Buonissima to return this month to Turin: A guide to the five-day celebration of Piedmontese food, wine and culture
Building on the success of last year, Italian food event Buonissima returns to Turin for a second edition, from 26th until 30th October, with a programme packed with gala dinners, four-hand collaborations, international chefs, art, music and all the culinary traditions of the Piedmontese city.
Iconic names from the international gastronomic scene – Alain Ducasse, Andoni Luis Aduriz, Paco Méndez, Davide Oldani, Karime Lopez, Chicco Cerea, Chiara Pavan – will meet local chefs and flavours (starting from white truffle and barolo) in some of the most emblematic sites of Turin, from the Mole Antonelliana to the Reggia di Venaria, as well as the Rivoli Castle and the Centrale Nuvola Lavazza, and, of course the restaurants, piole (Piedmontese trattorias) and bistros.
We spoke with Luca Iaccarino, the co-director along with Stefano Cavallito and Matteo Baronetto, to learn more about Buonissima and get some tips on how to navigate the programme, which is detailed below the interview.
What did you learn about Buonissima, a year after the inaugural edition?
I think we learned that Buonissima shouldn’t be an event exclusively about cooking. The first Buonimissia was a kind of cauldron in which we threw ideas that we liked. As we began to design the second edition, we understood that the combination of gastronomic and cultural elements were to be the basis of our event in an even more organic way. That’s why Samuel of Subsonica, Roy Paci and the music of Vivaldi will each play a major role at our three gala dinners. This is the result of partnering with Fuorivia, a production company that does poetic things, which has harmonically incorporated theatrical and musical elements to our happenings. Food is still the protagonist but, instead of relying on big names to promote our traditions, we put the traditional cuisine centre stage, in a programme that will climax with the Piedmontese Sunday lunch, where local chefs will cook together.
Was it hard to get it started?
Turin is the kind of city that first wants to see if things work before jumping on board. And this year many restaurants have shown their interest by independently organising some great four-hand dinners with the likes of Karime Lopez of Gucci Osteria at Opera as well as Floriano Pellegrino of Bros at Spazio7 and Paco Mendez at Condividere. This was our intention: to create the spark that starts a fire.
In a way, it was the late Turinese gourmet Bob Noto who inspired all of this. Is the award that you give each year in his name pivotal to Buonissima?
Rather than the pivot, the Bob Noto Award is our overture, and it embodies the values of Buonissima: being a bit iconoclastic, unconventional and yet connected to the world, like Bob. He first discovered the food of France, then Spain, Germany, Switzerland and, finally, his beloved New York. He was a great networker, capable of getting together people from all over the world, with the likes of Ferrari and Lavazza, without having any interests in it. It’s the perfect opening and the chef recipient of the prize will, the following year, cook the inaugural dinner. Andoni was the first winner, when the theme was irreverence, whereas this year our jury will look for a different characteristic: irony. We are not a congress, we are not a guide, we have decided to give only one heavyweight award. Ours is a jury of nine, including chefs Ferran Adrià, Davide Scabin, Matteo Baronetto and Paolo Griffa. The idea of having a Bob Noto award came before Buonissima and, in a way, it ended up being the accelerator for the coming of the event itself. I hope that this year the “irony prize” will leave another mark. Theoretically, the Bob Noto award and Buonissima do not need to be tied together, but I hope it will be a happy marriage.
The programme is great, but I think people would benefit from your insider knowledge to decide what to do.
One day go to a Piolissima dinner, which is a dinner in the trattorias, which we call piole. Last year it was incredible – more beautiful than we imagined, in the sense that really all these typical Turin trattorias did things like a bocce tournament or having an Alpine choir. All those who went last year did those things. I would also recommend a gala dinner. Again, last year it was a great success, we had one at the Mole with the likes of the Adrià brothers and Ana Roš, and one at the Motor Museum with Massimo Bottura. For sure they should go to the Sunday lunch, where an all-star ensemble of iconic Piedmontese chefs – including Davide Palluda, who is one of the very best in my opinion – will cook the traditional Sunday luncheon at the Rivoli Castle, in a shabby chic context. This traditional rite lasts typically up to five hours – and expect also tajarin pasta handmade by people who have done it for over 50 years.
That does sound like a must-do!
The last thing that, in my opinion, should be done is Bistromania. Turin was the first city in Italy to embrace the French bistronomie revolution; restaurants like Scannabue came before Retrobottega in Rome or Trippa in Milan. All the bistros will gather in the same place – at Porta Palazzo – with natural wine producers and cheesemakers. You don’t need to book, you can simply pick and buy what you like, and the price is very accessible. And there will be live music, too.
Filippo L’Astorina, the Editor
Buonissima takes place in Turin, Italy from 26th until 30th October 2022. See below for the full programme. For further information about Buonissima and to book tickets visit www.buonissimatorino.it.
26th October: The official opening
The official opening of Buonissima will be held on Wednesday 26th October at 5:30pm, at the Centrale Nuvola Lavazza. During the event (open to all) the Bob Noto Award, dedicated to the great Turin gourmet and photographer who died in 2017, will be awarded to a chef who has distinguished himself for ironic cuisine. The jury, composed of Ferran Adrià, Davide Scabin, Antonella Fassio, Sara Peirone, Marco Bolasco, Paolo Griffa, as well as the artistic directors of Buonissima, will award the prize, which will be presented by Luis Andoni Aduriz, winner of last year’s event.
27th October: Reggia di Venaria dinner with Alain Ducasse and Davide Oldani
On Thursday there will be Vivaldi Rocks Dinner: The Dinner of Time. In the magic of the Reggia, among ancient porcelain and linen, a gala dinner will be served in the Diana Gallery, accompanied by the music of Vivaldi, whose manuscript scores are kept in the National Library of Turin. But nothing is as it seems: to shake things up around the classicism of a dinner by Alain Ducasse and Davide Oldani is an original work, created expressly for the occasion by Samuel Romano of Subsonica – a combination of electronic and baroque music.
28th October: Mole Antonelliana dinner with Chicco Cerea, Chiara Pavan and Francesco Brutto
On Friday, at the Mole Antonelliana National Cinema Museum, there will be the Cinemagika dinner. Roy Paci will give life to an original show incorporating music, colours and images to meet the cuisine of Chicco Cerea, Chiara Pavan and Francesco Brutto with Matteo Baronetto. The dinner is a charity event with proceeds going to the IRCC of Candiolo. Special guests Vladimir Luxuria (director of the LGBTQ+ Lovers festival) and Steve Della Casa (director of Torino Film Festival), have selected a series of films centring around amazement, wonder and magic.
29th October: Agnolotti vs Rest of the World
The whole Buonissima programme will be an opportunity to discover and be inspired by great cuisine: on Saturday at Eataly Lingotto there is the Agnolotto vs Rest of the World dinner – or the stuffed pasta challenge: classics such agnolotti and tortellini vs Chinese dumplings and gyozas.
30th October: The Piedmontese lunch
Visitors can’t miss Sunday lunch, Piedmontese style. At the Museum of Contemporary Art in the Rivoli Castle, a long table will be set up for a typical family lunch with the best products and Piedmontese recipes with mixed appetisers, tajarin and main courses of meat. In the kitchen will be the best chefs of the region, top and pop.
Gemma (Da Gemma), Renza (La Terrazza), Davide Palluda (All’Enoteca), Alessandro Mecca, Christian Macario (Il Nazionale), Antonella Rota (Antiche Sere), Filippo Giaccone (Oste in Albaretto) will all cook together.
26th-29th October: Piolissima
Also in this second edition, the Piolissima element is certainly not lacking – a celebration of typical Piedmontese taverns: for the duration of the event, there is an array of dinners, anchovies and art shows with a fixed price of 28€.
Le Piole: Antiche Sere, Bistrot Bistrot di Banjo, Barbagusto, Cantinone San Paolo, Du ’Cesari, Pastis, La Fucina Restaurant, Le Putrelle, Le Ramine, Pescheria Gallina, POdiciotto, Trattoria Amizie, Vitel Etonné.
25th-29th October: Metti Torino a Cena (Dinner with Turin)
From Tuesday to Saturday, the restaurants of Metti Torino a Cena will host a series of four-hand dinners with renowned Italian and international chefs.
The restaurants: Del Cambio, Antonio Chiodi Latini, Kensho, Mare Nostrum, Azotea, Magorabin, Limonaia, Insieme, Opera, Casa Vicina, Share, Spazio 7 and Befro.
26th-30th October: Colazione d’Autore (The Art of Breakfast)
12 historic and modern Turin cafes and pastry shops offering Lavazza coffee will offer a Colazione d’Autore for their customers, recreating the all-Italian storytelling that makes breakfast an art to be protected and promoted. Participants will have the opportunity to visit the Lavazza Museum at a discounted price.
The participating cafes include Pasticceria Abrate, Caffè Torino, Bar Zucca, Daf Elite, Gerla 1927 Ristorante Caffetteria C.so Vittorio, Caffè Platti, Gerla 1927 Via Lagrange, Gerla la Croisette, Combo, Mokita, Roma Gia Talmone and Gran Bar.
30th October: Bistromania and tasting workshops
On the last day, there will be the ultimate popular celebration with Bistromania: Bistrot Contesto Alimentare, Gaudenzio Vini and Cucina, Luogo Divino, Razzo; Scannabue, Smoking Bar and XXL Cafè will all participate, as well as bistros from all over Italy: Osteria alla Competition (Milan), Estro (Venice), Il Genovese (Genova), Cantina del Tormento (Vicenza), Bar Bozza (Rome), Osteria Pavesi (Piacenza), Locanda del Falco (Valdieri) and Trattoria da Burde (Firenze).
Saturday will also be the day of the tasting workshops where patrons can learn more about some basic products of the kitchen: parmesan, oil, rice, yeasts, oysters, champagne, Barolo and chocolate.
Filippo L’Astorina, the Editor