This writer received an invitation to Bella Norte, at the Venetian Resort. 'Bella Norte' means 'beautiful night' in Italian a perfect description of the evening.
Guests walked into the Venetian Resort's large ballroom filled with tables of food. It was a feast prepared by some of the most famous Italian chefs and culinary personalities from around the world.
At the Baci Perugina Chocolate table, Chef Vivien Reimbelli finished his chocolate making demonstration. Chef Vivien discussed Baci Perugina Chocolates, "'Baci' is the Italian word for 'kisses'. This is how we say, 'I love you,' the Italian way.
More than 90 years ago, the chocolates originated because of a love story. Luisa Spagnoli created a chocolate recipe that matched her love for a special man. She wrapped a love note around each piece of chocolate.
Perugina still prepares each chocolate in a silver wrapped love note the traditional way. The recipe has not changed. Chocolates do say love. We have a few categories love, friendship and waltz of words. Each is different and they personalize the love notes."
The Baci Perugina Chocolate factory and museum are in the outskirts of Perugia, Italy.
The L'Albero dei Gelati gelato table drew crowds. Chef Monia Solighetto mixed traditional and unusual flavors of gelato. Some of these flavors included blue cheese, yellow pepper, Cheddar and other ingredients sourced from small sustainable producers.
As a restaurant reviewer, "Bella Norte brought the entire Italian experience not only tasting various cuisines and wines, but providing some of their secret recipes and step-by-step cooking demonstrations. The evening progressed as a learning experience."
This event honors Italian-Americans who have been influential in American culture. A band entertained the guests while they tasted the food and wines.
The Venetian and Palazzo Resorts incorporated many Italian traditions to create the feeling of being in Italy. In Italy, banquets bring the tables and food into the middle of the street at Tuscan and Umbrian villages. Several of their events followed this motif.
Anyone who visited Italy and the others waiting for their opportunity would appreciate all the details and preparation in creating the Italian atmosphere.
During the event, the celebrity chefs included Buddy Valastro (star of the TLC TV series "Cake Boss"), Dario Cecchini (the singing butcher of Panzano), Wolfgang Puck (Iron Chef America, Food Fight),Roberto Caporuscio (the master pizzaiolo) and Anthony Giglio (sommelier and author).