KSA to host heritage forum

Updated 14 April 2016

KSA to host heritage forum

RIYADH: In a concerted effort to raise public awareness on the diversity and vulnerability of the cultural heritage in the Kingdom, as well as on the efforts required to protect and conserve such sites, the Kingdom will mark the World Heritage Day this year by organizing a heritage and arts forum on the occasion.
The forum, to be held under the patronage of Prince Sultan bin Salman, president of the Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage (SCTNH) and founding member of the Saudi Heritage Preservation Society (SHPS), will be attended by several government and private entities as well as a number of charities including arts and heritage related associations.
“The second Heritage and Arts Forum will be opened on April 17 at the King Fahd Cultural Center in conjunction with the World Heritage Day observed every year on April 18,” said an official at the SCTNH on Wednesday.
The theme of the forum is “Honor your heritage through museums”, in order to focus on raising public awareness about the importance of preserving national heritage as well as enhancing the role of museums in the development of cultural heritage. This forum serves to highlight the importance of heritage among members of the local community and will start to build strategic partnerships for the development of heritage projects.
The forum will feature a number of events and activities related to the importance of museums and their key role in the preservation of the heritage including cultural programs and discussions by a number of national and international experts.
Notably, the Saudi Heritage Preservation Society is continuing to highlight the significance of the preservation of national heritage through programs to raise awareness about the issue.


LA Italian eatery Madeo delights the palate in Riyadh Season pop-up

Updated 15 December 2019

LA Italian eatery Madeo delights the palate in Riyadh Season pop-up

  • Despite minor setbacks he faced while setting up, Vietina considers the experience to be a positive one

RIYADH: Renowned Italian restaurant Madeo has opened up in Al-Murabba for Riyadh Season. 

The pop-up has started brightly, and head chef Gianni Vietina invited Arab News to sample the menu and chat about his experience.

Vietina, in Saudi Arabia for the first time, said that he loved the location he had set up in, and was very happy to be opening up in the Kingdom. 

“The location is gorgeous. At night, with all the lights on, the music going, it’s very nice.”

Despite minor setbacks he faced while setting up, Vietina considers the experience to be a positive one and that the response was even better than he had expected. 

“Like anything new, you have quests, you have problems. Up to now, we’re doing pretty good. We are up and running. We’re comfortable now, which is a shame as we’re leaving pretty soon,” he said.

He added that he would repeat the experience in a heartbeat if he could: “They were nice enough to ask me to stay in Saudi a little longer, but I can’t. I need to go back home. But I would love to come back.”

He said that while he was not planning to open up a permanent restaurant in Saudi Arabia, he would not rule it out completely.  “I’ve been offered options, and friends have offered to show me locations while I’m here, but I can’t do it right now, I just opened a new restaurant two months ago,” he said.

“I chose the dishes that I know that most of the Saudis that visit my restaurant in Los Angeles like.”

Gianni Vietina, Head chef of Madeo

The pop-up’s menu contains most of what the original restaurant offers, including his ever-popular penne amadeo and spaghetti bolognese, with the chefs using a combination of imported and locally sourced ingredients. 

“I chose the dishes that I know that most of the Saudis that visit my restaurant in Los Angeles like,” he told Arab News.

For the pop-up, Vietina has stuck to using halal and alcohol-free ingredients. 

“It was challenging at the beginning. But the bolognese at Amadeo doesn’t contain pork, and I realized after we tried cooking without wine that almost nothing changed. I actually prefer it,” he said.

Madeo is a favorite of Saudis visiting Los Angeles, with Vietina going so far as to describe the restaurant as a “Little Riyadh” on most evenings between July and September. 

He even recognizes some of the customers who have come into the Riyadh pop-up, and always stops over to greet them.

Upon sampling the menu, it’s easy to see why the food at Madeo has remained popular all these years. 

The eggplant parmigiana is a perfect blend of crusty cheese and silky smooth eggplant, with hints of basil and rosemary. 

The bolognese is rich, meaty and decadent, without being too heavy and greasy. And the penne Amadeo, which Vietina has been eating since his childhood, is a timeless classic of crushed tomato, basil, finished off with butter and Parmigiano Reggiano for a creamy, rich flavor.