This year, the Bellavita London Expo 2017, held at the Business Design Centre in Islington from June 18th-20th has enjoyed incredible success in its fourth year. This year’s expo saw over 300 wines being showcased from across Italy, as well as 500 new products launching into the UK market for the first time.
The focus of this year’s Expo was predominantly on trends in Italian food in the HORECA industry, and the impact that Italian produce has had and is having in the UK. Bellavita, alongside The Food People, created a 300-page food trends report of upcoming trends in Italian food in the UK for 2017/2018. A sneak peak of the report was handed out to each guest at the Expo.
Legendary chef and ambassador of Bellavita Expo, Francesco Mazzei, says “Italian food in the UK is the most exciting it has ever been, with the biggest trend currently the idea of “mamma” cooking with Chef hands – traditional Italin food that has been given a refined touch.”
Bellavita hosted some of the world’s top chefs this year, all whom gave live demonstrations and masterclasses. These included chefs such as Niko Romito, Theo Randall and Georgio Locatelli.
Commenting on the success of this year’s Expo, Theo Randall says “Bellavita is hugely important because it brings so many new products to Londoners. There’s always something new, bigger and better to see every year I come here. This year I’ve noticed that Bellavita have done a great job in bringing the various regions of Italy together, celebrating the diversity in the cuisine of each region.”
For the second year, the Bellavita Wine Academy hosted the Best UK Sommelier Villa Sandi Award, organised by the UK Sommelier Association and AIS London. With more Sommeliers taking part than ever before, the competition was particularly tough. The winning sommelier was crowned on the Sunday of the Expo: Valentin Radosav, Head Sommelier at Michelin-starred Gymkhana in London.
Federica Zanghirella, Vice President of the UK Sommelier Association said of the awards, “The awards have been a very exciting experience. Watching some of the UK’s top sommeliers compete against each other was great to watch and the entrants were of a higher quality than ever before.”
As well as masterclasses and demonstrations, Bellavita hosted some incredibly fascinating industry panes with from some of the UK’s leading wine retailers, discussing current wine trends in the UK, with representatives from companies such as Oddbins, the Co-Operative Group and Fullers & Co.
Gyles Walker, wine buyer for the Co-Operative Group said of the Expo “It’s very important for producers to meet their customers and a show such as Bellavita is a great opportunity to talk to your customers to find out what they are after. Most importantly, it’s also useful to help us think about the future, and what customers will be looking for in 6 months, a year or even 2 years’ time.”
Katie Exton, owner and master sommelier of Lorne Restaurant, commented on trends in the wine industry during the discussions “It’s interesting to see that customers are looking to branch out from what they know about Italian wines, and are becoming more experimental. They aren’t only looking for the basic Pinot Grigio or Sauvignon Blanc, but more interesting, organic, biodynamic wines.”
Brand new for this year was the Bellavita Bar Academy, a new area of the show dedicated to the contemporary cocktail scene. Leading mixologists at cutting-edge cocktail bars from across London, including Antonio Del Monte (Clubs Manager at The Ned) and Matyas Barta (Bar Manager of Pollen Street Social), created a variety of show-stopping cocktails for guests to the show.
For the second year, Bellavita hosted their awards ceremony on the final day of the show. Decided by a panel of over 250 judges including top buyers, chefs, sommeliers and opinion leaders, the awards are the most prestigious awards programme in the Food & Beverage industry for Italian artisan produce. This year’s winner was FIDANI Healthy Sweets, with their lactose-free crostata with grape jam.
Aldo Mazzocco, CEO of Bellavita, “This is the best show we’ve done in this country. We’ve targeted the right people at the right time, our exhibitors are so happy. In the current economic climate, Bellavita has come at precisely the right time.”
For more information and free trade registration visit Bellavita Expo
The largest Italian Food & Wine Trade Show