... Carmelo's brilliance as a chef and my knowledge of the health benefits, combined with an Italian community to help, we began the ChefMéd project - Franca Bongiorno
Six years ago I began a Facebook group called Growing Up Italian in the UK. Its purpose was to preserve Italian culture and explore events and memories amongst those of Italian extraction, their children and their grandchildren. We now have over 16,000 members. The group has long debated the difficulty in getting hold of authentic and properly resourced Italian products. We started to formulate a plan to see if this would be viable.
Two years ago I went to eat at an Italian Restaurant in London named Osteria Romana. I was struck by the excellence and unique nature of the food there. I met the executive chef - Carmelo Carnevale. It turned out that Carmelo was a well renowned and respected chef amongst the Italian community - indeed, he is the President of the largest Italian Chef association in the UK, APCI.
My husband is a doctor, and I have been involved in the provision of healthcare pretty much for twenty years. Through my professional connection to medicine, I became aware of the extraordinary amount of really good research proving that a Mediterranean diet is the healthiest cuisine you can have.
I shared my interest in finding authentic Italian produce, and promoting the Mediterranean diet, with Carmelo. He is a brilliant chef, well versed in all cuisines, but he has a passion for Mediterranean cooking. It seemed serendipitous that we should meet at this time. With Carmelo's brilliance as a chef and my knowledge of the health benefits, combined with an Italian community to help, we began the ChefMéd project. Our plan: to bring together three very important facets:
1. Authentic and well-resourced Mediterranean foods and drinks
2. Fabulous Mediterranean recipes and chef experiences designed by Carmelo
3. Products and recipes that maximise the health benefits of a Mediterranean diet.
There is a multitude of authentic and recognised medical studies concerning the Mediterranean diet. All of these studies show conclusively that the Mediterranean Diet has a positive effect on cardiovascular risk, and that following a Mediterranean diet provides protection from a host of serious illnesses.
Carmelo Carnevale is the president of the Association of Professional Italian Chefs in the UK (APCI-UK); he is a bone fide Sicilian Master Chef and an expert on the Mediterranean diet. As well as supporting the authentic nature of the Italian Cuisine, Carmelo will design, cook and sample dishes, recipes and products.
Furthermore, we have a well-respected team of doctors, including GPs, Cardiologists and Gastroenterologists to help agree and approve the proper medical evidence. Information on the health benefits of the Mediterranean diet, including meat, fish, vegetables, fruit, olives, cheese, eggs, herbs and nuts.
We sell foods chosen by ChefMéd team for a healthy Mediterranean diet, along with recipes and nutritional and medical evidence and demonstrations.
And the food will be utterly delicious. That is the Mediterranean way.