Festa Italiana has announced that Italian chef, TV star and award-winning author Gennaro Contaldo will star at this year’s festival.


Italian cookery icon Gennaro will be performing a live cookery demo, Q and A and book signing at the Festa on Saturday 27th July at 3.00pm in the Festa Pavilion. The event will be free to attend.


Festa Italiana is the country’s biggest festival of Italian food, drink and culture, taking place in Manchester city centre’s Cathedral Gardens from 26 – 28 July.


Gennaro is one of the country’s best loved chefs and an icon of Italian cuisine. He is widely known as the Italian luminary and mentor who taught Jamie Oliver all he knows about Italian cooking, giving him one of his first jobs in London at Antonio Carluccio’s Neal Street Restaurant. He has since published several successful cookery books. He’s still firm friends and a frequent collaborator with Jamie, and continues to work with him as part of the ‘Jamie’s Italian’ restaurant brand.


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Born in Minori on the Amalfi Coast, Gennaro, like Festa Founder Maurizio Cecco of Salvi’s, hales from the stunning Campanian region of Italy. Italian cookery is in his blood – he began helping in restaurant kitchens at the age of 8 and he is passionate about sharing Italian cuisine, culture and approach to life with British audiences – Festa Italiana’s ambitions of providing a cultural exchange between the two countries makes this a fitting and exciting collaboration.


His quintessentially Italian spirit and positive nature has made him a firm TV favourite. He regularly appears on Saturday Kitchen, as well as his own TV show, the highly successful Two Greedy Italians on BBC2. On Jamie Cooks Italy shown last year on Channel 4 he rode around his home country on a moped exploring the exquisite tastes of food paradise.


Attendees can expect a lively, vivacious demonstration from a true Italian legend – a chance to learn direct from one of the most passionate, revered and exciting voices in Italian cookery.


Gennaro will be demonstrating how to make his fresh pasta with summer tomato sauce and will be answering questions from the audience. Afterwards he will also be signing copies of books, available through Waterstones.


The event is free and seats will be allocated on a first come, first served basis – so cookery fans are advised to arrive early to get at seat!


Festa Italiana 2019 will be the third annual celebration of Italian food, drink and culture, which saw nearly 30,000 visitors flocking to the event in 2018.


In 2019 the Festa will be expanding to take in a bigger area around the city’s ‘Medieval Quarter’ with even more Italian producers, chefs, food, drink and music scheduled to descend on Manchester for the weekend.


Open from 11am – 11pm the daily programme will include live cookery demonstrations; an artisan Italian food market; a much bigger and more extensive kids’ fest for children of all ages; Italian banquets, and bespoke bars serving everything from Negroni to Meloncello. From morning through to sundown there’ll be live music from Italian bands and musicians flown over especially from Italy, alongside some of Manchester’s best DJs keeping the party going into the night.


Full information and updates can be found on the festival website www.festaitalianauk.com.


Twitter: @festaitalianauk
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**Photo of Gennaro Contaldo courtesy of Simon Burt Photography**