Nolu’s Abu Dhabi


Last month they opened their third branch in Andalus Hotels & Resorts, Al Seef Mall & Village: another big success!

We are talking about Nolu’s, an award winning restaurant located in Abu Dhabi ( the other two locations are in Downtown, Galleria Mall and in Al Bandar, Raha Beach), one of our most valued customer with which we have already worked in the past. Our sales manager Dejan Jovanovic has worked in the project of the kitchen and of the brilliant Juice Lab, an healthy bar located next to the restaurant specialized in healthy food, juices and smoothies. 

As they say: “Nolu’s is a blend of Californian cuisine with an Afghani twist”. They have taken the Californian”farm to table” concept and fused it with traditional Afghani dishes. This makes them healthier and they are made fresh to order. The menu consists of a mix of these traditional dishes as well as some classis American fare.



Visit Nolu’s Restaurants on

IKG’s Project in Bahrain: The Grove Hotel

“Intimate and sophisticated, the fabulous 5 star Grove Hotel is your home-from-home in Bahrain. Ideally located for business and pleasure, just 10 minutes drive from Bahrain International Airport, in the heart of Amwaj Island.”

At the Grove Hotel, all the kitchen equipment have been supplied by Italia Kitchen Group, Bahrain branch, coordinated and directed by our valued head of operations, Mr. Anand Nambiar.

Bahrain Branch18953079_1428270720550058_6042806187913570647_n.jpg

For the Grove Hotel’s Kitchen, directed by the Executive Chef Jean Pierre Renaud, we choose high-quality brands like Electrolux  (stainless steel cooking range), Italforni (electric pizza oven and ventilated oven) and Sigma (planetary mixer and sheeter for dough preparation).

Attending an authentic sagra: a good enough reason to visit Italy!

Throughout spring and summer, posters adorn Italian walls with the word ‘sagra’ clearly taking prominent position in the advertising, so what does this word mean?

The literal translation is festival, but the definition of sagra is a local fair and celebration connected with food and local produce; for example, the town of Baone, in Veneto, hosts an annual Sagra dei Bisi (festival of the green pea). During the event, the streets are filled with people dressed in medieval costume and local residents prepare different dishes that must include the peas within the recipe. Among a number of traditional recipes, the most famous is definitely Risi e Bisi (a delicious risotto with peas). After all the tastings, every evening culminates in a music show with Italian live bands.


Actually, almost every town in Italy at some point during the year will host a food festival. This year for example is the 80th Fish Festival at Chioggia, Venice. The sagra lasts for ten days and attracts over 100,000 people each year; music and theatre act as a backdrop as visitors sample fish dishes, fresh from the Adriatic sea, such as stuffed clams and mussels, griddled sole, pickled cockles and mixed fried fish. Attending a sagra is the perfect way to immerse yourself in Italian life. Add to this the opportunity to sample local cuisine as you sit at long communal tables to eat with the local population and you get a real feel for how Italians come together to celebrate.

Fish Festival, Venice

Finding out about a sagra is very straightforward as most of the posters follow a similar format: the main heading will tell you where the festival is held and the date; these are mostly in bold typeface and large enough to read from a passing vehicle. Once you’ve found one that interests you, the poster will give you the start time, destination and other events that will be staged. You don’t have to be a local to attend and most towns welcome outsiders and tourists to their celebrations. The lines of parked cars stretching out of the town will indicate that you have arrived at the right place, and those who arrive early are usually the last to leave due to the sheer volume of traffic attending! In fact, some sagre (the plural of sagra) are so popular that the towns have a coach service to ferry people in and out of town to keep the streets clear for dancing.

Sagre take place throughout the year, with many taking place in the summer, so during your holiday to Italy this year, keep a keen eye on the local posters and find a local sagra, and for one evening become an honorary Italian and enjoy all the hospitality the town has to offer!


“At Christmas with your parents, at Easter with whomever you want!”

Easter or Pasqua is the second most important Italian holiday after Christmas. This holiday covers a long weekend in Italy, with the additional Italian tradition of Pasquetta (little Easter, also called Easter Monday) which, according to tradition, you are free to celebrate as you wish. In fact, young people during this holiday tend to stay with friends having pic-nic in the countryside or spend a long weekend in another city with no parents at all. A famous Italian saying for this time of year is:

“Natale con i tuoi, Pasqua con chi vuoi”

(At Christmas with your parents, at Easter with whomever you want).

Visitors to Italy who are not spending time with friends may be interested to find that every city has their own traditions and, while you may not have friends and family to celebrate with, there are several ways to enjoy uniquely Italian traditions for Easter.

Chocolate and painted eggs

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As chocolate became more and more popular in the early 20th Century, the skills of knowing how to color Easter eggs started to fade, and chocolate eggs began to take the place of painted hens’ eggs. Chocolate Easter eggs have now overtaken decorated eggs in Italy as the most popular gift at Easter.
Italians take everything chocolate very seriously – and Easter eggs are no exception. Chocolate eggs have become increasingly elaborate as manufacturers tempt people to buy their eggs. In every city in Italy, every supermarket, shop window and market stall will have a huge variety of chocolate eggs in the days leading up to Easter Sunday. They range from the tiny, solid milk chocolate to the massive, showy hollowed out eggs containing sometimes quite elaborate gifts. All of them will be wrapped in foil or cellophane with decorative ribbons.

Tradition in Florence

This tradition started in 1096, following the return of a Florentine knight, Pazzino di Ranieri de’ Pazzi, who raised the Holy Cross banner in Jerusalem during the Crusades. For his bravery, he received pieces of flint from the Holy Sepulcher of Christ. Upon his return to Florence, these stones were used to light the Easter Vigil sacred fire and then ported around the streets of Florence. Today Florentines commemorate this event with a Sunday procession during which an antique cart is pulled by a team of white oxen during a parade of 150 soldiers, musicians and other people dressed in 15th-century attire. The procession starts at Porta al Prato and ends in Piazza del Duomo in front of Santa Maria del Fiore. Once arrived, a dove-shaped rocket (La Colombina) holding an olive branch is shot towards a cart loaded with fireworks, setting off the scoppio (the boom). This yearly event is meant to bring a bountiful harvest, stable civic life, and growing business.

“scoppio del carro” in Florence

Easter in Rome

Rome is the city where the Vatican state resides, and who at this time a year is a sort of Mecca for Catholic pilgrims (do note that the Sistine Chapel does have exceptional closures during this long weekend celebration). Lucky for Roman visitors, however, all the other museums will stay open. On Good Friday many people gather in Saint Peter’s Basilica to listen to the Pope’s mass at 5 pm, and immediately following, the Pope starts his walk to remember the Christ’s Via Crucis with a candlelit procession starting at the Palatine Hill. After making 14 stops along the way to remember the walk of Christ and pray, the holy pontiff ends at the Colosseum. The beauty of this procession also lies in the gathering of many pilgrims with torches who follow: even for those who are do not consider themselves religious, this event is magic.

Traditional Easter food is the second most important celebration during Pasqua. If you want to eat at a restaurant, you’ll definitely want to first check if the place is open and second, make a reservation, noting that several restaurants do close from Good Friday till Pasquetta. While dining in Rome, you won’t want to miss the Roman traditional foods of Pizza Sbattuta, a sponge cake, hard boiled eggs, ham and corallina, a typical salami for Easter, as well as different varieties of salty cakes. You will also want to try the traditional lunch, consisting of oven-baked lamb, carciofi alla romana (Roman-style artichokes) and colomba (dove-shaped cake).

Food Italian traditions for Easter 

In Lombardia (and not only), the Colomba is the most famous dessert, a dove-shaped bread made with almonds, sugar and egg whites. Today this cake is known worldwide, but originates in the region that boasts Milan. Another northern tradition is the Pinza Pasquale from Trieste, a sweet bread with a three-point cross carved on top. A Southern Easter tradition is the Casatiello from Naples, a salty cake containing cheese, sausage, salami, and even hard-boiled eggs. Catania, Sicily has a special kind of Easter cookies, aceddu cu’ l’ova. These cookies are simple and have different shapes (the most famous one being a dove), and once made they are given to family members and friends as a gesture of affection and good luck.

How Italians drink coffee

As a non-Italian, the two biggest challenges you may face in discovering the Italian culture and cuisine probably are: cooking “pasta al dente” and preparing a true, authentic, Italian coffee (everywhere known as espresso).

Essentially, there are two to make an Italian coffe: with the traditional three-chambered aluminium pot, like the famous Bialetti’s Moka, known as Macchinetta or Caffettiera, or with an espresso machine.

In both cases quality is, however, quality is of the absolute importance. No faked products here! The same goes, of course, for the quality of the coffee. Only choose Italian brands that have been roasted and ground especially for espresso machines or moka machines.

Italians themselves claim that the quality of their coffee ultimately depends on the purity of the water. So, unless you lives in Naples (the Italian city where supposedly they make the best espresso), we suggest you use bottled instead of tap water.

Even though the investment is much higher in case you decide to opt for an espresso machine, it is also relatively easier to select one that will make you good espressos.

It may be difficult to find a good traditional coffee machine, better if you choose for a good brand right from the start (not necessarily the most expensive one!). The coffee brand is also crucial to prepare a good espresso. An important advice is to take great care of your coffee maker and to replace the filter and the rubber ring as often as needed. Never (never!) clean your coffee maker with detergents or harsh chemicals. Just rinse it with care after each use.


When we think about Italian coffee, espresso is the first word that comes in everyone’s mind. In Italy it is not just a kind of coffee; when you order un caffè in Italian, you will automatically be served an espresso.

Here are the typical coffee drinks you will find in Italy:

  • caffè (espresso): a small cup of very strong coffee, the typical espresso (20 to 25 ml)
  • caffè doppio: 2 espresso served in one cup
  • caffè ristretto: en even more condensed version of an espresso (less than 20 ml)
  • caffè macchiato: an espresso with a drop of milk. You can order either a macchiato caldo (drop of steamed milk with froth) or a macchiato freddo (drop of cold milk)
  • caffè Americano: weaker than espresso and served in a large cup or a mug but still stronger than American-style coffee. It consists of an espresso to which hot water has been added after the brewing process (about 80 ml)
  • caffè lungo: where more water (about double) is let through the ground coffee, yielding a weaker taste (about 40 ml)
  • cappuccino: it is not just an espresso with steamed milk. To prepare a cappuccino properly you have to pour the steamed milk very carefully as to add 1/3 of steamed milk before the final topping (of about 1/3) of foamy, frothy milk. Italians usually drink cappuccino only in the morning, never after lunch or dinner. The name Cappuccino comes from the resemblance of its color to the robes of the monks of the Capuchin order.
  • caffè Hag: also more and more called un deca, a decaffeinated coffee. Can be combined with any of the version above
  • caffè corretto: an espresso with a drop of liquor
  • caffè borghetti: an espresso with a drop of borghetti liquor
  • caffè freddo or shakerato: espresso shaken with ice and sugar and served in a glass, usually in summer
  • caffè latte: not really a coffee drink, as this is basically hot milk mixed with coffee and served in a glass.

February means Carnival

Carnival has very ancient origins. It is believed to have originated in Roman times when Saturnalia, the Saturn festival, and Lupercalia, the feast of the full moon, were celebrated.

Saturnalia for the Romans included long and complex rites dedicated to seeding. Banquets, exchanges of presents, and sweets characterized these celebrations, which included servants acting as their masters, and a slaves being crowned as kings. Lupercalia marked the end of the Roman year and was celebrated with dancing and singing in the streets. Historians believe that these celebrations influenced Carnival.

Traditional in Roman Catholic countries, Carnival is not celebrated or even known in many countries of other faiths. The Carnival Season is a holiday period during the two weeks before the traditional Christian Lent, when the rigors of 40 days of fasting and sacrifice begin. In fact, the origin of the word “Carnival” comes from the Latin “carne-levare,” literally “to remove the meat” or “stop eating meat.” The celebration of Carnival ends on Mardi Gras (French for “Fat Tuesday”).

For centuries, Rome was the headquarters of Carnival. Many Popes have been great supporters of the public celebrations, the horse rides, the exhibitions, and the parades. During the Renaissance, the festivities, sponsored by the Pope and the noble Roman families, acquired political prominence. Thousands of people would travel from all over Europe to attend. The Palio was a famous horse race without jockeys, taking place along the Via del Corso. The race became a competition for the best horses. The victory would culminate in a large public banquet and food distribution. The Palio was abolished in 1884 after an accident occurred in front of Queen Margherita.

The carnival of Venice was first recorded in 1268. It was unruly, with parades and Pamplona style bull chasing games. The use of masks to cover faces made it even more transgressive, and the Mascareri, the mask-makers had a special position in Venice. Everyone could wear a mask during the carnival without the barriers of gender and social status.

Venice was occupied by Napoleon in 1797, and this actually ended the Repubblica Serenissima, “The Most Serene Republic.” After Venice became part of the Austrian Empire, the celebration of Carnival was stopped and restarted only in the 1970s. Today, Venetians have reinvented the ancient masks and costumes in a style that melts together the dress styles from the Middle Ages through the 1700s. The result is splendid precious elegant dresses in silk, gold, silver, and lace, wigs, and since the masks cover people’s faces, everybody can feel free to dance and sing in public without being recognized.

What is Carnival after all, other than excess and the transgression before the sacrifice? And the practiced and desired transgression was of course related to the abundance of food. The gastronomy of Carnival rich in fats and sweets. Traditional dishes in most regions of Italy include gnocchi, lasagna and tortelli.

Nowadays, many traditions have vanished or changed, but fried pastries are still common in Fat Tuesday cookery. Spoonfuls of dough fried in oil take the shape of small balls in Frittelle or Castagnole.

However, the most famous carnival fritters are ribbons of sweet pasta fried and covered with sugar or honey. These fritters are familiar all over Italy, where they assume many different names—including Frappe, Frappole, Sfrappole, in central Italy, Cenci (“tatters”) or Donzelli (“young ladies”) in Tuscany, Crostoli (“crusts”) or Galani in Veneto, Lattughe (“lettuce”) in Romagna, Nastri delle Suore (“ribbons of the nuns”) in Emilia, Bugie (“lies”) in Piemonte, and Chiacchiere in Campania.

Galani, credits to
Sugar and cinnamon fritters
Frittelle, credits to

You don’t need to ask for bread!

Bread is a fundamentals in Italians’ diet and this explains the variety of Italian breads.

You don’t need to ask for bread while eating out in Italy, because bread is served as standard in restaurants.

Despite not defining Italian cuisine as pasta does, bread is more rooted in Italy’s history and traditions. It has been the main food of poor people for centuries and its preparation is still connected to popular traditions.

Typical rustic Italian bread

In Italy breads vary by regions, sometimes even from city to city. They have different flavours, shape, ingredients.

However, all around Italy you can find rustic Italian bread made with just four ingredients: yeast, water, salt and flour. Not usually a “pretty” bread but deliciously tasty. The fermentation of the yeast is what gives this bread its tastiness.

Simplicity is the main characteristic of rustic bread, as is life in the countryside. Rustic, as Italy has been for decades, and as it can be even today sometimes.

For the true lovers of Italian bread, have a try with this homemade bread recipe.

Fascinating Italian breads from North to South

Italian breads, from the north to south of Italy, are an important staple at the family table.


Let’s take, for example, the Ur-Paarl. This is a typical bread from Trentino Alto-Adige (together with the Schüttelbrot, the traditional bread form Valle Isarco, and the Pusterer Breatl from Val Pusteria), a region on the border with Austria (hence the German name of this bread).
It consists of two round and flat breads attached to form a number eight shape. It is made with rye and spelt flours and yeast. Fennel’s seeds and herbs typical of the area can be added. It is perfect both with jam or cold cuts. The original recipe for this bread belongs to the Benedictine monks of Val Venosta and it has been rediscovered thanks to the last baker-monk, Fratel Alois Zöschg, who kept it. Since it is a long lasting bread, good even after a few weeks, Ur-Paarl was cooked just twice or three times a year in farmers’ wood stoves.

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Two very singular types of bread are tigelle or crescentine from my city of Modena and piadina from Romagna. Tigelle are typical of the Apennines but today widely eaten all around Emilia. Chestnut-growing is very popular in this area and tigelle’s origins are strictly linked to it. Tigelle are named after the stone used to cook them. Originally, a tigella was made with clay loam from chestnut-growing and water and then shaped in a round wooden mould with low relief decorations, such as flowers.
They were then dried in the sun and cooked. Tigelle (the bread) were cooked in a fire place and the whole family took part in their preparation. A dough made with soft wheat, water, milk, brewer’s yeast and sometimes oil or lard was then put on a hot tigella (the stone), covered with a dried chestnut leaf. Several tigelle were piled up and put in the fire place. Long chats came along with the cooking. Once tigelle were ready, they were filled with cold cuts or cheeses. Today they are eaten more or less in the same way, with cold cuts, lard, jams or spreads, but are cooked in modern metallic moulds.

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And then piadina, a round thin flat bread typical of Romagna. A famous Italian poet named Giovanni Pascoli wrote a poem dedicated to this bread.

Delicious piadina romagnola with Italian sausage and spinach
Piadina romagnola
Piadina is made with wheat flour, lard (today, due to vegetarian life styles, oil is also used), salt and water. As simple as people from this region.

Piadina is usually eaten with cold cuts, cheese, meat, vegetables. The most popular filling is with Squacquerone (a local soft cheese) and rocket. One of my favourite is with grilled peppers, onions and sausage. Yet piadina with Nutella is the best experience life can offer.

Piadina has always been poor people’s bread and is still made at home. But all around Romagna small take-away places for piadina (called chioschi) are very popular. The peculiarity of these chioschi is in their colors, striped either white and red or white and green, depending on the locality.

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Pane Carasau

One of the most peculiar Italian breads is undoubtedly Pane Carasau from Sardinia, a very thin, crispy bread also known as Carta Musica (Musical Paper), for the sound made during chewing. Ingredients are durum wheat flour, yeast, salt and water. It is usually dipped into water for a while, to make it softer and be rolled up with cold cuts and cheeses. If big crusty crumbles from left overs are often soaked in caffèlatte. Its origin seems to date back to the Bronze Age and has always been known as the ‘shepherds’ bread’. Until few decades ago, its preparation was a family or even neighborhood ritual. The women involved in the making were said to be paid with oil and ricotta cheese.

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Pane di Altamura

There are endless types of traditional breads across Italy, I’ll list one more: Pane di Altamura typical of the Apulia region. It is baked with a very slow rising process inside a wood stove. The real recipe uses local ingredients including yeast, grain, sea salt and local water, which make it unique. This bread holds the D.O.P. mark from the EU (Protected designation of origin)

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Italia Kitchen 2016 satisfactions and 2017 goals

As we look back in the 2016, we can do so with a real sense of realization. We have acquired  a good number of new customers and we have completed some significant and big projects.

One of the earliest memories of the last year is our participation at Gulfood Trade Show in Dubai, which took place in February 21-25. Italia Kitchen, together with its trusted partners, created a great booth where different cooking demonstrations have being held during the fair using the best kitchen equipment.

Part of our job during last year has been to change our office location in Dubai, moving from Deira to the central area of Al Quoz, near the Noor Bank Metro Station and opposite Natuzzi Showroom. It was an hard work but it has been rewarded with a better quality on our work, a better service for the customers and a successful opening day which had been held on September 18th. Once again, we would like to thank the many guests who attended the event, Italian Restaurant Consulting for the precious collaboration, Electrolux and the Chefs of the Best Italian Restaurant in Dubai and Abu Dhabi who cooked their specialities.

Together with the office replacing, we also have had two significant changes in 2016, a renewed website and a new logo. The new logo switched the name from Italia Kitchen & Laundry Equipment to Italia Kitchen Group. It has in itself our vision for the future: the growth of our branches in UAE, Bahrain, Mauritius and Maldives, the increase of the productivity and the constant development of our dedicated and hardworking people’s group.

2016 News: website and logo

Over the year, Italia Kitchen Group has strengthened all branches of the company, improving its ability to deliver the innovation and the quality that every client needs. Actually, despite a very tough year in the business sector, the group has enjoyed 15% sales growth, helped enormously by its solid reputation in the industry and the increasing of its branches in Bahrain, Mauritius and Maldives.

To run out the working year, Emilio, managing director of Italia Kitchen Group in Dubai, awarded his employees with an amazing team building weekend in Fujairah. It was a real surprise for everybody, an occasion to strengthen the relations and to visited the beautiful Le Meridien Al Aqah Beach Resort, the first Italia Kitchen project dating back to 2002.

The company has challenging plans for the next year too, trying to improve its product portfolio and customer service, an ongoing commitment that helps it to stay in the lead of a real competitive market sector. Of course, all of this is only possible thanks to the support of its business suppliers, partners and customers, who continue to trust in Italia Kitchen and who have helped to make 2016 such a successful year.

Many thanks to you all and let us take this opportunity to wish you a Happy and Prosperous 2017!

                                                                                                                         Italia Kitchen Group

Panettone is on the table!

Christmas is just around the corner and, where Italians are concerned, food is one of the main components in the festivities.
There are many traditional products eaten by Italians during the Christmas season, and two of the most famous are the Pandoro and the Panettone.


Pandoro, credits to

Pandoro is a traditional Christmas cake made with flour, butter and eggs, which was originally produced in Verona. Verona is not only the town where the first Pandoro was made, but remains the place most associated with this delicious creation.

It is important to note, however, that the origins of the pandoro are often linked to the skills of Austrian pastry chefs, inventors of the bread of Vienna, from which inspiration was sought to produce the first pandoro.
Pandoro is also associated to a famous cake typically linked to wealthy families of the Venice Republic during the Renaissance. This cake, the “pan de oro”, or “bread of gold,” was covered in thin, gold leaves.

Pandoro as we know it today was also most certainly inspired by a star-shaped cake known as the “nadalin,” which was prepared by some families in Verona in the 1800s. In fact, pandoro even keeps the star shape of the “nadalin” alive.
The name Pandoro, meaning golden bread, perfectly describes its colour, which is provided by the eggs in its batter and its sugary coating. The shape, as previously explained, resembles a star.
The Pandoro is often warmed and served with cream, hot chocolate or Nutella poured on horizontally cut slices, thus enhancing the similiraties with an eight-pointed star.
Since the 19th century, pandoro has been produced on an industrial scale and it has now acquired national fame, being sold in all Italian supermarkets. Next to industrial production, there is also a parallel handmade production, which in the last few years has increased its sales by 20%.


Panettone, credits to

Pandoro, credits to

If Pandoro is traditionally linked to Verona, Panettone belongs to the history of Lombardia, in particular to that of the city of Milan.

In the 13th century, an ancestor of Panettone already existed: it was made of bread, yeast, honey, raisins and pumpkin. Starting from the 1800s, it acquired the shape of today’s Panettone. It is a cake made from flour, butter, eggs and sugar with candied citron and sultanas.
Several legends exists about the birth of Panettone. Some people mention the story of Ughetto degli Atellani, a boy who fell in love with a girl, Adalgisa. In order to be near Adalgisa, Ughetto pretended to be a pastry chef, so that he could work in Adalgisa’s family bakery. While there, the lovestruck young man tried to invent a new cake by mixing flour, eggs, butter, sugar and sultanas. Ughetto’s creation was a smash hit, earning him favor with Adalgisa’s father and paving the way for the two to be married.
Another widespread legend is based on the story of a cook working for Ludovico il Moro, who had to prepare Christmas lunch. After baking the cake, the cook forgot it in the oven and it burned; a boy named Toni, a kitchen porter working with the cook, suggested a solution: cooking another cake with the leftover ingredients, which were flour, butter, eggs, citron peel and raisins.
When the cake was served, everybody liked it and the duke wanted to know the name of the cake, which was called “pan del Toni”, Toni’s bread, which then evolved into the name Panettone.
Panettone has a less romantic shape than pandoro because it has a cylindrical base, and ends with the shape of a dome. Even if its shape may not be as evocative of Christmas festivities, Italians adore it, and comsume huge quantities of panettone during the Christmas period.

Both Pandoro and Panettone sell like, well, hotcakes during Christmas time. At the same time, Italians take their choice of panettone or pandoro very seriously. Some love Pandoro, but dislike Panettone, while some others are the complete opposite. Usually children prefer Pandoro and those who don’t like raisins and sultanas will never choose Panettone.
One thing is for sure, those who like both of them will get the better of it, because they’ll get to taste a slice of both!

If you ever come to Italy during the Christmas period you can’t refuse to try them…so choose whichever is the best for you and try it in the pursuit of the perfect Italian Christmas!
In the UAE you can find Pandoro and Panettone in all the Italian grocery or at just about any supermarket.