On October 12 and 13, the National Italian American Foundation (NIAF) celebrates its 43rd Anniversary Awards Gala at the Marriott Wardman Park Hotel in Washington, D.C. The sold-out event will present Puglia as 2018 Region of Honor, give a special award to Chef Lidia Bastianich, and recognize other five outstanding members of the Italian-American community for their contributions to the respective fields.

Lidia Bastianich, Foto: Matt Petricone

The Gala weekend will kick off with “An Evening with Lidia Bastianich” during which the Emmy award-winning television chef, cookbook author, and restaurateur, will take the guests through Puglia’s culinary tradition. The guests will also have the opportunity to experience a typical Pugliese dinner perfectly paired with Pugliese wine. Moreover, representatives of Puglia will present the beauty and traditions of their region, its sun-bleached coasts, Medieval towns perched atop mountainsides, as well as its culinary traditions in front of those Italian Americans who may still not be aware of what the famous heel of Italy’s boot has to offer.

As per tradition, the NIAF Gala will bring together the Italian-American community together in one place to make a statement about Italian pride in the US and to honor its most renowned members. This year six of them will be recognized for their contributions to the respective fields: Vincenzo Boccia, president, Confindustria; Giovanni Caforio, M.D., chairman/CEO of Bristol-Myers Squibb; Antonio De Matteis, CEO, Kiton; Cav. Lav. Vito Pertosa, founder, Angel Group; and Carl J. Schramm, American economist and entrepreneur. “We are privileged to recognize our six honorees, who are truly leaders in their respective fields,” said NIAF Gala Chairman John Calvelli. “They exemplify NIAF’s mission to interact and engage with leaders from government, industry, and business here and in Italy.”

Ilona Catani Scarlett

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