So there I was, quenching my thirst in the beaming 29 degree heat sipping the straw of my joyfully over-sized glass of Aperol spritz. While at the same time tucking into a fresh Italian aperitivo of salami and cheeses on a bustling canal watching tourist after tourist pass me by in my calming moment of paradise.
Question – where was I?
Overlooking the iconic Rialto bridge in Venice or the epic Naviglio canals in Milano?
Wrong or ‘sbagliato’ as we say in Italian – it was an Italian owned restaurant on Dublin’s Portobello Road last month.
As the UK prepares to leave Europe on the 29th March 2019, Ireland will be the number 1 English speaking country in the European Union (while not forgetting our proud Irish speaking heritage) with one of the fastest growing economies in the EU compared to Italy which sadly has one of the highest unemployment rates in the Eurozone.
This combined with Ireland having the reputation as the silicon Valley of Europe in a highly skilled employment market thanks to the US tech giant presence of Google, Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin etc in Dublin employing thousands of multilingual Italian professionals.
These highly attractive economical and political conditions are why Dublin is fast becoming the foreign country of choice for so many Italian nationals. For example over 250,000 Italians visit Dublin each year as tourists and to start careers which is rapidly increasing as Brexit / EU uncertainty looms.
To cope with the booming Italian population in Ireland this has organically created a fast growing cosmopolitan economy of indigenous Italian owned businesses offering high quality Italian products and services. For example in 2018 there are more than 30 Italian restaurants in Dublin alone that lucky locals can choose from.
Also with Ireland having the best summer in history this year, hopefully this trend will continue meaning one can still experience the great weather that we all love when in Italy which let’s be honest can get pretty unbearable around August time (trust me, I’m from Milan – I should know).
An important question for consumers is which Italian restaurant in the capital offers the best authentic Italian dining experience in such a vast sea of choice which can be a challenge when you are so far away from the gastronomic delights of Naples, Rome or Milanese cuisine.
This was one of the reasons why Anna Floriani and Neil Cameron co founded Love Italian Life in 2015 which is an online community focused on educating English speaking consumers on authentic Italian food and lifestyle.
Last year their mission organically expanded in to celebrating the greatest contemporary Italian restaurants & authentic Italian chefs via a unique awards ceremony focused on the Italian, UK and Ireland markets.
The idea was incredibly simple which was to have an independent panel of Italian food experts decide which restaurants make the initial shortlist for each of the different award categories. Then let the online public fairly decide which of the top nominated restaurants in the final should win.
In the age of Tripadvisor and social media addictions – everyone is their own personal food critic these days.
The independent panel of Italian food experts use a strict 5 point criteria to decide which restaurants gain nominations:
1) Quality of ingredients
2) Recipe innovation
3) Contemporary Italian cooking techniques
4) Dish presentation
5) Italian heritage of chefs.
The Co-Founders felt that some of the other big restaurant awards ceremonies were and still are a closed book in the sense that only a small handful of restaurant industry heads decide which restaurants win and which restaurants lose.
For The Love Italian Life Awards they wanted to implement a fair democratic public voting process to ensure that award winners also reflect the overall opinions of passionate Italian restaurant diners and foodies. After all without these important people the Italian restaurants would not exist in the first place.
On Thursday 11th October 2018, Dublin’s beautiful contemporary entertainment venue The Lighthouse Cinema will play host to the greatest Italian restaurants and chefs in Dublin, London and Italy for the prestigious Love Italian Life 2018 Awards Ceremony and industry award events the previous day supported by The Italian Tourist Board the Italian Chamber of Commerce, The Italian Trade Agency, Peroni, Miele, Grana Padano, PizzaGroup, Little Italy and Luxury Food & Lifestyle Worldwide.
The evening will be hosted by TV presenter Síle Seoige who recently delivered the 2018 Irish Film & Television Academy & Awards (IFTAs). Over 20 diverse awards will be presented on the evening to the top Italian restaurants and chefs in Ireland, Italy, and the UK.
The Dublin nominees are so eager to see which of them will celebrate victory by winning ‘The Best Authentic Italian Restaurant in Dublin 2018’ award.
Dublin holds its breath to see whether Luca De Marzio from Rome of Rosa Madre in Temple Bar or Lucio Paduano from Campania of Manifesto in Rathmines will win the coveted top spot. At the same time Chefs Gianni De Santis and Ivano Addabbo of I Monelli on the Grand Canal, Marco Giannantonio and Maurizio Mastrangelo of Pinocchio in Ranelagh and Temple Bar together with Tino Fusciardi of Da Mimmo on the North Strand Road all challenge for the leading Dublin accolade this October.
The international jewel in the event crown is ‘The Best Contemporary Italian Restaurant in Italy’ award with over 60 Michelin Starred restaurants across 15 Italian regions competing for this special accolade. Talented chefs include Massimo Bottura, Annie Féolde, Niko Romito, Vincenzo Candiano, Heinrich Schneider, Lorenzo Cogo, Tonino Mellino, Daniele Usai, Gaetano Trovato, Moreno Cedroni, Mauro Uliassi and Carlo Cracco.
All featured Italian chefs in Ireland, Italy and the UK wait in joint anticipation to see which of them will take home the incredible ‘Best Italian Chef in Europe 2018’ Award on the night.
Guests on the evening will be treated to a plethora of contemporary Italian gastronomic treats for the taste buds including a unique aperitivo created by some of the most innovative Italian chefs in Europe. Gathering in Dublin on October 11th will be the ‘A list’ of the Italian restaurant industry to make this a truly unforgettable international event
For more details download the official Irish press release and press back here:
About Love Italian Life: Love Italian Life (https://loveitalianlife.com/) is the world’s largest authentic Italian Food & Lifestyle Online Community.
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