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Sometimes dreams do come true.
This coming weekend, one of my longtime dreams will be fully realized: my friend and inspiration for my own career, Darrell Corti (above, right) will be coming to Houston this weekend to be the keynote speaker at the Taste of Italy Trade Fair and Festival (March 13-14 at the Hilton Post Oak).
You may remember my post from late last year, The incredible story of how I met the inimitable Darrell Corti, Italian wine pioneer and gastronomic “treasure.”
But to fully understand Darrell’s legacy and his outsized influence on the world of food and wine in the U.S. and beyond, see the 2019 profile, How Darrell Corti became a tastemaker in California food and wine, by Jonathan Kauffman for the Los Angeles Times.
His visit represents a rare occasion for Texas food and wine professionals to interact with him. My hope is that by osmosis — as my beloved professor Vittore Branca used to say — some of his brilliance will rub off on us.
Darrell will be the featured speaker at the exhibitors seminar on March 13, Sunday morning. That event is open only to the companies who are participating in the fair (Eataly USA CEO Dino Borri will also be addressing the group).
But the legendary owner of Corti Bros. in Sacramento — one of the world’s greatest experts on olive oil, cured tuna, California and Italian wine — will also be attending the trade and consumer seminars on Monday. It’s a great opportunity to get to taste with him and I’m sure he will end up speaking at the wine trade seminar in the morning and the consumer BBQ and Chianti seminar in the afternoon.
To read about all of this year’s events, please visit the Taste of Italy website.
To register for Monday’s walk-around tasting, click here.
For the Monday morning Umbria wine seminar with Steven McDonald and Dale Robertson, click here (open only to trade).
For the Monday afternoon BBQ and Chianti seminar featuring food writer Eric Sandler and pit master Ara Malekian, click here (open to all, includes a ticket for the walk-around tasting).
As I’m sure you can tell, I’m just giddy about Darrell’s visit. I hope you’ll come out to meet and taste with him. For me, it’s a genuine dream come true.
And thank you for supporting Taste of Italy. The fair is presented by my client, the Italy-America Chamber of Commerce South Central. This is the eighth year of the annual event (we skipped 2020 and did the event virtually in 2021). I’ve been the emcee for the last seven of the gatherings.