MILAN/NEW YORK, JULY 2 – La Cucina Italiana goes to UNESCO. Starting this month with Massimo Bottura, the Condé Nast brand, since 1929 the most authoritative and long-standing monthly cooking publication in Italy, enlists the help of great chefs, major businesses and Italophiles all over the world to nominate Italy’s culinary tradition as a piece of UNESCO cultural heritage. The initiative launches with the July issue, nominating “Italian cuisine” as a UNESCO-designated element of intangible cultural heritage. The July issue will be on sale in Italy from July 2nd.
Each issue of the magazine, from July to December, will be endorsed by one of Italy’s great chefs, all of whom will become, along with the Condé Nast brand, ambassadors for Italian cuisine across the world. Each issue will read like an application form in which the chef will talk about their food culture, their local area, and supply chain, interacting with the various columns and features of the historic magazine.
A range of Italian content will include professional recipes adapted for home cooks and stories of the men and women who make Italy great and help to make our cooks’ dishes even more definitive in sculpting our identity. The driving force behind this project is to have Italian cuisine recognized as an intangible heritage of humanity.
“I believe that it is always the duty – but especially today – of brand leaders such as La Cucina Italiana, both in Italy and abroad, to take on a greater degree of responsibility and take action by embarking upon a path that is more than just a formality; to bring together all the best products and energies that the industry has to offer to strengthen the ‘Made in Italy’ label. This is an open call for everybody who dearly loves our country and the boundless delights it has to offer. Our cuisine is undoubtedly one of the main ones,” says Fedele Usai, CEO of Condé Nast Italia.
For the first of the six collectible issues, Massimo Bottura is at the helm. Bottura is a world-famous chef with three Michelin stars at the Osteria Francescana in Modena, the first Italian to be part of Chef’s Table (the popular Netflix documentary), and a two-time winner of the number one spot in the World’s 50 Best Restaurants ranking. “From North to South, our peninsula is rich with culture, history, and innovation. It’s important to join forces,” he said: “I would like people to stop saying Modena or Bologna, and instead Modena and Bologna. Together, we can achieve anything. I dream of having Italian cuisine recognized as a UNESCO intangible cultural heritage”.
French artist JR shot Bottura’s portrait on the cover of the July issue, signaling how Italy’s culinary traditions are already embraced by the whole world. Inside the issue’s 164 pages, the chef invites readers into his home and his kitchen. The issue also features industry experts, from farmers to producers, as well as interviews, such as Luca Dini’s with the two big players in Italian coffee, Andrea Illy and Giuseppe Lavazza, who the first time talk about a common goal. Other contributors include Malcom Pagani, Andrea Grignaffini, Patrizia Re Rebaudengo, Camilla Baresani, and Paolo Marchi, with images shot by Massimo Vitali, often featured in The New York Times and Le Monde. Amongst the issue’s many artists includes Mimmo Paladino, talking about cooking and painting from his studio in Campania.
“We have embarked upon a great adventure: bringing Italy together and achieving widespread international recognition,” says Maddalena Fossati Dondero, Editor-in-Chief of La Cucina Italiana. “This is an excellent opportunity to join forces to achieve a single objective, whilst at the same time discovering the universes of the great masters of our cuisine, which is the epitome of our identity and culture, but also the entire supply chain behind it: in a word, our territory.” (@OnuItalia)