Massimo Bottura and top chefs from around the world come to Rimini for the Al Meni festival
RIMINI – Imagine a brightly coloured circus tent by the sea, in the shade of the Grand Hotel, a tribute to the dreamlike vision of Federico Fellini. Step inside and you’ll find not jugglers or trapeze artists but Michelin-starred chefs flying from one daring dish to another with the greatest of ease in a big open show kitchen.
This is the 8½ Circus, the cradle of flavour, the beating heart of “Al Meni” – Romagna dialect for “hands”, from the title of a poem by Tonino Guerra. This circus-cum-market of all good things comestible returns to Rimini on 17 and 18 June. Expect a feast of top show cooking, gourmet street food, a market of fine products and produce, workshops, tastings, ice cream by the chefs, talks by authors and experts, and the Matrioška Labstore craft and design hub (www.almeni.it).
The most decorated chef of all time, Massimo Bottura, is assembling a crack team. 12 Michelin-starred chefs from Emilia-Romagna will meet 12 of the most promising young culinary talents from around the world to put their heads together and bring original signature cuisine to a wide audience of curious and hungry foodies.
The heart of this festival of flavour is the circus. Special gourmet street food stalls will serve up mouthwatering morsels using the choicest ingredients from Emilia and Romagna, while the chefs’ creativity and the expertise of the master makers from Carpigiani Gelato University blend to perfection at the connoisseurs’ ice-cream parlour. Lining the seafront from the circus to the port, a genuine fine food market offers a journey to savour among producers large and small. Slow Food Personal Shoppers are on hand to guide visitors as they explore the Earth Markets and the Slow Food Ark of Taste, trying and buying Emilia-Romagna’s finest fare.
As the only region in Europe with 44 PDO and PGI products, we are acknowledged – including by the international media – as the ultimate exponents and global ambassadors of the best in Italian cuisine. In front of the circus, the designers and craftspeople from Matrioška use food as the inspiration for their beautiful handmade creations. And for extra seasoning, there are workshops, expert talks, and guided tastings at the Slow Food stalls.