I was absolutely thrilled to return to Torino, where I studied abroad in 2005, to attend Turin Epicurean Capital.
What is Turin Epicurean Capital?
“Turin Epicurean Capital is a bilingual (English-Italian) food lit event organized to share with the international public the Turin and Piedmont culinary traditions and way of life.” Lucia Hannau, Founder of Turin Epicurean Capital
This marks the fifth year of Turin Epicurean Capital, which always takes place annually in June before the Festa di San Giovanni (St. John Festival).
Turin Epicurean Capital is a three-day event organized by Turin native Lucia Hannau, which includes nightly talk shows about food with international guests, and activities such as cooking classes, a city walking tour with a stop at the famous Al Bicerin (a historical café famous for its luxurious drink with chocolate, coffee, and cream), and even yoga with spectacular views of the city and the Mole Antonelliana!
I unfortunately didn’t arrive in time for the cooking class, but I heard they got to make COCOA PASTA! I’ve never heard of such a thing, but I’m a fiend for cocoa in savory dishes, such Cincinnati Chili and Mole Sauce, so I’m sure it was delicious!
See the pasta making in action (from @turinepi Instagram account):
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#chocolate #tajarin pair well with a #parmigiano #cheese cream @marghefrari is stirring the cream before showing us how to plate the #pasta 😋 #turinepi18 @qubi_torino #cookingclass #turin #torino #italy #vidaroyal #cooking #eating #traveling #nutrition #chef #foodies #delicious #taste #f52 #carbs #veg #getaway #travelmore #travelawesome #traveldeeper #eatinghealthy #yogis @nytfood @dametravelerfoodie @bbcgoodfood @deliciousmag @deliciousaus @gourmettraveller @food52 @saveurmag @foodandwine @harpersbazaarus @elleatable @condenasttraveller @huffposttaste @lonelyplanetmag @voguemagazine @britishvogue @elleuk @elleusa @foodnetwork @four_magazine @foolmagazine @taste @travelandleiaure @palate_magazine @jamieoliver @lifeandthyme
I arrived on the second day of the event just in time to have an aperitivo in the piazza and meet Elfin Waters of @allaboutitalian in person. Elfin is an online Italian teacher who also posts fun mini lessons on idioms and other useful expressions on her Instagram account. I’ve been following Elfin ever since I first started using Instagram a few years ago, and meeting people like her is one of the reasons why I love social media. Thank you Elfin for always being so encouraging and supportive on my Italian language journey!
Torino is absolutely magical at night with all of the lively piazzas and regal facades glowing in soft golden light. As we left aperitivo, we caught a glimpse of a vibrant, candy-colored sunset.
I even got to see Piazza San Carlo for the first time, which was closed back when I studied in Torino in 2005. They had found some Roman ruins, so it was an active archaeological site then.
Turin Epicurean Capital Talk Show
Alberto and I were scheduled to participate in the talk show on the final night of Turin Epicurean Capital, along with Clare Reed, a British expat in the Langhe region and author of the blog Piemonte Dreams. Our talk was hosted by Francine Segan, food historian and one of the foremost experts on Italian cuisine (check out her amazing cookbooks).
We talked about some of the notable products of the Piedmont region, such as hazelnuts and chocolate. Francine explained giandiua was first created by an innovative chocolatier as a solution for the cocoa shortage Turin experienced during the Napoleanic era. I’d say the result was perfect serendipity; chocolate and hazelnut are the perfect marriage and even better together, if I do say so myself!
One of my favorite things about food is the ability to capture memories in a taste or a smell. You can see me talking about how the warm spice notes of Barolo give me the same cozy feeling that Ginger Crinkles (a spiced cookie with ginger, cinnamon, and nutmeg rolled in sugar) that my mother has made ever holiday season since I was a little girl.
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@kellysdolcevita tells us about her #foodmemory from her childhood: #ginger krinkle #cookies that she is reminded of by every winter when she sips some #barolo #redwine 🍷 from #piedmont . . #turinepi18 #turin #torino #piemonte #italy #foodwinetours #travel #cooking #blogger #writer #studyabroad #winelover #memories #foodie @nytimestravel @bbc_travel @lifeandthyme @guardiantravelsnaps @telegraphtravel @lonelyplanet @cnntravel @dametraveler @gourmettraveller @condenasttraveller @saveurmag @britishvogue @voguemagazine @elleusa @elleuk @marieclairemag @marieclaireuk @harpersbazaarus @bazaaruk @harpersbazaarart @travelandleisure @elleatable @travelchannel
Francine also asked a very thought provoking question about how social media has influenced food. I loved this question, and I have so much to say about it (I might even dedicate an entire post to it!). For me, there are both pros and cons. On the bright side, my love of food has allowed me to connect with others who are passionate about food and wine online. On the other hand, I hate seeing all of those gorgeous dishes that have probably gone cold and unappetizing while getting the perfect image for Instagram. And let’s be honest, some of the best tasting dishes are not exactly “instagrammable”…so don’t judge a dish by its Instagram photo! What are your thoughts on this topic? I’d love to hear your opinion in the comments!
What impressed me the most about Turin Epicurean Capital is that it brings people from around the world together through our shared love of food through two languages – English & Italian. This is a truly bilingual event, and for guests who couldn’t accurately self-translate (myself included) we had some wonderful translation & interpretation students to assist us. I was so impressed the way that they were able to quickly and accurately take down notes as we spoke, and then instantaneously express our ideas in Italian. The event would not be the same without them. Compliments to our Italian interpreters!
Farewell Dinner at Alla Lettera in Piazza Bodoni
We concluded the night with a farewell dinner in Piazza Bodoni at Alla Lettera. I just had to order the traditional pasta of Piedmont, Agnolotti. They were delicious pillows of pasta bursting with herbaceous notes dressed in a sage and butter sauce (FAVE) topped with crispy bits of prosciutto crudo.
At the end of a deliciously fulfilling day, I loved returning to my comfortable and luxurious Executive Suite at Best Western Plus Executive Hotel and Suites (full review coming soon). I am very grateful that they hosted my stay while at Turin Epicurean Capital!
A big thank you to Lucia for organizing Turin Epicurean Capital and for giving me the honor of being part of it. What a dream come true to be able to return to my beloved study abroad city and talk about my favorite subject – food! There is no question; it’s not if I will return to Torino, but when. Until next time, Torino!
Be sure to visit Lucia’s website to find out more about the culinary delights of Turin and the Piedmont region. Mark your calendars for next year’s Turin Epicurean Capital in June 2019, or contact Lucia to arrange your own epicurean weekend in Turin.
Connect with Lucia Hannau, organizer of Turin Epicurean Capital:
- Turin Epicurean Capital Website: Turinepi.com
- Instagram: @turinepi
- Twitter: @turinepi
- Facebook: @turinepi
Complete Turin Epicurean Capital 2018 recap: