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Orange Semifreddo at Piazza Italia, Beijing, for an unforgettable week

On the week of July 30th through August 5th, Piazza Italia’s executive chef, Vincenzo Pezzilli, and chef de cuisine, Maurizio Lai, will be representing China in “La Vita è Dolce”. Beijing will be the only stop in China on this 20-city journey bringing together GVCI Italian master chefs and dessert lovers around the world.

Orange Semifreddo by Chef Vincenzo Pezzilli

Piazza Italia has prepared a warm welcome for all the guests taking part in this first-ever, world event, trying to satisfy their sweet-toothedness with a selection of Beijing’s most authentic Italian desserts. During the week, Orange Semifreddo, a tart topped with a frozen orange-infused mousse, will be the main protagonist at the Boscolo Restaurant in Piazza Italia on the third floor, Tiramisu, instead, will be the heroine at the Voglia di Vino on the second floor, and Zeppole di San Giuseppe will be waiting at the Dolce e Salato, on the first floor, to be savoured.

Piazza Italia, Beijing

But there is more: on Saturday, August 1st, 2009, there will be a Semifreddo Cooking Demonstration and on the same day, at 5:00 pm on the 2nd Floor, at the Boscolo Etoile Academy, guests will be able to learn the lost art of preparing an authentic Italian Semifreddo. For Saturday, Chefs Pezzilli and Lai have organized a special La Vita è Dolce night with a tantalizing Italian dinner including Grilled Scallop with Porcini Mushroom in Truffle Oil, Octopus Amatriciana, Porchetta-Style Stuffed Cornish Hen, and of course Orange Semifreddo. Executive Chef Vincenzo Pezzilli is particularly excited about La Vita è Dolce, which coincides with another super spectacular event. “From 1st to 8th August, Piazza Italia has scheduled many events to celebrate the Italian Soccer Super Cup, with two series A protagonists of the calibre of Inter and Lazio,” he says. The Orange semifreddo with white chocolate, raisins and almond crunch with vanilla sauce created at Piazza Italia, will pass into history as the iconic sweet of this exceptional event.

Pezzilli: an exceptional Italian chef abroad

Vincenzo Pezzilli

Vincenzo Pezzilli is the executive chef, of the three restaurants (Boscolo, Voglia di Vino, Dolce e Salato) and the cooking school (Boscolo Etoile Academy) on the premises of Piazza Italia, Beijing, which is the largest Italian food center in the world, opened in September 2008 in China Central Place. From the market section to the fast food of the first floor; from the wine cellar to the cooking school and the food courts of the second floor; from the fine-dining restaurant to the events room of the third floor, Piazza Italia combines retail and restaurant businesses to provide customers and friends with the chance to experience Italy thoroughly
Vincenzo Pezzilli began cooking in the kitchen of a restaurant in his native Rome when he was still a kid. Soon, cooking became his passion and he got his formal training at the Roman outpost of Le Cordon Bleu. He then went to Washington where he worked in a number of D.C. restaurants, including Perry's and Sesto Senso. Pezzilli went back to Rome in 1995 where he taught a pastry course and cooked at Il Piccolo restaurant. Vincenzo, once again, went abroad to perfect his skill at Paul Bocuse’s Ecole des Arts Culinares et de l’Hotellerie in Lyon, France, where he was also selected to cook for the Great 7. After graduating at the top of his class, Vincenzo worked in Belgium under Chef Pierre Wynants at Comme Chez Soi awarded three stars by Michelin. He returned to the United States, as executive chef of Mad 28, in New York City, where he became a star of the local culinary scene. Vincenzo has created exciting Italian dishes, updated with twists inspired by his interest in the history of food, as well as his travels and experiences.