Whole Foods Market is bringing the flavors of Italy to customers in New York, Los Angeles, Atlanta and Austin, Texas, through intimate pop-up dinners co-hosted by the grocer’s cheese, wine and culinary experts alongside Italian cheesemakers and prosciutto suppliers.
“Our dedicated team members travel throughout Italy to bring the finest traditionally produced Italian items to Whole Foods Market stores, and we’re excited to offer these authentic products together on a dinner menu for one night only,” said Whole Foods Market Vice President of Specialty Cathy Strange in a statement. “We want our guests to feel like they’ve been invited for a meal in Nonna’s kitchen.”
Each "A Little Italy" event will feature an authentic, family-style meal composed of six courses, including Cacio e Pepe featuring Pecorino Romano with Parmigiano Reggiano grated tableside and Osso Buco served over creamy rosemary polenta. Guests of these reservation-only complimentary dinners will also enjoy curated wine and prosecco pairings to complement each of the six courses.
At each dinner experience, American Cheese Society Certified Cheese Professionals will showcase an 80-pound Parmigiano Reggiano wheel-cracking demonstration, all while explaining the craftsmanship that goes into producing the northern Italian favorite.
Other experiential courses include an education in antipasti. During this course, Italian suppliers will shave prosciutto on-site for sampling and pairing. For dessert, trained baristas will pour Allegro Coffee using state-of-the-art La Marzocco espresso machines.
Beginning Feb. 13, customers can reserve a complimentary dinner seat (on a first-come, first-served basis) through Eventbrite websites established for the events in New York, Los Angeles, Atlanta and Austin. Each venue accommodates 20 to 33 seats.
“If you aren’t able to score a seat to ‘A Little Italy,’ we invite you to experience our extensive assortment of delicious Italian products—all of which meet our rigorous quality standards—at your local Whole Foods Market store,” Strange said.
Whole Foods also invites customers to watch a hand-selected wheel of authentic Italian Parmigiano Reggiano be cracked live at certain stores during its annual celebration of the King of Cheeses.
Whole Foods Market offers a wide selection of authentic ingredients, products and specialty items that allow shoppers to create their own Little Italy at home, from Whole Foods Market Italian Gelato to 365 Everyday Value Italian Olive Oils and imported offerings such as Principe Prosciutto Di Parma and Peroni Beer.
Starting Feb. 12, Whole Foods Market will offer discounts on Italian products.