Food & Drink

Miami Dade College hosts food forum to preview Expo Milano 2015

Lidia Bastianich: The restaurateur and cookbook author will be presented with the Food for Life Award at Miami Dade College.
Lidia Bastianich: The restaurateur and cookbook author will be presented with the Food for Life Award at Miami Dade College.

Miami Dade College on Thursday hosts a daylong food forum that features culinary educators, chefs, restaurateurs and others. Feeding the Planet: Energy for Life includes panel talks on American food and its relationship to health and culture, as well as a luncheon that will honor restaurateur and cookbook author Lidia Bastianich with a Food for Life award.

The event also serves as an official precursor to the U.S. participation in Expo Milano 2015, a food-focused world fair that runs May 1 through Oct. 31 in Milan, Italy. The National Italian American Foundation Leadership will give a $25,000 educational grant to Miami Dade College for hosting the forum.

“The ... grant demonstrates the foundation’s commitment and support in South Florida as well as recognizes Miami Dade College for the many opportunities it has afforded first-generation immigrants from diverse ethnicities and countries of origin,” said Joseph V. Del Raso, NIAF chairman.

Thursday’s forum events include:

▪ 9-10:30 a.m.: WLRN host and Miami Herald columnist Linda Gassenheimer moderates a panel talk on food and health with Dr. Camillo Ricordi, director of University of Miami Diabetes Research Institute; Drs. Paolo Romanelli, Robert Kirsner and Antonella Tosti, University of Miami Medical School’s Department of Dermatology and Cutaneous Surgery; Dr. Michael Pacin, founder of Florida Center for Allergy & Asthma Care; Dr. Timothy S. Harlan, Tulane University School of Medicine’s Cardiology Department; and Dr. Antonio Giordano, director of Sbarro Institute for Cancer Research and Molecular Medicine at Temple University.

▪ 10:40 a.m.-noon: CBS4 chief investigative reporter Michele Gillen moderates a panel talk on bridging New and Old World cuisines in the interest of healthier food with Bastianich; Paola Cuccia, president and CEO of Gambero Rosso Foundation; Mitchell Davis, chief creative officer of James Beard Foundation; Dorothy Cann Hamilton, founder and CEO of International Culinary Center and President of the USA Pavilion at the Milan Expo.

▪ Noon-2 p.m.: Luncheon with participants including Miami Mayor Tomás P. Regalado, Consul General of Italy in Miami Adolfo Barattolo, Miami Dade College-Wolfson Campus President Jose Vicente, Miami Dade College alum and MLB All Star Mike Piazza and others.

▪ 2:30-4:30 p.m.: Miami Herald food editor Evan Benn moderates a panel talk on modern American food and its role in keeping Old World traditions alive and its responsibility to sustainability with chef Scott Conant (Scarpetta, Corsair); chef Richard Ingraham (athletic consultant, member of Miami Culinary Institute’s advisory committee); restaurateur and author Tony May; professor and author Fabio Parasecoli (director of food initiatives at the New School NYC); wine specialist Alberto Prealoni; and chef and author Maricel Presilla (“Gran Cocina Latina”).

The talks are at Miami Dade College’s Wolfson Campus, 300 NE Second Ave., Chapman (Building 3, Second Floor), and the luncheon is at the Freedom Tower, 600 Biscayne Blvd. Tickets are $35-$200, available at

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