28 May 2014
Italy’s culinary excellence is working for a widest horizon made of duty-free areas, shopping malls, luxury hotels all over the world where everyone can enjoy real Italian food and design. Today we had the pleasure of interviewing the creators of this project.

Where does your idea come from?

The Italia Corner project was born on the Varese Lake shore from Karim Shahir Barzegar’s- – Italian with Persian origin -, Matteo Soldà’s and Riccardo Qualigarella’s minds, both of them 100% Italian. Although the project is rooted in the “northern corner”, its heart beats all along the “Italian boot”.

Besides the usual stereotypes, what are the most wanted Italian products in the world?

Luckily, we believe that clichés are leaving their place to excellence, not only in the cooking field – white truffles from Alba, tasteful olive oil, r efined aromatic vinegar – but also to creativity projected into the future like design, whose most shining example is Renzo Piano.

Can you name one top-level product for each of the four Italian corners?

Synthesising in just a few words the vastness of the best Italian cousin is too hard. Anyway, if we really had to choose, we would say the white truffle from Alba, the delicious pasta by La pasta di Aldo, bio olive oil from the Azienda Agricola Biologica Titone (the Titone Organic Farming Company) and grappa (grape spirit) of Amarone Barricata from the Zanin distillery.

What’s your favourite traditional food?

Pasta, of course, according to all the three of us: Karim’s is Spaghetti alla Bottarga di Muggine, Matteo’s Pizzoccheri della Valtellina and Riccardo’s Testaroli alla Ligure.

If you could name the Ambassador of Italian taste, who would you choose?

We’d choose Massimo Bottura from L’Osteria Francescana, who, according to Elite Traveler, is “the supreme modernist Italian chef”. His food represents the perfect union of traditional and contemporary cooking, just like we hope Italia Corner will be: conscious of thousand-year old culinary tradition but at the same time projected towards a bright and unknown future of Italian taste.
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