Italy does not do things by halves. And this year, it is doing them by the double - with two bakery shows. AB tech expo - the AB stands for Arte Bianco - is a bakery show taking place in Milan, from 5-9 May, at the new Rho-Fiera showground.
The show has an impressive list of machinery exhibitors. "We want visitors to assess, compare and see machinery in operation," says show organiser Aldo Tagliabue. But millers and ingredient manufacturers will also have a major presence.
Environmentally friendly packaging will also be demonstrated at AB tech expo, also reflecting the move in the industry towards smart process packaging technology.
AB tech expo has linked up with leading trade associations and experts to offer a number of events running alongside the exhibition. The emphasis is very much on bakery as an ’Enterprise of the Future’, which is the name of a special feature at the show, so while acknowledging the role of tradition, ’future’ will be much to the fore.
? Enterprise of the Future - from outlets to production systems, organised by the Italian Federation of Bakers and Pastry Makers - features a life-like bread and pastry-making factory. The display includes a typical purchase outlet through to a fully-fledged production system, enabling visitors to assess new technology in operation from product-making to profit margin computing.
? The Flavour Trail, organised by The Federation’s Young Bakers Group, will feature renowned bakers from every region who will make typical local specialities.
? The Grand Central Pastry Workshop, organised by the institute of Culinary Arts will feature demonstrations by famous pastry chefs. Described as "an occasion to admire dazzling and sophisticated delicacies made with chocolate, marzipan and sugar", another area will also display the art of making cupped desserts as well as pastry and will demonstrate innovative presentation techniques. A special section for younger bakers will allow them to exercise their skills.
? Pizza, between Tradition and Innovation, is a conference for the exchange of ideas.
=== Show view ===
We asked Luca Vecchiato, MD of Antico Forno Vecchiato, of Padua in the Veneto region, about his company and what he hopes to see at the show.
"I like to think that Antico Forno Vecchiato is part of the history of bread production in Padua. Our company encompasses seven generations since it started in 1887.
"We make all kinds of fresh breads and pastries, but also deal with salted products, such as meats. From our production centre, we distribute to our seven outlets.
"I have to think hard before taking time away from my business but I always pick up new ideas or spot those that will be useful to my bakery at a show. In Milan, there will be a large number of machinery and oven manufacturers."
He continues: "I also want to see Enterprise of the Future presented by the Italian Bakers’ Federation because I hope it will bring to light new trends and suggestions that I can use.
"Every country is proud of its own production, but now ’own breads’ are crossing continents, Italian bread is ’raising bread’s profile’.
"Our production includes many kinds of bread still unknown abroad. This is a market where diversification is crucial, so I hope AB tech expo will give British visitors the chance to see and taste the most characteristic products from various Italian regions that might enrich their repertoire." n
l For more details visit the A B tech expo website at [http://www.abtechexpo.com] or, for details on the Tutto Food show, go to [http://www.tuttofood.it/home_eng.asp]
=== How to get there ===
Flights to Milan Malpensa airport
Express train direct to Piazzale Cadorna Metro underground at Piazzale Cadorna: Red Line 1 direct into Rho-Fiera showground. Or airport bus to Milan Central Station. Metro, changing to Red line 1 direct into the Rho-Fiera showground
Flights to Milan Linate airport. Bus 73 to Piazza San Babila, Metro Red line 1 direct into the Rho-Fiera showground
=== Other events ===
tech expo from 5-8 May at Rho-Fiera
SIAB in Verona (previewed last week), which is on at VeronaFiere 5-9 May, takes place at the same time as AB tech expo, 5-9 May, in Milan.
An organisational split has resulted in the two bakery shows taking place simultaneously in the two large cities. It is hoped that the situation will be resolved in time for the next shows in 2010.