Zero-mile gastronomy has been growing in popularity over the past decade, but there’s no denying it it a luxury in many places. Depending on where you are, growing fare locally and providing a wide and diverse food offer might be an expensive affair. In Italy, however, locally produced food is not at all hard to find. When planning a corporate event, consider going local for your catering: many venues will be happy to oblige you with their own production of oil, veggies or dairy or to put you in touch with local farmers.
Eat local. Eat healthy
Eating locally sourced food is an excellent way of getting to know the local culture. Food that doesn’t need to travel for long distances is not only the healthier option for the planet, but also for those who consume it, as it is generally produced according to seasonal criteria, with a reduced use of pesticides. You don’t really need strawberries in February, but most importantly, you won’t miss them, because you will be enjoying delicious ripe oranges and sinfully tasty dried fruit. In Italy, going local with your catering will not blow up your budget. Quite the contrary: it might save you money, particularly if you work closely with local producers, cutting out the middle man, and choose traditional recipes over international standards.
I don’t have time to look for local catering, I have a whole event to plan!
Then find yourself an event planner that will do it for you. One thing you can be sure of: your guests will thank you for a unique experience. Italian culinary tradition is all about slow food and shared meals are essential moments of socialisation, when social connections are created and bridges are built, future projects take shape and old discords are resolved.
Pro-tips for your zero-mile catering
1. Keep it simple
Traditional recipes made with locally sourced fare have no need for a fancy presentation: keep your set-up simple and even rustic, so that your guests can have a genuine and memorable experience and learn about the local culture while enjoying delicious food.
2. Keep your options open
You will probably need to make room for dietary restrictions: plan this in advance with your caterer. Traditional Italian cuisine offers plenty of vegan, dairy-free and gluten-free recipes, but depending on the region and the season, your choice might be limited. Discuss options with the catering company as early as possible, in order to allow them to source the necessary ingredients while respecting the “zero-mile philosophy” of your event.
3. Don’t forget the wine
There is hardly an Italian region that doesn’t boast its own wine production, which is usually perfectly suited to accompany local recipes. Organise a wine tasting for your guests and be sure to have a chef match each wine with a local delicacy.