Click here to join us for the White Truffle Event at Bellasera Resort in Naples, Florida, USA
Browse these pages and the beautiful Bellasera Resort in Naples, Florida, USA, where in November 2004 & 2005, ICI presented the most exclusive Epicurean event of the year featuring prized white truffles from Italy.

White Truffle Event Homepage | The Italian Institute for Advanced Culinary and Pastry Arts

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All-Star Culinary Team

John Nocita, ICI Director
Executive Chef, Sommelier, Maestro Olearo (Olive Oil Master)

John is among Europe's leading consultants for menu development and new dining concepts. He is an award winning executive chef, a member of the Italian Olive Oil Masters and a sommelier. John founded the Italian Institute for Advanced Culinary and Pastry Arts to constantly update cooking techniques and menu development for chefs and patissier in the world's increasingly competitive environment.

His memberships include the Italian Culinary Federation and Master Chefs Association. In 2001, John was awarded for Outstanding Contributions to Promote Fine Dining from the Distinguished Restaurants of North America whom Wine Spectator describes as "the authority on fine dining". John is on the board of several associations and is a founding director of Italy's equivalent to Meals on Wheels. He contributes articles to over 30 trade magazines and newspapers internationally.

In addition to being a culinarian, John is CEO of InterComm GROUP and PromoMed S.r.l. both located in Calabria, Italy, and which focus on several sectors within F&B including tourism, market development for Italian companies and government agencies, real estate development and publishing. InterComm's publishing division produces internationally distributed gastronomic texts and journals worldwide.

John speaks English, Italian, Russian and French.


Fabio Bertoni
Master Patissier, Master Baker

His distinction as a master baker, patissier and chef has made Fabio Bertoni Italy’s most versatile culinary professional. Fabio is one of only a few culinary masters in the world to have captured multiple gold medals for both cuisine and pastry in individual and team tournaments during premier international competitions. He is an international culinary judge and consults for several of Europe’s top producers including Grande Mulino Milling.

Typical of Italian masters, he is a fourth generation owner of the family business, IL Forno Bertoni (Bertoni Bakery) and has been in the sector for his entire life. His bakery produces over forty types of bread everyday as well as a myriad of sweet and savory levitated products. His Colomba and Panettone are famous in upscale hotels and restaurants and are even shipped to the Vatican.

Fabio is a new product development trainer for hotels throughout the world including London, Miami, Las Vegas, Reno, New York and Dubai. He instructs master chefs at the Italian Institute for Advanced Culinary and Pastry Arts, the Art, Science and Food Technology Center and Academia Alma. Fabio continues to compete in international competitions and his winnings include gold at SIAB International in Verona 2001 & 2004, Italy, the European Championship at Luxembourg 2000 & 2001 and the IKA Olympics in 2000. He has weekly TV show, magazine columns and is the founder of Young Bakers Federation of Italy.

Fabio speaks English and Italian.


Virgil Metcalf
Executive Chef, Zizi Restaurant, Bellasera Resort

Virgil Metcalf, Executive Chef at Zizi at Bellasera, a veteran of the Southwest Florida resort industry, has been with SunStream Hotels and Resorts since January 1999. His previous experience as Executive Chef at Chloe's, at DiamondHead Beach Resort for two years paved the way to this appointment. Prior to this he was Sous-chef at DiamondHead for three years. In this position Virgil enjoys creating traditional Italian, and Mediterranean dishes. He brings with him a wealth of knowledge and enjoys creating fusion dishes that blend traditional Regional Italian, and Mediterranean cuisine, with South Floridian delicacies. He also supervises banquets and the development of new food and beverage products.

Chef Metcalf came to Florida from western New York just a little over five years ago. His previous experiences take him from the fine dining atmosphere of Philadelphia where he studied at The Restaurant School in center city, developed his talent in Italian, Indian, French, and American Cuisine; to the powder packed ski resorts atmosphere of western N.Y., where the emphasis was on family style, and local region specific dishes. He has brought with him his own brand of culinary style which utilizes fresh local seafood prepared simply yet elegantly to enhance the natural flavors with Tuscan, Roman, Campania, Puglia and Sicilian styled culinary.

Metcalf and his culinary team are delighted to be part of the Naples restaurant scene and are committed to creating the most innovative specialty dishes. We enjoy working with a variety of fresh seafood and are very interested in bringing game meats into the daily chef's special menus. The secret to a fantastic dining experience at Zizi is combining only the freshest ingredients with herbs, sauces, and of course Olive oil. Atmosphere also plays a great role in the overall dining experience and the ambiance at Bellasera with our guests can dine inside or outside under the stars. Cabana's poolside dining is available with advance reservation, as well as personal in room dinner parties.


Salvatore Viscomi
Artisan Baker, Patissier
With southern Italian roots and stagieres in restaurants throughout Italy and Southern France, Salvatore's cuisine is as versatile as his heritage. With his 'osteria' just fifty meters from the Ionian sea and his keen interest in traditional Mediterranean elements, Salvatore has spent years combining the two for a cuisine that is unique even in Italy.

As a chef, Salvatore's fortes include the preparation of second dishes especially Mediterranean style seafood. His style is distinctly 'cucina espressa' (express cooking) and his kitchen never includes any prepared sauces giving every plate an expression of the freshest products available from land and sea.

Although an executive chef, Salvatore is a national Hearth Baking Champion. Incorporating these two expertise, he has developed a style for using original cooking techniques to create lively new flavors. This includes special attention to the types of potware used for specific dishes as well as using a hearth oven to create distinctly different preparations.

Salvatore instructs programs for the Italian Institute for Advanced Culinary and Pastry Arts, is recently co-authoring his first cookbook and works with the regional government to promote its cuisine. Salvatore owns and operates a restaurant and hotel.


Walter Zanoni
Master Chef

It's not by coincidence that international culinary associations call him Italy's golden boy as every restaurant that he's touched has earned either Michelin Stars or status as best restaurant of its kind in Italy and Europe. Walter decided early on to only work with the best and his curriculum confirms his efforts: Ristorante Esplanade, Ristorante Spinnaker, Ristorante Kristall Lago, Princess Cruises and the Four Season's Hotel in Milan with Italian Chef-Legend Sergio Mei.
Walter knows that its now, not then, that makes a chef great. So now, under his reign as executive chef, the 5-star Palazzo Arzada located on Italy's famous Lake Garda Riviera, has earned Conde Nast Traveler's Readers' SPA Award 2004, Top 25 Worldwide, the International Gourmet Journal's Restaurant Award 2002/2003, Best Hotel in Europe 2003 and The Leading Small Hotels of the World 2004.

The maestro's cuisine is uniquely based on refining traditional regional Italian themes to ones that are presented in 5-Star settings. That means balancing the classic flavors of the Mediterranean with haute cuisine. His attention to detail starts out with carefully identifying and using the best ingredients available (Walter has done a full course on selecting the appropriate salts to use!). His decorative plate art is considered the best in Italy.

Walter's teaching style is what you'd expect from an executive chef with a brigade of 20+ in his kitchens: direct, easy to understand and fast paced. His specialties include cooking with precious truffles, wild lake fish and Mediterranean cuisine.

Walter speaks Italian, English and French.

White Truffle Program at a Glance
Bellasera Resort, Naples
Florida, USA


DAY 1
09:00 Cooking lesson: to be announced
12:30 Lunch and discussion with the chefs
19:00 Truffle dinner
Theme: tradition and innovation

DAY 2
09:00 Cooking lesson: to be announced
12:30 Lunch and discussion with the chefs
19:00 Truffle dinner
Theme: the regions of Italy

DAY 3
09:00 Cooking lesson: to be announced
12:30 Lunch and discussion with the chefs
19:00 Truffle dinner
Theme: "Frutta di Mare" (Seafood)

DAY 4
09:00 Cooking lesson: to be announced
12:30 Lunch and discussion with the chefs
19:00 Truffle dinner
Theme: alternative cuisine and vegetarian

DAY 5

19:00 Truffle dinner
Theme: meat and game

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