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Eataly Unites New York and Italian Chefs for Culinary Festival

By Mary Johnson | October 9, 2012 7:34am

MANHATTAN — Flatiron food mecca Eataly is uniting chefs from Italy and the Big Apple for the third annual IDENTITÀ New York, an event celebrating top-notch Italian food and wine.

The festival, which will take over the massive culinary emporium from Oct. 12 to 14, will allow chefs to show off their skills in a series of cooking demonstrations and two five-course dinners.  

The New York City-based cooks include Mario Batali, one of the driving forces behind Eataly and the owner of 21 restaurants worldwide; three-Michelin-starred chef Alain Ducasse; George Mendes, from Aldea on West 17th Street near Union Square; and Michael White, of Marea and Osteria Morini.

The group of Italian culinary masters includes chef Massimo Bottura, chef Carlo Cracco and chef Antonio Guida — who each have multiple Michelin stars.

"This year, we invited some of my culinary heroes to join us for IDENTITÀ," Mario Batali said in a statement. "I'm humbled and honored to think of the great amount of talent visiting Eataly."

The event, an American offshoot of the original IDENTITÀ Golose that began in Milan in 2005, will pair New York chefs with their Italian counterparts for a series of hour-long cooking demonstrations during which the chefs will prepare two signature dishes that will be available for tasting, along with wine pairings.

Then, on both Friday and Saturday evenings, the chefs will collaborate to produce two five-course dinners hosted at Eataly’s Birreria restaurant.

Anita Lo, 46, the owner and head chef at Annisa on Barrow Street in the West Village, is new to the event and said she is looking forward to learning from the Italian chefs in attendance.

Her demonstration is scheduled to focus on tomatoes, and Lo is already planning a tomato salad that incorporates elements of Italian and Japanese cuisines.

“This is a unique opportunity,” said Lo, a contemporary American chef who incorporates influences from all over the world. “I think you can always learn things from other chefs.”

IDENTITÀ New York will take place at Eataly from Oct. 12 to 14. Tickets for each cooking demonstration cost $125 per person and include wine pairings and gratuity. Tickets for each of the five-course dinners at the Birreria cost $200 per person, which includes wine pairings and gratuity. For more information or to purchase tickets, call Eataly at 212.539.0204 ext. 304 or visit www.eatalyny.com/learn.