The final TuttoToscana event was a flurry of food, fashion, fun, feathers, and featured a lighter side of Tuscany. Read on to find out how Team Palazzi accomplished this feat!
Lightness was represented in all components of the evening, from the food to the fashion show and the featured wines. Another type of lightness, however, was also present in the designs of AltaRosa sent down the runway as a reminder to guests that an ethical approach to lightness can result in a lesser negative impact on the environment while creating beauty. AltaRosa is a Florentine fashion company, led by Valeria Doga and Gloria Modesti, who produce bio-dynamic organic clothing with an ethical approach to production and sales. The feminine, incredibly natural and effortless wearability of each Alta Rosa creation is a profound study, or better yet, a philosophical approach to create better systems of high quality materials, eco sustainable artisans and manufactures and ultimately respect for the usage of resources provided by nature.
The concept, designed to evoke lightness, found its literal expression in the choice of Mazzanti Piume as one of the two featured designers at the fashion show. Since 1935, the Mazzanti family has been creating high quality flower and feather adorned fashion ensembles. Located in the city of Florence, which is synonymous for its long-standing artisanal craftsmanship, the company has reached the third generation of Mazzanti family members who experiment and create whimsical, elegant, and surprising accessories that respect the Florentine tradition of handcrafted accessories. Mazzanti Piume is the resource for feather creations in the world of fashion, entertainment, and historical ceremonies. Local Italian fashion giants like Gucci, Cavalli, and Chanel turn to Mazzanti Piume to top off their fashion collections with show-stopping feathers while Mazzanti collections are often whisked to glamorous fashion destinations such as Paris for runway appearances.
The evening’s menu, created by Apicius Executive Chef Andrea Trapani, was designed on the same lines as the event concept of lightness. Guests were presented with dishes inspired by Florentine historical and environmental references such as the famed Boboli Gardens, gastronomic icon, Caterina de Medici, and the flavors and senses of the Tuscan landscape and sea. Such dishes will include, Profumi del Cielo, a lasagnetta enhanced by scents of mandarin, as well as cappellacci ravioli, folded in the shape of swallows, filled with artichokes, almonds and potatoes. Furthermore, food production and ingredient purchasing was coordinated Great Performances, New York City’s highly respected and first green caterer.
All elements of the event also had the objective of countering Tuscany’s traditional image, widespread through literature and film in the minds of the international public. One unique example at Feathers demonstrated a perfect harmonization of contemporary and traditional. Wine producer Dalle Nostre Mani was chosen for its usage of an unusually light and delicious grape, pugnitello, and its story is a special one to tell. Young and dynamic winemakers Lapo Tardelli and Giulio Wilson Rosetti have brought contemporary, organic winemaking techniques to an almost abandoned area of Tuscany in order to bring back rare grape varieties to the Italian wine scene. Not only have they revitalized the territory but in order to do so, they have integrated the infallible, time-tested experience of elderly traditional farmers from the area who still have the intimate knowledge of the land that’s risking extinction with the advent of modern mechanization.
If there was one “solid and concrete” element of the evening, it was the solidarity forged amongst the event creaters, producers, and volunteers. The Palazzi team was composed of faculty and students from the areas of Culinary Arts, Wine Studies, Event Management, and Art Direction. The service staff was composed by an excellent team of students from CUNY Queens and one SUNY Stony Brook student. And finally, the group of models were a group of New Yorkers, beautiful individuals from different countries, careers, and studies, who breathed life into the creations of AltaRosa and Mazzanti Piume. A team NOT to be taken lightly who explored and expressed lightness in Italian style and cuisine with hard effort and dedication.