JAMIE Oliver’s mentor Gennaro Contaldo is the latest star attraction announced for this summer’s Festa Italiana (July 26-29) in Cathedral Gardens.
The Italian telly chef and award-winning author will be performing a live, free to attend cookery demo (cooking fresh pasta with summer tomato sauce), Q&A and book signing in the Festa Pavilion on Saturday, July 27 at 3pm.
Gennaro gave a young Jamie one of his first jobs in London at Antonio Carluccio’s Neal Street Restaurant. He’s still a frequent collaborator with him as part of the ‘Jamie’s Italian’ restaurant brand.
Born in Minori on the Amalfi Coast, Gennaro – like Festa founder Maurizio Cecco of Salvi’s – hails from the stunning Campania region. He began helping in restaurant kitchens at the age of 8 and he is passionate about sharing Italian cuisine, culture and approach to life with British audiences.
He regularly appears on Saturday Kitchen, as well as his own TV show, the highly successful ‘Two Greedy Italians’ on BBC2. On ‘Jamie Cooks Italy’, shown last year on Channel 4, he rode around his home country on a moped exploring its exquisite tastes.
Festa Italiana 2019 will be the third annual celebration of Italian food, drink and culture, which saw nearly 30,000 visitors flocking to the event in 2018.
This year it will expand to take in a bigger area around the city’s ‘Medieval Quarter’ with even more Italian producers, chefs, food, drink and music scheduled. Open from 11am-11pm the daily programme will include live cookery demonstrations; an artisan Italian food market; a much bigger and more extensive kids’ fest for children of all ages; Italian banquets, and bespoke bars serving everything from Negroni to Meloncello. From morning through to sundown there’ll be live music from Italian bands and musicians flown over especially from Italy, alongside some of Manchester’s best DJs keeping the party going into the night.