09 Dec 2013 Eataly in Chicago: the new frontier of Made in Italy
Two floors of pure Italian style and gastronomic bliss for an investment of 28 million dollars: Eataly opened its umpteenth store in Chicago in which the Chicago Tribune defined it as “a giant food and Italian culture theme park”. Inaugurated by Mario Batali, New York’s celebrity chef, who is one of Oscar Farinetti’s (founder of Eataly) American partners.
Farinetti, who opened the first Eataly store in Turin in 2007, “landed” in the United States in 2010 bringing the great Italian Food emporium to New York along with Batali and chefs Lidia and Joe Bastianich. New York’s Eataly is presently in third place (after MoMA and the Empire State Building) among the ten most visited tourist sites of the Big Apple.
But how did these stores manage to become worldwide Italian restaurant chains (Eataly also exists in Japan and Turkey) attracting all this acceptance?
There is the Campania region with pasta from Gragnano, the South with its hot peppers and salami, the Liguria region with its oil and pesto, the Veneto region with its wines, and of course the Piedmont region with the town of Alba, treasure trove of precious truffles.
Entering in one of the Eataly stores is like crossing all the regions of our peninsula and similar to being on a roller coaster ride to reach the highest peaks of those authentic and genuine flavors that give Italy its uniqueness worldwide. A celebration for the senses as well as the eyes: the elegance in which the products are placed on the shelves, in the baskets and on the tables for the buyers is similar to a boutique with luxury fitting hand in hand with taste.
Not surprisingly, even the Economist speaks of Eataly as an excellent representative of Italian Dishes worldwide: food is the new frontier of the Made in Italy. Much more than Prada or Maserati. At Eataly, excellence also means awareness of what you choose to eat: quality comes first and foremost in the care of the origins of the raw materials and the manufacturing process of the products. This is Slow Food’s philosophy, in which Oscar Farinetti (founder of Eataly) is a member of, in addition to being friend and fellow citizen (both are from Piedmont) with Carlo Petrini, who gave birth to the movement opposing “fast food”.
It is not a coincidence that the Chicago Tribune uses the term “a food and Italian culture theme park” to describe the 21st Eataly store, inaugurated on December 2nd in Chicago. With its 63.000 square meters, it offers 23 different options for dining, Italian recipes bookstore, brewery, fishmonger, meat market, the opportunity to join cooking classes and much more. Eataly Chicago, in which the Chicago Tribune also defines as an “immense hangar of abundance of Italian Food”, is dedicated to Ernest Hemingway, the well-known native writer from Illinois (of which Chicago is the capital), who was a great lover of Italy and also where he stayed for a long time.