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Italy earthquake: Slow Food, Jamie Oliver back ‘Amatriciana’ campaign for victims

Slow Food and celebrity chef Jamie Oliver are among a rising number of food lovers, chefs and restaurants signing up to help raise funds for those affected by the severe earthquake in central Italy, which has killed at least 250 people.

Slow Food founder Carlo Petrini called on Italian restaurants around the world to put pasta Amatriciana on their menus for a year and donate two euros from every order to earthquake relief.

One of the worst hit towns, Amatrice, is known as the birthplace of Amatriciana; the traditional meal of pasta with tomato sauce and cured pork cheek.

Rescue workers have spent days and nights picking through the rubble of several small towns left devastated by the 6.2 magnitude earthquake.

It struck in the early hours of Wednesday morning (24 August) southeast of Norcia in the mountainous area of central Italy.

italy earthquake

Where the earthquake struck. Credit: USGS.

At least 250 people are reported dead and hundreds more were still being treated in local hospitals on Friday.

Amatriciana campaign

Jamie Oliver said that all of his Jamie’s Italian restaurants in the UK would serve Amatriciana for one month. He said £2 from every dish would go to earthquake victims.

‘Many restaurants are getting involved and this could really make a difference,’ Oliver said on Instagram.

Around 600 restaurants in Italy are reported have signed up to donate money from Amatriciana dishes.

Restaurants in several areas of the US, including New York and San Francisco, have also got involved.

Winemakers feel the tremors

There have been more than 450 aftershocks since the quake, according to Italian media.

Alongside Amatrice, the towns of Arquata, Accumoli and Pescara del Tronto were also hit badly.

Italy’s prime minister, Matteo Renzi, declared a state of emergency and promised to help communities rebuild.

Jane Hunt MW, a Decanter contributor and co-founder of wine events group Hunt & Coady, has a house in the area and said that she was staying in Amatrice itself just 10 days ago.

‘The destruction is quite dramatic in Amatrice and the surrounding villages,’ she told Decanter.com. ‘Although our house is not far away, fortunately we have no damage.’

She added, ‘We were woken by the first quake [at 3:30am] and then felt the aftershock.’

The worst affected area is not known for its wine production. However, vineyard owners in neigbouring regions have reported feeling tremors and aftershocks.

‘We haven’t been affected, only afraid,’ said Maruska Passeri, head of the Montefalco wine council – the Consorzio Tutela Vini Montefalco – just south of Perugia.

‘We felt two very big tremors in the night, and felt more tremors during the day after.’

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