The port of Castellammare di Stabia (Naples) hosted the VI edition of the Mediterranean Cooking Congress, an event created by By Tourist Luisa Del Sorbo, focused on promoting the usage of poor fish, to promote sustainable cuisine for the protection of the sea with diversification.
“An event of great importance for Castellammare, told me Mayor Gaetano Cimmino, as o we have started the process for the candidacy to Unesco Natural Heritage  for our 28 thermal  water sources”.
The food bonanza started at Mare Vivo Restaurant with the narrations and poetry on “Cooking in Naples from 1600. I stayed at Hotel La Panoramica, perfect name for the amazing view reigned by the iconic Mount Vesuvius.
On Sunday, morning  the Ancient Baths of Stabia were  accessible to the public, of course I went and tasted the Acqua della Madonna, The Virgin Water. Well it was  fresh, clear, and surprisingly sparkling!
On the two-story “Cafe’ Do Mar ”boat, top Italian Chefs entertained the guests with show cooking, speeches and some succulent tastings!
Mauro Uliassi,
3 Michelin stars and 5 Cappelli L’Espresso Awards to his Ristorante Uliassi located in Senigallia, Marche, Italy. His dish: a clams salad and a very surprising oyster lipstick butter… Vincenzo Guarino from the luxurious 5-star Mandarin Oriental on Lake Como worked on the traditional ramen taking it to a tasty mediterranean version, using spaghetti Leonessa, tomato and lemon broth, boiled milk, mackerel and the typical fresella bread.
When fusion works! Mimmo di Gregorio from Osteria lo Stuzzichino, Sant’Agata sui due Golfi went for tradition, taste and the local Nassa di Crapolla red shrimps, mixed to spaghetti chitarra Leonessa, juicy cherry tomatoes and lemon zest. Simplicity and Taste at his best!
Pietro D’Agostino, chef patron of the restaurant La Capinera in Taormina, awarded 1 Michelin star and 1 Cappello Espresso Award got the inspiration from the famous song
‘O sole mio’ transformed for the occasion into ‘O sgombro mio’ performing a colorful
mackerel. A real art piece!
More show cooking in the afternoon with chef Domenico Iavarone of the elegant Jose Restaurant in Torre Del Greco, featured in the Michelin guide and  awarded with a Cappello Espresso Award. His dish: Leonessa riccioli pasta cooked in seaweed, saury fish marinated in lemon, tomatoes, basil. I loved it!
The yummy kermesse ended with Alfonso Porpora from the innovative Pastabar Leonessa brand at Nola’s Interport. His dish was my fav…a mix of Leonessa pastas with anchovies. fennel, and sweet garlic cream. Delicious!

Grand finale with the iconic Salsa di Pomodoro, tomato sauce made from the youngest Chef of the Congress: Maicol Izzo from Michelin star Piazzetta Milù in Castellammare di Stabia. Escorted and supported by his dad Michele (that ‘s so Italian…) Maicol created a new kind of bread whose dough has been prepared using the acidula water springing out from the  local source. The bread must be dipped down into the traditional tomato sauce (more than 6 hours of preparation) and then you’ll taste this heaven…Bravo Maicol!
Many VIP Guests attended to the event, including Mr. Fausto Arrighi, 23 year Director for of the prestigious Michelin Guide, TV food critic Edoardo Raspelli, Chef Nino Di Costanzo, 2 Michelin stars and 4 Cappelli Espresso Awards, of the Danì Maison of Ischia. and 2 Michelin starred TV celebrity Chef Gennaro Esposito from La Torre del Saracino, Vico Equense, who entertained the audience talking about the possibility to eat jellyfish. “These jelly yet elegant creatures are rich in proteins and collagen, said Gennaro, could be precious elements for the human diet. The jellyfish head could become a delicious gift offered by the Nature “.The unstoppable Mediterranean Cooking Congress will travel soon to Greece, Venice and Sicily, featuring Chefs from 10 different countries!
I soooo hope to be invited again… the Castellammare experience was just amazing!


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