by Michela Di Carlo
Twenty-five years by the side of “His Excellency Italy”
Gambero Rosso is 25 years old – a long road traveled in the company of the best of “made in Italy”. As the Italian leader in publishing and training in the wine and food sector, Gambero Rosso has made a fundamental contribution in these twenty-five years to underscoring the importance of the field. It has played a role in encouraging restaurateurs, wine producers and artisans. Gambero Rosso’s president, Paolo Cuccia, describes the steps on this long journey with “His Excellency Italy” to Benvenuta Italia.
Mr. Cuccia, what distinguishes Gambero Rosso from other publishers in the sector?
We talk about good food and about wine starting with people. It’s a method that has encouraged those professionals to constantly improve. The Gambero’s symbols of excellence, tre bicchieri that is, three glasses for wine, three forks for restaurants, and three coffee beans and three cups for coffee bars and now we’ve added three leaves for the best producers of extra virgin olive oil have become iconic, a goal to be achieved, an essential benchmark, a guarantee of quality.
To celebrate these 25 years exploring “made in Italy”, the Gambero published “Sua Eccellenza Italia”, His Excellency Italy, a golden book celebrating the best food and wine companies. During a gala dinner at the Hotel Cavalieri Hilton in Rome, Gambero Rosso gave awards to many firms and entrepreneurs for their excellence and dedication. How has the food and wine world of Italy changed in the last 25 years?
Powerful spotlights now shine on restaurants. Some focus on great chefs who have become media superstars. Some promote less prestigious places whose cooks highlight their own multi-faceted territories, often offering excellent value for money. This visibility of such a range of restaurants has made the average Italian more interested in the culture of food. At the same time, Italian wine is the top item in the nation’s list of exported agricultural products, with sales of over 13 billion euros. Italian wine is the most exported on the planet and represents over 17% of world production.
Gambero Rosso is the only multi-media company in the sector, with periodicals, books, guides, a television channel (Sky 411), web site and applications for smart phones. The company does 20 million euros of business annually and has been profitable for two years, something that’s not easy in this economic climate. What are your plans for the future?
We want to continue to emphasize quality, internationalization and technology. Specifically, we’ll focus more and more on new media, but without neglecting print. We will continue to introduce excellent wine around the world. Up to now, we have organized 20 mega global wine events. We aim to grow and promote food products in the future. We want everyone to get to know the best of “made in Italy.”