association. This made us realize the potential of green installations on top of city buildings as instruments of urban regeneration, bringing major environmental benefits: providing insulation for the floor below it, reducing the ‘hot island’ effect and regulating the flow of rainwater. The rooftop vegetable plot also means zero kilometer vegetables for families in the same building, and can become a shared social space encouraging contact between families. So we thought that this project could be adapted and widened to involve whole cities, and thus was born OrtiAlti, which has now become a small social innovation company. Thanks to this prize, we now have two other projects underway: a vegetable plot on the roof of a large shopping center in Nichelino (Province of Turin), and another in an ex-factory in the northern part of Turin which is run by a cooperative for the disabled, with a hostel, a restaurant and a large roof area which will become a large vegetable plot.”
Plato inspires the exploration of beauty, goodness and truth in northern Piedmont
The second prize, worth 30,000 Euros, was awarded to the philosopher Marina Olwen Fogarty and her project ‘Alto Piemonte. Al-Top!’, aimed at promoting and enhancing local wines and culture.
“It was my philosophic studies that convinced me to invest in culture and wine. I set out with the conviction that human beings are attracted by the beautiful, the good and the truthful. As Plato teaches us, marvel attracts, and Italy is full of marvelously beautiful, good and true things. The problem is that many of these things are not currently economically sustainable… as in the case of Pompeii. This idea was also driven by my passion for my native area, Upper Piedmont, with its vast potential from the viewpoints of landscape, history and culture. But the problem was finding a way to make this potential economically viable, because financing culture today is extremely difficult. My passion for this territory unites with my passion for wine: this is a product which when it reaches the market can command prices far beyond the value of the drink. So my idea was to associate a product such as fine wine with culture, to create a virtuous circle between the two. We chose the Boca sanctuary, a highly significant artistic work by the architect Antonelli, and we planted vineyards around it, forming a kind of amphitheater embracing it. The cultural center will be situated inside this amphitheater. Next year we will organize various food and wine events and cultural events, as a first step to creating a regular seasonal program of events, and in the long term create a company which will also be the seat of training courses for sector operators.”
An avant-garde app for finding lost objects
Elena Bellacicca, a graduate in Business Economy from the Bocconi University of Milan, also has a Master in Financing on her Curriculum Vitae and another in Strategic Management. She won the Premio Vivaio (Nursery Prize) for under-35 entrepreneurs, worth 10,000 Euros, thanks to her project Find My Lost, designed to put people who lose things in touch with people who have found them.
“Find my Lost is the first web application capable of putting the owner of lost property with someone who have found it. It is the first social lost and found office. The idea came to mind because valuable objects often get lost, and yet up to now no useful app existed for this situation. It was conceived especially with visitors to Expo Milano 2015 in mind… for instance, in the first three months of Expo, 1,800 objects have been lost and found on the Expo Site without being returned to their owners. We have begun from Milan, with the Universal Exposition and also the City of Milan, but our aim is to include Italy’s main cities, and then spread beyond Italy.”

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