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  • Sottocuoco: A new app from Lecce that connects food lovers with chefs and home cooks.

    Earlier this month, Paolo Cantele and Cantele’s English-language blogger attended the launch of a new and truly innovative app called Sottocuoco in Lecce (Salento, Puglia).

    The concept is as simple as it is brilliant: The app allows users (known as forchette or forks) to connect with professional chefs and home cooks who, for a fee, will either deliver a meal to your home or visit your home to prepare a meal in your own kitchen.

    The start-up was inspired by a new trend that is spreading rapidly across Italy and Europe: Mostly through word-of-mouth, career chefs and food professionals have been making extra money by working as private chefs and caterers; and talented home cooks, who abound in Italy where creative and traditional home cooking is considered much more than just a pastime, have been following in the footsteps of their career and professional counterparts.

    Not only is the concept so promising and appealing that it has attracted major investment from Italian venture capitalists, but it has also received an endorsement from one of Italy’s leading high tech pioneers, Matteo Achilli, who has been dubbed the “Italian Mark Zuckerberg” by the Italian media.
    Continue reading Sottocuoco: A new app from Lecce that connects food lovers with chefs and home cooks.

  • Gianni Cantele ends his mandate as Coldiretti Puglia president

    Above: Gianni (center) with Coldiretti colleagues at a rally protesting counterfeit Italian food products.

    This week, Gianni Cantele stepped down as president of Coldiretti Puglia, the regional office of the Italian confederation of food growers.

    “Today was last day as president of Coldiretti Puglia,” wrote Gianni on his Facebook. “It’s been nearly six years and an extraordinary experience that gave me the chance to have a 360° look at our region’s agriculture. I’ve learned about our region’s excellence and our still untapped potential. And I’ve even come to understand some of our contradictions, issues we need to work to solve with earnestness and honesty. I also had the privilege of being able to count on the support of our many Coldiretti partners. And thanks to their efforts, we ‘occupied’ piazzas and roads in Puglia with our rallies and events. Our focus has been the promotion and safeguarding of our identity and the value of our products. And we’ve tried to ‘contaminate’ Pugliese society with equity and respect for our land.”

    “I’ve had the opportunity to work with some big-hearted people. And they are owed much more than this quick thanks. I’m not leaving the team, though. I’ll be serving as president of the Lecce Federation as we face the dramatic situation caused by Xylella fastidiosa. It’s going to be an equally challenging task but I owe it to my land.”