Restaurant joins fund-raising for quake-struck Italian town

A restaurant located in a forest valley in Miaoli County, northern Taiwan, is demonstrating the empathy of Taiwanese people for the population of Amatrice, the Italian town hit by an earthquake last month, by joining an international appeal for "a future for Amatrice."

Chef Chueh Chia-lian (???) of the restaurant in Sanyi Township has recently put a symbolic dish of Amatrice on its menu and will donate the proceeds from sales of the dish, after deducting costs, to the devastated Italian town to help with its reconstruction, Chueh said Sunday.

The chef described the move as "eating spaghetti all'amatriciana to give a future for Amatrice."

He explained that the classic Amatrice pasta is made of white wine, pasta, tomato, bacon, chili and cheese. The ingredients are so simple that farmers in the ancient town can cook the dish anytime, anywhere.

Amatrice is place that many chefs in Italian restaurants around the world want to make a "pilgrimage" to, said Chueh. However, the powerful earthquake that hit Italy Aug. 24 destroyed the town, leading to the suspension of the annual Spaghetti all'Amatriciana Festival in Amatrice.

Thank to Sanyi's winning Cittaslow International certification as a "slow town" this year, his restaurant has decided to echo an appeal launched by Slow Food International to support the people affected by the 6.2-magnitude earthquake, the chef said.

Amatrice gave its name to salsa all'amatriciana, a famous pasta sauce, said Slow Food International in a statement released Aug. 25, in which Carlo Petrini, president of Slow Food and Terra Madre, announced the launch of the appeal.

"With a symbolic dish of the gastronomic history of Amatrice, we hope to spread the values of solidarity and sharing all over the world, typical of the farming culture it was born from," Petrini said.

At Chueh's restaurant, one customer was told about the fund-raising event during a meal. Although that person did not order the pasta of Amatrice, he nevertheless donated NT$3,000 (US$94) for aid to Amatrice.

The donation may be only a little, but it represents "our feelings of care," Chueh said.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel