academia barilla  April 2008

Share the Spirit, and the Italian food love!

Last March 29 Academia Barilla Italian Culinary Specialist and Iron Chef judge [...]

Share the Spirit

Last March 29 Academia Barilla Italian Culinary Specialist and Iron Chef judge Mario Rizzotti joint forces with the Share the Spirit Foundation in Chicago for a gourmet fund raising event aimed at learning and understanding all nuances about Italian extra virgin olive oil.

Academia Barilla team

Educating Americans about real Italian food is what Mario Rizzotti does best. Mario loves to teach how to distinguish real Italian products from fake, including Parmigiano Reggiano cheese and Prosciutto di Parma, but he really loves to talk about Italian olive oil and balsamic vinegar of modena. Here is a previously published video of Mario with a few key tips on olive oil – enjoy!

We want to spend a couple of words on the Share the Spirit Foundation, as we strongly feel close to their mission. Share the Spirit was formed in 2003 to “provide help for those in need.” With the help of many contributors, the Foundation has collected thousands of dollars to help kids, families and those too ill to help themselves.

Among the charity activities organized by Share the Spirit in the last years, a close work with schools and social service agencies to provide funds to those who need a hand. Share the spirit has distributed thousand of socks to kids, and also bought hiking boots and scheduled outdoor camps for kids who have never had the opportunity to experience a summer camp. In 2005 Share the Spirit coordinated with the US troops in Iraq to distribute shoes to children in that area and in 2006, the Foundation became involved with efforts to assist families rebuilding after hurricane Katrina.

We really like Share the Spirit’s approach – they know charity work is a daily struggle, so their team vowed to coordinate the efforts of the Foundation with a personal challenge of their own team members, challenging themselves physically by hiking the Grand Canyon, walking the Colorado Trail and backpacking in the high country of the Sangre de Cristo mountains.

Academia QuartinoThese activities are not also help Share the Spirit’s team member get trained to face other fund raising activities through sport, such as participating to the Avon Breast Cancer 3-day-walk, raising awareness and money for breast cancer – this was actually the moment when share the Spirit was born.

Last March 29, Academia Barilla teamed up with Share the Spirit, with a tasting event held at the Quartino Ristorante in downtown Chicago, and all proceeds from this event went to support the activities of the Share the Spirit Foundation.

Academia Barilla for Share the Spirit

While Mario Rizzotti was educating the crowd on authentic Italian food, Cicchetti Wine Bar was offering a gourmet buffet with finger food dishes such as assorted bruschette, Chef select salumeria, veal meatballs, eggplant parmigiana, passed assorted Neopolitan pizzas and house-made biscotti.

You can support the Share the Spirit Foundation, too. Just visit their website and try not to miss one of their upcoming events. You can also support the Foundation by making a donation – remember that Share the Spirit is a a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization, and your contribution is tax deductible.

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