In 2016 the first motorway Bistrott arrives at the iconic bridge-style service area of Fiorenzuola d'Arda, following its success in Italian and European railway stations and airports. An important accomplishment that Autogrill wishes to celebrate by presenting and illustrating Bistrott, born from the synergy with UNISG, to public institutions, the press and its partners. It was therefore a great satisfaction to see the many guests crowding the deck of the "transatlantic", as its designer, the architect Bianchetti, liked to call the bridge-style structure. Among those present was the Deputy Minister of Agriculture, Andrea Olivero.
Past, present and future: the history and prospects of a vision
The producers are also present to welcome the guests. Upon arrival, the guests will be given time to explore the renovated areas and sample the first tastings. Then it's time to do the honors, and the opening day gets underway. In the center of the Bistrott, between the delicatessen corner and the pasta maker, the presentation begins: the Chief Executive Officer of Autogrill, Gianmario Tondato da Ruos, the Chief Marketing Officer Ezio Balarini, the Vice President of UNISG and founder of Slow Food, Silvio Barbero and the Deputy Minister, Andrea Olivero speak and recount, under the direction of the journalist of the Republic, Luigi Gia.
Olivero hopes that the promotion of the food and wine heritage will create a precedent in the sector: "Bistrott is an initiative that I hope will become a catering model to strive towards" while Gianmario Tondato recounts the reasons behind the birth of the concept: "Bistrot originates from a challenge: to make something attractive and different". Silvio Barbero, the "father" of Bistrot explains, together with Ezio Balarini, the common vision that unites Autogrill and the Pollenzo University "We need to rethink our relationship with food." Balarini concludes by stressing the importance of Bistrot in shaping the Group's future path: "It is a cornerstone in the transformation of catering on the road".
Flavour and tradition personified: Bistrot's producers
After getting to know about the philosophy of this successful concept and its strengths, it's now time to get to know the heart and soul of the Fiorenzuola d'Arda Bistrot, it's producers, selected by Autogrill in collaboration with the University of Gastronomic Sciences at Pollenzo, with their products, their stories and their experience. For the occasion they take place behind the Bistrot counters to present their best specialties, local flavours and territorial recipes, as well as live demonstrations of the making of some of the preparations.
At the Fratelli Salini counter they slice mariola (salame), to accompany the colourful pickled vegetables made by the Azienda Agricola Pizzavacca while discussing the length of the seasoning times, the pasta maker from the Pastificio Fontana expertly closes the tortelli “with a tail” from Piacenza and invites guests to try their hand. The cheese maker of Caseificio Fiordilatte spins mozzarella in front of a small admiring crowd, while at the Chiarli counter, Lambrusco is poured and family stories are told; at the Salumificio Cav. Umberto Boschi, they slice Salame Felino, and at the “street kitchen” corner where Paolo Morini shows guest how to make salamelle sausages to accompany the purple potato chips made by the Percossi family, who tell us about their relationship with Cardinal Mazzarino. The tasting concludes with a Bistrot coffee made in the traditional Neapolitan coffee pot, perfect with a Tartufino chocolate from the Cioccolaterie Bardini or, for those who are not completely full, with the Vigolo's chocolate cake or Luca Montersino's sweets, as delicious as they are healthy.
After the event, the story continues
It's time to go. There's just enough time for goodbyes and for a group photo with the extraordinary staff. But the Bistrot story shows no signs of stopping: there are new openings in the pipeline and new territories to explore.
Stay tuned, the journey continues!
The choice of the Fiorenzuola d'Arda service area is not without symbolic significance: innovation is at home here: Bistrot Fiorenzuola d'Arda is located along one of the country's main travel arteries, the Autostrada del Sole, that intersects the A21 motorway junction for Brescia here and is where the great culinary traditions of Piacenza and Parma meet. A place of innovation because, yesterday, or more precisely in 1959, it was the first in Europe to build a bridge-style structure, and today it welcomes the new Bistrot, offering sustainability and quality to set the pace for the future of catering on the road.