Miami Dade College to Host First TasteItalian! Academy – The Italian Table for the Future of Food Conference

Miami, Jan.  16, 2024Miami Dade College’s (MDC) School of Global Business, Trade and Transportation, MDC’s Miami Culinary Institute and Making Business Happen are collaborating to present the first-ever TasteItalian! Academy – The Italian Table for the Future of Food Conference on Thursday, Jan. 25, at the College’s Wolfson Campus in downtown Miami. This event will bring together industry leaders, academic pioneers and passionate food enthusiasts to explore the future of gastronomy, delve into the rich heritage of Italian cuisine and celebrate the culinary excellence of Italian food producers. The conference and panels are free and open to the public.

“Miami is the place to be,” said Pamela Fuertes, dean of MDC’s School of Business. “Our community is home to leading hospitality groups from around the world, an outstanding culinary industry with chefs from around the globe and a wonderful group of local chefs, bakers and farmers that are putting Miami on the map.”

The event will kick off with a conference and panels exploring the captivating world of culinary trends, delving into topics such as the future of cooking and food production, nutrition and sustainability, the impact of technology on food and the harmonious coexistence of heritage and tech innovations. Renowned experts from the culinary and technological realms will share their insights and expertise, igniting a dialogue that will shape the future of food. View the complete schedule here.

Featured speakers will include:

  • Pamela Fuertes, Dean of Miguel B. Fernandez Family School of Global Business, Trade, and Transportation
  • Silvia Baldini, TasteItalian! Academy’s F&B Scientific Director
  • Michele Mistò, Consulate General of Italy in Miami
  • Stefano Cerrato, Director of Italian Institute of Culture Miami
  • Liborio Stellino, Ambassador of Italy at UNESCO
  • Robert Allegrini, President of the Washington DC NIAF and Past Vice President of Communications The Americas for Hilton Group
  • Albert Mellina, CEO at MELLINA Associates – Senior advisor at Making Business Happen USA, LLC
  • Marco Baldocchi, Professor of Neuromarketing & Consumer Behaviour, Entrepreneur
  • Tommaso Morelato, Founder & CEO at Toscana Divino Hospitality Group
  • Erminia Fardone, Research Manager, Neuroscientist Department of Public Health Sciences Division of Health Services Research and Policy, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine
  • Patrick McCurry, Chef and Director of the Course on Sustainability at MDC

Following the conference, enjoy tasting tables curated by renowned Italian producers – Fratelli Marano from Calabria, Frantoio Pruneti from Tuscany, Urbani Tartufi from Umbria, La Scolca Winery from Piedmont, DUKA Il Moro di Firenze Sparkling Coffee from Tuscany, Il Tuo Banco – The Urban Street Farmers from Tuscany – who will showcase their products, regions and entrepreneurial history.

The panels will be followed by live cooking demonstrations led by renowned Miami chefs, including Gianluca Calise (Pelican Cafè); Marco Giugliano (Doma Restaurant); Fabrizio Carro (Osteria) Graspa Group; Andrea Marchesin (Toscana Divino), who will be coordinated by Silvia Baldini, Scientific Director at TasteiItalian! Academy Food & Beverage and food & media entrepreneur

The TasteItalian! Academy Conference will recognize a distinguished MDC alumnus with the first TasteItalian! & Culinaria Award.” This recognition will serve as a testament to the College’s commitment to fostering culinary excellence and nurturing the next generation of culinary leaders.

“We are very happy to partner with Miami Dade College and Miami Culinary Institute to bring such a prestigious event to Miami,” says Silvia Mariani, CEO of Making Business Happen. “I thank Pamela Fuertes, Dean of Miguel B. Fernandez Family School of Global Business, Trade, and Transportation, Miami Dade College and Miami Culinary Institute for believing in our project, the Italian institutions in Miami, especially the Consul Mistò and the Director of the Italian Cultural Institute in Miami Mr. Cerrato, who supported us and accepted our invitation.

WHAT:    TasteItalian! Academy – The Italian Table for the Future of Food Conference

WHEN:    8:30 a.m. – 2 p.m. 

WHERE:  Miami Culinary Institute at MDC

415 N.E. 2nd Ave.

About Making Business Happen
Making Business Happen is a Hollywood, Florida, and a Florence, Italy, based company dedicated to fostering business growth and innovation through strategic partnerships, thought leadership, digitalization, export management and community engagement. The company has a proven track record of success in connecting businesses with opportunities for growth and expansion, both domestically and internationally for over 13 years.

About the Miami Culinary Institute at Miami Dade College
Miami Dade College’s Miami Culinary Institute is a recipe for culinary excellence in the 21st century. Mixing a blend of classic skills and innovative techniques used by the world’s best chefs, Miami Culinary Institute offers an educational experience that is at the forefront of the industry. Through a focused infusion of green-sustainable food and energy technologies, nutrition and culinary knowledge, its aim is to create professionals who will evolve the world’s food culture. To learn more, visit

For more information:

Silvia Mariani
Founder & CEO Making Business Happen
Founder of TasteItalian! Academy

  • +39 393 9794279

Camilla Fondelli
Pr & Media Relations

  • +39 338 4486100