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Itchefs-GVCI & Academia Barilla Launched the CPIC: an Unprecedented Italian Cuisine Certification Program

From left to right: Rosario Scarpato (itchefs-GVCI managing Editor), Chefs Luigi Passano, Pietro Rongoni, Cesare Casella, Yoshi Yamada, Domenico Crolla, Angela Hartnett, Mario Caramella (itchefs-GVCI President), Paolo Monti, Academia Barilla´s Director Gianluigi Zenti. Below: Chefs Giulio Vierci, Donato de Santis and Mark Ladner

The Certification Program targets chefs and culinary professionals working outside of Italy in the global Ho.Re.Ca industry of Italian cuisine. It was launched in an international Symposium held in Parma on June 9 and 10, with the presence of leading chefs, experts and journalists. Over 200 chefs of the itchefs-gvci network were certified Italian Cuisine Master Chef (ICMC) ad honorem.

View photo gallery.

What’s the future of the Italian Cuisine in the world? An international symposium on this subject was held in Parma on the  9 and 10 of June, promoted by Academia Barilla, in collaboration with the itchefs-gvci.com network. Prestigious chefs, experts and journalists, coming from all over the world (see the list below), took part in the gathering, which was organized to mark the official launch of an unprecedented Certification Program of Proficiency in Italian Cuisine (CPIC). According to recent estimates there are at least 70.000 restaurants and food outlets worldwide labeled as Italian, with a total of over 800.000 employees, mainly of non Italian origins. The coaching of these professional figures to the tenets of quality and authentic Italian cuisine is a priority task that cannot be postponed, in the best interest of the consumers, the industry as well as that of exporters of Italian made food and wine. The Academia Barilla Certification Program of Proficiency in Italian Cuisine (CPIC) is born out of the need to meet these expectations.

Standing, Rosario Scarpato. From Left to Right: Chefs Cesare Casella, Paolo Monti and Mario Caramella,
Journalists Michael Wilson, Luigi Cremona, Irina Mak, Susan Jung and Regina Schrambling

The first day of the Symposium (June 9) at the Academia Barilla Culinary Centre in Parma, was opened by a Round Table on the future of Italian Cuisine in the world and then continue with cooking demonstrations by the very talented chefs Angela Hartnett & Yoshi Yamada. The Certification Program of Proficiency in Italian Cuisine (CPIC) was officially launched in the late afternoon in a ceremony in which 12 international chefs were awarded the Certificate ad Honorem of Leading Italian Cuisine Master Chef (ICMC). A first of a group of 200 others, working in 70 countries, were announced in the same ceremony. A Gala Dinner signed by three great chefs: Mark Ladner, Yoshi Yamada & Kuniaki Arima concluded the first day.

The Symposium continued the day after (June 10) with an educational tour of the Italian Food Valley (Parma and its surroundings) organized in collaboration with the APT Emilia Romagna. The Symposium was closed by a gastronomic event at the Antica Corte Pallavicina in Polesine Parmense, in the epicenter of the Culatello di Zibello production (see the whole program).




  • Mario Caramella, Chef Patron, Ristorante Forlino, SINGAPORE - President GVCI
  • Cesare Casella, Dean dell’Italian Culinary Academy di NEW YORK
  • Domenico Crolla, Chef Patron & Maestro Pizzaiolo, Ristorante Bella Napoli, GLASGOW
  • Donato De Santis, Chef e TV celebrity, Cucina Paradiso, BUENOS AIRES
  • Angela Hartnett, Chef patron & food writer, Ristorante Murano, LONDON
  • Kuniaki Arima, Chef Patron, Ristorante Passo a Passo, TOKYO
  • Mark Ladner, Executive Chef, Ristorante Del Posto, NEW YORK
  • Paolo Monti, Executive Chef, Gaia Group, HONG KONG
  • Pietro Rongoni. Chef Patron, Aromi Italiani, MOSCOW
  • Giulio Vierci, Chef Patron, Il Genovese, SAPPORO
  • Yoshi Yamada, Executive Chef, Tempo Restaurant, LONDON
  • Luigi Passano, Chef Owner, Ristorante Riviera, GUAYAQUIL

See profiles


  • Luigi Cremona, Guide Enogastronomiche del Touring Club d’Italia
  • Irina Mak, Food Editor, Izvetzia, MOSCOW
  • Rosario Scarpato, www.itchefs-gvci.com Managing Editor, MELBOURNE
  • Regina Schrambling, Food Writer, NEW YORK
  • Michael Wilson, La Cucina Italiana USA, NEW YORK
  • Susan Jung, Food editor, Southern China Morning Post, HONG KONG

See profiles

Photo gallery



CPIC Launch Parma 2011: Participating Master Chefs' Profiles


Chef Patron, Forlino, Singapore
President of the Forum GVCI (Gruppo Virtuale Cuochi Italiani - Virtual Group of Italian Chefs)

With over 30 years of culinary experience as head of several award-winning Italian restaurants in Asia, as the legendary Mistral and Grissini in Hong Kong Mario has been a forerunner of genuine, quality Italian Cuisine in Asia. His style of cuisine marries classical Italian flavors and ingredients with contemporary, fine dining presentation and cooking techniques. Or as he puts it: "My style is contemporary but I retain authenticity".


Chef Patron, Salumeria Rosi, New York City

Having been the chef at the mythic Coco Pazzo and then at Il Toscanaccio, Cesare has brought success to several of the Big Apple’s Italian restaurants, such as Beppe and the Maremma. Author of books, host of TV programmes, an expert connoisseur of typical Italian products, he is the Dean of Italian Studies (Italian Culinary Academy) at the International Culinary Institute in New York.


Chef Patron, Bella Napoli, Glasgow

Born in Glasgow, Scotland, Domenico learnt much of his craft from his father, Alfredo, an immigrant from Italy and one of the pioneers of Italian cuisine in the region. Domenico, in his career, has been an untiring promoter of Italian cuisine in the United Kingdom. His restaurant, Bella Napoli, has above and beyond anything else become a Mecca for high quality Italian pizza and he himself a highly esteemed expert in the craft. His experience in pizza is appreciated also at an international level when he is invited to take part in competition juries.


TV Personality and Chef owner of Cucina Paradiso, Buenos Aires

Born in Milan and grew up in Puglia, Donato began his career at L'Antica Osteria del Teatro, Piacenza (Emilia Romagna). A veteran of Italian cuisine abroad, worked in famous establishments in the United States as well as Gianni Versace's personal chef at Casa Casuarina and New York. In Argentina and Latin America, since 2000, he has become a famous chef and host of television programs. He´s the owner and soul of Cucina Paradiso, deli, wine, coffee and more, located in Buenos Aires, and has published successful books that have won important international accolades.


Chef Patron, Murano, London

Angela is one of Britain’s most successful and talented chefs and has won many accolades, particularly during her collaboration with Gordon Ramsay. She has contributed significantly to the spread of quality, genuine Italian cuisine in Britain with her style of cooking, her books, and communications skills (she also writes for The Guardian and for Delicious Magazine). With Ramsay she opened Murano Restaurant in 2008, in Mayfair, serving a modern Italian cuisine, reflecting the roots of Angela’s family, which comes from Bardi, a town in the province of Parma (Emilia Romagna). Since October 2010 Angela is the sole owner of the Michelin starred Murano.


Chef Patron, Passo a Passo, Tokyo

Chef Kuniaki Arima, 39, has been the patron of Passo a passo (step by step) restaurant in Monzen Nakamachi, Tokyo, since 2002. In that year he came back from a 6 year long “tour” of apprenticeship in Italy. In that period he stayed in Bergamo, Firenze, Milano and Tuscany, working in restaurants as well as researching the home cuisine of housewives. From these women he learnt secrets and variations that not seldom appear as not authentic to the superficial observer. Chef Arima has both a great passion for and an impressive knowledge of Italian Cuisine, which he prepares with very selected and natural ingredients.


Executive Chef, Del Posto Restaurant, New York City

At Del Posto, which he runs with partners Mario Batali, Jason Denton, and Joe and Lidia Bastianich, Mark cooks a sensible interpretation of regional Italian “Cucina Classica”, utilizing responsibly raised and locally grown products. Del Posto holds a 4-star rating from the New York Times, and one star from the prestigious Guide Michelin. He has been working with many influential chefs such as Todd English, Scott Bryan and Jean Georges Vongerichten and worked in various successful Italian restaurants (Babbo, Lupa, Otto).


Executive Chef, Gaia Restaurant, Hong Kong

Chef Monti heads the kitchen at Gaia with a fresh and thoroughly modern style of Italian cooking. A native of Rome, Paolo has worked at some of The Eternal City’s most renowned restaurants, including Alberto Ciarla, the famous seafood venue and the Michelin-star Eden Hotel. Paolo also draws on seven years of experience with a number of leading Los Angeles restaurants, notably as sous chef to the legendary Mauro Vincenti at the famous REX il Ristorante, Louise’s Trattoria and the Alto Palato Trattoria.


Chef Patron, Aromi Italiani, Moscow

In Moscow, chef Rongoni’s name name is synonymous of quality traditional Italian Cuisine. He is an orthodox of Italian Cuisine and is against shortcuts and counterfeiting. Born in Milano, Pietro has taught his culinary secrets to the Russians and he has formed a mob of talented young chefs who are now cooking everywhere in Moscow and Russia at large.


Chef Patron, Il Genovese, Sapporo

Giulio has a long experience as culinary teacher, chef in 5 star hotels and restaurant owner. He lives and works in Sapporo, Hokkaido, Japan, where he has owned (and cooked in) his Giulio’s Wine Bar, he recently opened Il genovese. Born in Liguria, strongly attached to his native land but open minded by nature, after more than 10 years in Japan, while he cooks only Italian, he has become an expert connoisseur of Japanese cuisine too.


Executive Chef, Tempo, London

A multi-lingual Economics graduate, Japanese born chef Yoshi Yamada has always been in love with Italy, where he has spent 4 years cooking in top restaurants in Naples (2 Michelin star Don Alfonso), Sardinia and Florence. During this time, he was exposed to a variety of regional cooking styles: Southern Italian, Sardinian, modern Italian seafood and rustic Tuscan trattoria cooking, especially meats and breads. Some of his dishes have been described as the “apotheosis of delicious simplicity”. In Japan, he worked for L’Atelier de Robuchon and managed the patisserie section of an exclusive Italian restaurant in Tokyo. In the UK, before Tempo, he has worked at Restaurant Gordon Ramsay in Chelsea, and after joined the Mediterranean Corbin & King’s St Alban.


Chef Owner, Ristorante Riviera, Guayaquil, Ecuador

From 1983, Luigi Passano has been living in Ecuador, first in the desert industry, and then in 1991 he opened the Ristorante Riviera and continued his career as chef/owner of the Riviera and of the da Luigi. A lover of traditional Italian cuisine, he follows the school of the master Gualtiero Marchesi, and his wife and he keep themselves well abreast of current cuisine in Italy by attending professional courses of regional cooking at the Ristorante Alma, Colorno, Province of Parma. He also maintains contact with some of the best chefs in Italy, Alajmo, Berton and Oldani to name some, and in order to maintain the highest of quality, he imports all the salamis, the cheeses, the wines, the tomatoes and the pastas, all those finest of products not produced locally, directly from Italy, and they allow him to distinguish himself with the ‘Italianness’ that his guests so highly appreciate.


CPIC Launch Parma 2011: Participating Journalists and Experts' Profiles


Touring Club d’Italia

A former engineer by trade he has converted his two biggest life passions (food and travel) in a profession. He now writes for various magazines, runs his blog, and over all he is a consultant of the Italian Touring Club for the Hotels and Restaurants Guide. Luigi and his partner Lorenza Vitaly organizes some of the most successful food events in Italy, including an award for emerging young chef.


Southern China Morning Post, HONG KONG

Susan Jung is the food and wine editor for the Hong Kong South China Morning Post. In addition to reviewing restaurants and writing food features, she also has a recipe section in the paper's Sunday Magazine. Before going into journalism, Susan received her degree in English literature from UC Berkeley, worked as a pastry cook in hotels in San Francisco and New York, and was a pastry chef at several restaurants in Hong Kong.


Izvetzia, MOSCOW

Moscow based Irina Mak is a gastronomic journalist and a restaurant critic. She has worked as an author for Vogue, Time Out, the web-site Open Space, Expert magazine, and wrote a regular column for “Madame Figaro”. For over five years she has been a gastronomic observer for the high circulation Russian Izvestia newspaper, where she currently works. Irina has interviewed many famous international chefs and wine personalities.



TV author, director and producer, he lives between Melbourne and Buenos Aires. For over 20 years he has been involved in the investigation and promotion of Italian Cuisine abroad. As a food and wine writer regularly contributed to various international media and produced many programs for the Italian TV Raisat Gambero Rosso. Honorary President and co-founder of GVCI, since 2007 he is the Managing Editor of www.itchefs-gvci.com and the Director of the Italian Cuisine World Summit (Hong Kong) and of IDIC, the International Day of Italian Cuisines (17th January every year).



Regina Schrambling is a longtime food writer and cookbook author in New York City who is best known for her acerbic website, www.gastropoda.com. She has contributed to many U.S. magazines and newspaper, including Saveur, Esquire, Vogue, New York Times, LA Times and to online publications, including Epicurious.com.


La Cucina Italiana USA, NEW YORK

New York based, Michael Wilson is the Editor in Chief of the American edition of La Cucina Italiana magazine since its relaunch in 2008. Michael spent his life living between the United States and Italy. His extensive work with both Italian and American cuisines informs his unique perspective on Italian cooking in the United States. He has been an editor and writer for various national lifestyle magazines.


Italian Cuisine Master Chef (ICMC): Requirements

Italian cuisine is a Paradox… sophisticated and elegant, yet casual and jovial.  From everyday meals to special occasions, it is the one cuisine that seamlessly embodies mountains, seas, hills, valleys and plains…inspired by both centuries of strict tradition and generations of rich creativity.  Italian meals are relaxed and comfortable in nature, yet rigid in theory.  The recipes of classic dishes belong to regional traditions that must be respected at all times.  Unwritten rules of authenticity, quality, pairing and serving are of paramount importance and innately understood by all. A chef working outside of Italy who masters Italian cuisine is both bound to such traditions and inspired by them.

The understanding of fundamental ingredients and techniques of authentic Italian Cuisine are not only basic principles, but a way of life.  An Italian Cuisine Master Chef (ICMC) doesn’t accept any compromises on these basic tenets, and has respect and knowledge of the most basic ingredients in all Italian cuisine:  pasta, rice extra virgin olive oil, cheeses, salumi, meat, fish, vegetables, wine, etc.

They aim at excellence, and they dare not attempt to transform mediocre or poor quality ingredients into something they are not… integrity in ingredients and quality are essentialA ICMC is an intermediary, an artist… creatively, yet respectfully, assembling top quality ingredients to result in top quality masterpieces.

The ideal candidate of the Academia Barilla An Italian Cuisine Master Chef Award has the following characteristics:

  1. Must have at least 5 years working experience in an Italian restaurant outside of Italy;
  2. Must be employed at the time of nomination in an Italian foodservice operation, either as Chef, Chef de Cuisine, Executive Chef, Executive Sous-Chef, Chef Patron or pastry Chef; or as a personal Chef or Chef demonstrator;
  3. Must have maintained constant contact with Italy, with qualified Italian chefs, training courses, and documentable exposure to authentic, quality Italian cuisine and trends;
  4. Must demonstrate a proven commitment to respect the fundamentals of Italian cuisine and the Mediterranean Diet, including rules of sustainability, seasonality, regionality and nutritional guidelines.

CPIC Launch Parma 2011: Program of Events

June 9, 2011





With the participation of the following food writers: Luigi Cremona (Rome), Irina Mak (Moscow), Susan Jung (Hong Kong), Regina Shrambling (New York), Michael Wilson (New York), and various chefs including Mario Caramella (GVCI President, Forlino Restaurant, Singapore). Moderator: Rosario Scarpato.





Two talented chefs (Angela Hartnett and Yoshi Yamada) tell the story of their connection with Italian Cuisine while demonstrating one of their favorite dishes. They will be interviewed by journalists and chefs.



Presentation of the Certificate of Proficiency in Italian Cuisine (CPIC).


Chefs presented with the Italian Cookery Master Chef Award (Honoris Causa) Kuniaki Aima (Tokyo), Mario Caramella (Singapore), Cesare Casella (New York), Domenico Crolla (Glasgow), Donato De Santis (Buenos Aires), Angela Hartlett (London), Mark Ladner (New York), Paolo Monti (Hong Kong), Pietro Rongoni (Moscow), Giulio Vierci (Sapporo), Yoshi Yamada (London).



Guest Master Chefs Kuniaki Arima, Mark Ladner and Yoshi Yamada will sign one dish each in this exclusive dinner. They will be hosted by Academia Barilla´s Chef Mario Grazia.

June 10, 2011


Tasting and specialty tour through Parma and its province: Parmigiano- Reggiano, Prosciuto di Parma, Culatello di Zibello, Quality Lambruscos. With the collaboration of the Apt Emilia Romagna.