I love Marilyn’s Stories cause she shares such interesting and wonderful experiences. Please visit her blog to read more interesting posts.
What Italian word does nearly everyone know? Mangia! Eat! We all associate Italy with the cuisine of Italy. If you love to mangia, enjoy the following interview and photos!
I had the good fortune of meeting Helena Kyriakides, the founder of Yummy Italy, in person just 2 months ago. We had conversed over social media for a few months as I searched for other businesses who, like Take Me Home Italy, provide a personal, customized adventure in Italy. There are so many businesses out there that can give you that overall visit to Italy. However, the excellent, real experiences are rare. Yummy Italy is one such business that I am very proud to recommend and to work alongside.
Helena showed me the beauty of Emilia Romagna with her enthusiasm, her knowledge and her taste. Not only is she a great organizer, a foodie, a Slow Food Movement Member, but also aSommelier who can explain why specific wines work with each course of the meal.
Thanks to Helena, I experienced a 5-star meal at Antica Moka. You will see photos of the meal throughout the following interview.
1)Helena, please tell me about the philosophy of your business, Yummy Italy. And how long have you been in business?
I have been in business with Yummy Italy for just over two years. The philosophy behind Yummy Italy is to clarify all those clichés surrounding Italian food – predominantly around those dishes that are known the world over such as Lasagne, Tortellini, Spaghetti Bolognese (which doesn’t exist), Tagliatelle, etc which have all been completely bastardized.
Yummy Italy’s aim is to share Italian culinary authenticity, educate food lovers about genuine Italian food and, most importantly, link all these incredible dishes and PDO and PGI certified products (and some of the amazing artisan products) with the region of Emilia Romagna.
Yummy Italy is a kind of food and wine ambassador for the region on a private level. I would love to create a link in the minds of food lovers that most of Italy’s most famous products and iconic dishes actually come from Emilia Romagna.
2) What did you do before and how have your past experiences helped you be even more effective in Yummy Italy?
My past experience lies both in the food and automotive industries. After I graduated I worked as Marketing Assistant to the chairman of the famous sandwich chain Pret a Manger in London. Julian Metcalfe, my boss, was totally obsessed with seeking out only the best products for his shops and he taught me to select the best artisan producers, how to taste food and drink, how to compare products based on a set criteria and, most importantly, to only seek out the best and not settle for anything less.
After that I worked for a huge food multinational in Switzerland. I learned more about marketing food and the organization of food-based events.
When I moved to Italy I started working for Automobili Lamborghini as International Event Manager. This was a great experience not only with regard to the unique iconic product that I lived with on a daily basis, but also because it taught me to be extremely flexible. I organized events for anything from 2 (multi-billionaires) to 4000 people and there was no room for error. Excellence at all levels and no compromises. While I was organizing events there I always sought out the finest chefs and best products fromEmilia Romagna to cater the various events, so this already ‘trained’ me for seeking out the artisan producers and chefs who now work with Yummy Italy.