As part of the 2023 Lawrence Prize events, after the success of the awards gala on the occasion of the recognition given to Virginia Saba, the Municipality of Mandas continues to host personalities who give prestige to Sardinia in Italy and in the world.
Saturday 16 September, scheduled for 5.30pm in the medieval compendium of Sant'Antonio, will be an exceptional evening because the protagonist is a Sardinian who honors the island and its food and wine excellences thanks to his over thirty years of work at the Quirinale . The guest of honor will be Pietro Catzola, a Sardinian from Triei who moved to Rome in the 1980s to serve the last Heads of State of the Italian Republic, from Francesco Cossiga to Sergio Mattarella, author of the volume "Il cuoco dei Presidenti" for Solferino. In the book, which will be presented in Mandas by the mayor Umberto Oppus, we discover the story and recipes of an exceptional chef, who, through triumphs and mistakes, satisfactions and disappointments, managed to remain faithful to himself, to the flavors and aromas of his land, to the authenticity of the Italian gastronomic tradition.
Pietro Catzola was sixteen years old when he fulfilled his dream by enlisting in the Navy. The first assignment? Quartermaster and food handler. On the ships, not only does Pietro become a chef, but he ends up being chosen to cook at official dinners. It was President Cossiga, Sardinian like him, who noticed him and asked him to drop anchor definitively and move to the kitchens of the Quirinale. There begins a new adventure, which takes place between the Roman Palace, with its large kitchens, and the other presidential residences, first of all that of Castelporziano, where Marianna Scalfaro will want to create a vegetable garden and an orchard. Once he discovered the mission and the pleasure of serving presidents, he will see four of them alternate: after Cossiga come Oscar Luigi Scalfaro, Carlo Azeglio Ciampi, Giorgio Napolitano and Sergio Mattarella. Each with his first lady, each with his own tastes, all engaged in a tight succession of lunches and receptions for which Pietro Catzola must always be ready, for the most varied types of guests: from Charles of England to the emperor of Japan, from a meeting of cardinals to the national football team.