Eataly Silicon Valley sets opening date for three-story Italian food emporium

After more than two years of planning, construction and anticipation, Eataly has announced an opening date for its Silicon Valley food and wine emporium.

This Italian food extravaganza, with pasta, cheeses, sauces, gelato, wine, espresso all under one roof, will throw open the doors a month from today — 5 pm Thursday, June 16 — at Westfield Valley Fair in Santa Clara.

“We’re excited. The team has been hard at work for this project to come to life,” Raffaele Piarulli, the chief operating officer of Eataly North America, said Monday in announcing the news.

Silicon Valley will be the eighth North American location for Eataly, which was founded in Turin, Italy, in 2007 and now spreads the joy of cooking and eating Italian food globally.

This 45,000-square-foot, three-floor marketplace and restaurant center — the first in Northern California — is part of the $1 billion Valley Fair transformation, with 100 retailers and restaurants joining the mall in the last few years.

Piarulli said customers will find two restaurants, a market, wine shop and a selection of quick-service counters offering “a little bit of everything — from gelato to pizza to coffee.” More details will be forthcoming in the weeks before the opening, he said.

The “shop, eat, learn” concept will feature products from Italy’s 20 regions as well as local purveyors. Piarulli said his product and procurement teams have been working in the Bay Area for a couple of years and are still scouting.

“You will see artisan products, you will see talent, you will see people touching food, you will see the action involved in producing and presenting food,” he explained in an earlier interview. “Our kitchens will be visible, you will see how pasta is made, how bread is made.”

Eataly has hired many of the 300 people it needs to operate this center, with more hiring fairs planned for this week for culinary jobs at all levels. Open-call recruiting events are scheduled for 11 am to 4 pm May 18, 20 and 24 at Valley Fair.

“We have been humbled by the good response,” Piarulli said, noting they’ve found a number of people interesting in “renewing or pursuing their passion for cooking.”

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