Presentation for the new edition of the Gambero Rosso guide dedicated to the best Italian clubs in the world

Rome, 28 October 2018

Increasingly appreciated, sought after as a product, proud to exhibit its regional character and the easiest recipes. This is the picture that emerges in regards to Italian dining abroad, as revealed by the new edition of Gambero Rosso Top Italian Restaurants digital guide in English language that maps out, classifies and reviews 500 restaurants in over 35 countries worldwide. And it does so by using the classic rating, from one to three, with the by now well-established and recognizable symbols: Forchette (forks) for fine dining restaurants, Gamberi (shrimp) for traditional kitchens, Spicchi (slices) for pizzerias and Bottiglie (bottles) for winebars and wine-forward restaurants. The Top Italian Restaurants guide is available in digital format and accessed at

At the base of the Top Italian Restaurants is the opportunity to trace the evolution of Italian taste, showcase the restaurants that use certified and quality products and support professionals who, with great dedication and passion, transform, promote and narrate the excellence of Italian products. Products that are mostly sponsored also thanks to the Gambero Rosso editorial productions: Top Italian Food & Beverage Experience, the guide that draws a map of the best productions and agricultural companies of Italy, and Guida Vini d’Italia, translated into English, German, Chinese and Japanese to meet the great foreign demand for in-depth knowledge and appreciation of Italian excellence.

“The real challenge is to export quality products and know how to bring value to them, with the courage and initiative of consolidated professionals and young chefs. Declares Paolo Cuccia, President of Gambero Rosso: “Thanks to the work of these great experts and entrepreneurs, who are willing to invest and to fight forcefully the Italian Sounding phenomenon, Italian dining abroad continues to live an era of great success, useful in empowering the vast Italian agricultural scene, which is unique for biodiversity and quality in the world.”

Thanks to these figures, Italian food exports continue to fly, as the national economy’s star, which have exceeded the record figure of 41 billion in 2017, +6.8% compared to 2016, driven by the growth of Italian restaurants. At the same time, the international events promoted by Gambero Rosso increase and in the 2018/2019 season has a calendar of 35 planned events, with tastings and awards for Italian restaurants. “Last year the spotlight was on the new generation of chefs who revolutionized the scene, this year the theme is the Italian cuisine that opens to the world, which imposes its philosophy, which enhances the seasonality of products by taking cues and new sensitivity to re-propose, maintaining the Italian identity and taste. Our Special Awards summarize all this”, comments Lorenzo Ruggeri, curator of the Top Italian Restaurants guide.

On the wave of this a real homecoming celebration occurred during the award ceremony at Chorus Cafè. The protagonists of the menu created specifically for the presentation of the guide return from Sydney and New York, passing by way of Paris: Michele Farnesi, chef and owner of Dilia in Paris, awarded as Chef of the Year and Federico Zanellato, Executive Chef of LuMi in Sydney, Restaurant of the Year. The Pizzeria of the Year is in the Big Apple where there is an exquisitely Neapolitan corner: Song ‘E Napoli of Ciro Iovine. The Wine List of the Year map points Central America and rewards the great work of Rolly Pavia, with his Osteria del Becco in Mexico City, boasting a thriving Italian wine collection, with over 40,000 labels of cult wines from the post-war period to date. Furthermore, the Opening of the Year is awarded to the Iaccarino family, in this case we are in Toronto: Don Alfonso already runs at full speed a few months after opening. Finally, the Innovation/Tradition Award gives credit to Luigia, the project of Enrico Coppola and Luigi Guarnaccia, who were able to replicate high quality pizzerias in Geneva and in Dubai, focusing on new concepts and winning entrepreneurial formulas.

Pizzeria of the Year: Song’ e Napule – New York

A corner of Fuorigrotta located between Soho and Greenwich. The pizzeria of Ciro Iovine and his wife Austria is a very small space, picturesque, more seats than there are square meters, complete with semi-hidden ATM machine amid Naples soccer tam jerseys. Pizza? Fabulous, thick and soft crust, with an enveloping and airy texture, perfect cooking and excellent digestibility. The high quality ingreduents include olive oil, San Marzano tomatoes, fiordilatte from Agerola, but it’s the pizza craftmanship that makes the difference. The warm welcome and service are phenomenal. Do not miss the pasta and potatoes with provola dish.

Opening of the Year: Don Alfonso – Toronto

After Macao and New Zelalada, the Iaccarino family re-launches an international challenge in Toronto, in the heart of the Financial District. And it does it in style, in a 19th century building, entrusting the reins of the kitchen to the chef Daniele Corona (Oliver Glowig’s long-time wing man). Clean, neat Mediterranean flavors amid Italian marble finishings and a wine list containing over 700 references. A little more than 100 days from the opening the place is already in full swing, great service and a very well set menu: stand-outs include Rigatoni Vesuvios and an artfully crafted sfogliatella.

Wine List of the Year: Osteria del Becco – Mexico City DF

A dream winery in the Polanco district, at a stone’s throw from the luxury boutiques of Avenida Presidente Masaryk. Rolly Pavia strongly wanted a vault of only Italian bottles, among the largest and most profound collections in the world, about 30,000 labels from the post-war period to today. The study on vintages is surgical, the impressive depth, many millesimes aren’t even available in the original cellars. Rolly left Italy for Mexico at 17 with his father Angelo and created a veritable empire with several restaurants in Mexico City and beyond.

Business Innovation Award: Luigia (Geneva, Nyon, Lausanne, Dubai, Freiburg)

Enrico Coppola and Luigi Guarnaccia have succeeded in creating a successful project focusing on careful research of directly imported ingredients, state-of-the-art management that takes advantage of new technologies both in training processes and in control systems. The final product is a high-end gourmet pizza, combined with an important wine list, in an appealing setting that pays utmost attention to customer care, complete with a play room for the little ones. The ability to replicate the format, making employees become partners, has allowed to maintain high quality unaltered in the various openings, from Geneva to Dubai.

Chef of the Year: Michele Farnesi – Paris

29 years, chef, Tuscan through and through, and in his own way, also entrepreneur. Michele Farnesi trained at Osteria Francescana, and matured important experiences with his friends Giovanni Passerini and Simone Tondo in Paris, and again under Fulvio Siccardi and Jean-Francois Piège. He invested his savings in opening the Dilla bistro in Belleville. His signature cuisine is instinctive, with bold combinations and beguiling flavors. His courageous cuisine is tasty, and able to surprise with creative and ideas. French sensibility and Italian creativity, a pinch of anarchy and passion. He loves wine and has fun in the kitchen. And it shows.

Restaurant of the Year: LuMi – Sydney

This is the fine dining we like. Large windows overlooking the water in Pyrmont, in the Sydney bay: with well spaced tables and attention to detail without too much excess. Welcome to the reign of chef Federico Zanellato, nee 1980, globetrotter: first in London, then in Rome with Apreda and Beck, then in Japan at Riygin, experiences at Noma and Attica, and then opening his own place in Sydney with his wife Michela, sommelier. His Italian cuisine with Japanese contaminations is stimulating, careful to ingredient sustainability. His tasting menu is a perfect musical composition, made of peaks and intervals, perfect sum of his baggage. Pleasant service, and pairings with brilliant wines chosen among select vigneron between Italy and Australia, which we know little about.