After a two-year hiatus, HostMilano, Italy’s premier event for the catering and hospitality industries, made a triumphant comeback at the Fiera Milano event center from October 22 to 26, 2021. To make it extra sweet, the event was in conjunction with TUTTOFOOD, the leading event showcasing Italy’s agri-food sector. Together, the events showcased the best in food, drink, and technology to over 150,000 visitors. They included, of course, pastry.
Of the over 450 events, the highlights in the world of pastry included the FIPGC World Pastry Awards, the Panettone World Championship and the Tiramisù World Championship. After several days of grueling competition, the dozens of entries were judged on perhaps the simplest factors — flavor balance and good quality ingredients, preferably from Italy, of course. The winners were Team Japan, Sal De Riso of Italy and Nabil Barina of France respectively.
While the competition remained hot, so did the neighboring events stage “Luxury Pastry Around the World,” featuring Chef Iginio Massari and several distinguished guests. Italian pastry greats like Gino Fabbri, Gianluca Fasto and Fabrizio Galla took the stage for conversation. Topics ranged from the quality of candied fruit in panettone to how coveted the role of pastry chef is to the newer generation of students.
Surrounding the stages were an incredible array of products, from the edible like chocolate, gelato and panettone to the incredible like advancements in baking machinery. Regardless of the product, the main focus was the growth of existing trends. On the product side, gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan and low sugar were the buzzwords du jour. As for technology, digital, energy saving, green and multipurpose machines continue to dominate the marketplace.
It may have been two years in the making, but 2021 proved that the food product world is strong and on the path to recovery to continue the successes 2019 began to build. With packed halls, lively chatter and more delicious Italian treats than anyone could ever eat, it may take a few years to digest all that happened at HostMilano. But by then, the 2023 events will be ready and waiting.