A grand celebration of Italian culture and heritage was enjoyed by attendees of the National Italian American Foundation’s 41st Gala in Washington, D.C. The two day event, held from October 14th to the 15th of 2016, brought together proud Italian-Americans from all over the United States. Particularly notable guests included Joe and Anthony Russo, brother-directors known for their work on “Arrested Development” and Hollywood blockbusters such as “Captain America: Winter Soldier”; singer-songwriter Tony Renis, Football Hall of Famer Franco Harris, and Washington’s very own beloved Mayor Muriel Bowser.
The event kicked off on Friday with a host of seminars aimed at further educating attendees of their Italian roots. Gianluigi Dell’accio, business owner of D.C.-based Dolci Gelati, delighted crowds with his gelato making lessons. Domenica Marchetti, author of multiple cookbooks, showcased some of her most popular recipes; across the aisle, Umberto Mucchi engaged audiences with a book review of his best selling “We the Italians”. These colorful demonstrations were followed by cocktails, dancing, and dinner to top off a long day of learning. In what was a true marriage of the arts, this first day perpetuated the generous and sharing spirit of the Italian culture.
Truly, though, the highlight of the weekend event was the dinner of the second day. Guests were showered with a mass of fancy Italian food and drink. In a 1,700 person room packed to capacity, all of the tables were donned with red and white wines, Colavita EVOO and vinegar, and heaping baskets of artisanal breads. The five-course meal that followed, curated by some of the finest chefs in the area, started with classic pasta dishes and ended with a succulent braised beef with roasted vegetables. Various awards were ceremoniously distributed to honorees, followed by impressive singing performances, including an astonishing, impromptu performance of “Quando, quando, quando” by Mr. Renis.The event as a whole was a spectacle of grandeur that one simply had to see in person to fully absorb and appreciate.
Read the full story here: http://www.iitaly.org/magazine/focus/facts-stories/article/niaf-celebrate-41st-anniversary-gala