Last updated on January 16th, 2017 at 04:00 pm
Grand Rapids-based Meijer is teaming up with the Italian Trade Agency to bring an authentic Italian cooking experience to select stores. Events will be hosted later this month by The Food Network’s “Iron Chef America” Judge Mario Rizzotti.
The cooking demonstrations are part of a larger Meijer Mercato Italiano experience that will take place at all Meijer stores, featuring more than 400 authentic Italian products like artisan Italian pasta, San Marzano tomatoes, Italian wine and Italian extra virgin olive oil for a limited time beginning mid-month.
“Meijer is pleased to partner with the Italian Trade Agency to offer our customers an authentic Italian cooking experience,” said Peter Whitsett, EVP of merchandising and marketing. “Interest in Italian food continues to rise. We wanted to create an experience to make it easy for our customers to find and learn about the ingredients they want. With Mario’s help, they’ll gain a greater understanding of true Italian ingredients and how best to use them.”
During each of the six Italian cooking demonstrations, Rizzotti will cook an authentic Italian pasta dish and put his own twist on a gelato for the first 50 customers with a wristband. The events, which also will feature a live Q&A session, will be held from 6-7 p.m.:
• Jan. 23 at the Algonquin Meijer, 400 S. Randall Road in Algonquin, Illinois
• Jan. 24 at the Indianapolis Meijer, 5550 N. Keystone Avenue in Indianapolis, Indiana
• Jan. 25 at the Knapp’s Corner Meijer, 1997 E. Beltline Avenue in Grand Rapids, Michigan
• Jan. 26 at the Okemos Meijer, 2055 W. Grand River Avenue in Okemos, Michigan
• Jan. 27 at the Royal Oak Meijer, 5150 Coolidge Highway in Royal Oak, Michigan
• Jan. 28 at the Westerville Meijer, 100 Polaris Parkway in Westerville, Ohio
“It’s great to see a major retailer like Meijer working in partnership with the Italian government in an effort to offer Americans a larger variety of rare Italian products,” said Rizzotti. “I’ve spent my career educating food lovers on how to tell authentic Italian products from the fake, so I’m thrilled to be part of Meijer’s Italian chef events.”
Rizzotti, an acclaimed TV personality and Italian culinary expert, left Rome in his early 20s and moved to the U.S., where he has been educating food lovers about authentic Italian ingredients. He is best known as the seasoned, yet approachable, judge on The Food Network’s “Iron Chef America.”