MAY THE “FORTEZZA” BE WITH YOU ! Discovering the Campania Region, the wines and… the witches!

TEXT AND PHOTOS BY CESARE ZUCCA

Campania Region, Italy.
Torrecuso
is an enchanting medieval ‘borgo’, that offers a suggestive view of the Taburno and the Valle del Calore. Its origins date back to 216 BC, probably on the initiative of some Etruscan refugees from the Tuscan town of Chiusi who called it “TurrisClusii”.
Today is a small village characterized by narrow, winding streets, which surround the square on which stands the splendid Palazzo Cito, adapted into an ancient tower; the building was the residence of the feudal lords of Torrecuso and today is the town hall.

The soil is sunny and lends itself well to growing grapes; here is produced the Aglianico del Taburno, which makes this place an important station for food and wine tourism.
In the last decades the production of other typical vines such as Falanghina, Coda di Volpe and Greco has been increased, all included in the Taburno D.O.C..
I will take you to the best of the wineyards in Torrecuso, the great Cantina La Fortezza and invite you to taste its excellent wines, but allow me to start witha little history of this magical land…
Torrecuso is located close to Benevento, a town mythically traced to the arrival of a Greek hero back from the disastrous Trojan war. In this case it would have been Diomedes to found it and on the Beneventan soil the Greek prince would have met and almost met with death with Enea, a Trojan hero.
Historically, the first settlement dates back to the Osci, and then passed under the control of the Samnites. The first ‘bad’ name was Maleventum that means a ‘huge disaster’, then luckily changed to the positive name of  Beneventum  when the city became a Roman colony, in 268 BC.
Throughout the Roman period the city became one of the most prosperous since it represented a very important junction for the main commercial routes and roads. 
Although tortured by violent earthquakes and barbarians invasions, Benevento gained the reputation of a city difficult to conquer: even the Franks and Charlemagne himself had to stop at its borders. In 1077 Henry III ceded the city and the entire area to the Church, which held power until the unification of Italy.
For a few years, in 1798, it was occupied by Napoleon’s troops,then in the hands of the Bourbons, then again of the Church.
Here come the witches!
Benevento has always been in the popular belief the capital of witches, in that peasant and genuine territory where legends and traditions have a weight, the nightly Janare were the most ferocious species of those witches.
These were women who possessed the knowledge of the occult and magical rites, such as invoices and the evil eye, capable of ruining life. According to tradition, in fact, it was necessary to place an upside-down millet broom or a bag with grains of salt in front of the door, counting which the witch would have lingered until dawn, when the light, her bitter enemy, would have forced her to flee away, leaving the inhabitants of that house or that room in particular in peace.
T
here was a widespread belief that these witches gathered under a walnut tree on the banks of the Sabato river to worship the devil. Aggressive and acid, they use to go around naked and celebrate the Sabbath, or demonic rites: banquets, dances and orgies.
“Ointment ointment
take me to the Benevento nut
above the water and above the wind
and above Benevento ».There are still janaras around  today?
I asked several Benevento citizens, but apparently the malifigcent witches aren t no more. Perhaps some older women are preparing healing natural ointments or infusions, as regular herbalists. But hey, I’ ve been told that you can recognize them, because they are the last ones to leave the church after the mass…
Strange…Are the witch going to church?
The only surviving witch is the Strega Liqueur, a traditional drink obtained by the distillation of about 70 herbs and spices from all over the world. You can drink it neat, icy or mixed in long drinks or cocktails.Let’s move from the legends to a truly magic reality…
I am taking you to La Fortezza Vineyards, located in Torrecuso,
where their headquarters extend on the east slope of the Regional Park of the Taburno-Camposauro: the slopes are a succession of vineyards, woods and small clearings, which only in the last hours of the day the Monte Taburno profile subtracts light and heat.In the middle of the vineyards stands the beating heart of our business: the cellar.
Entirely coated in stone and well integrated into the surrounding landscape is made up of two bodies. In the upper part a Villa and wide open spaces primarily intended for lawn: a charming place by sweeping views looking towards the Apennines that separates the Campania from Apulia. The underlying body, which opens more than two gates in medieval style strictly processed hardwood, home to the productive activity itself: a perfect blend of tradition and modern technology.The barrel vaults, that dominate the area destined to accommodate the aging of wine, entirely coated in terracotta bricks and partially dug into the tuff, bring us closer to an idea of ​​the cellar to those who were the old “cellai” of rural farms, that is, those places that were intended to keep as much wine as food.
The local processing, where there are machines for wine making, bottling and labeling room, steel tanks and warehouses for goods destined to commercialization complement the wine cellar, with a production potential of about two million bottles.Here La Fortezza’s grape varieties:
Let’s start with the Aglianico del Taburno, a generous quantity that allows an accurate selection in the vineyard for the various sales lines and to guarantee the production of wines of the highest quality such as the Riserva, whose grapes come from a vineyard of about seventy years of age.  Falanghina del Taburno, whose exposure of the vineyards gives us the best results in terms of sugar content, perfumes and acidity of the wine without having to resort to cuts in working phase. By the time we select in outside the vineyards of Greek and Fiano to be allocated to our products by imposing a strict and meticulous discipline of crop for producers: once the land and its vineyards identified, these are followed in all the basic steps until the collection that takes place under our supervision.
Want to go bubbles?
I like to point the Sparkling Falanghina, the Aglianico Frizzante and the precious “Maleventum”  a brut obtained with the charmat method.
Last but not the least I like to mention the delicate rosèe Aglianico dl Taburno, perfectly pairing fish and the fragrant Olio La Fortezza, both excellent choice if you are having a local great dish with baccalà (salted codfish) a remarkable specialty of this territory, which I had the pleasure to taste at a typical restaurant Trattoria Nunzia, in Benevento.
Sweet finale? Do you love chocolate?
Well, while you are there, take a trip to to San Marco dei Cavoti to visit the Antonio Autore Artisanal  Factory that produces the one and only handmade ‘croccantino’.a delicious traditional recipe of a bar of sugar, almonds and hazelnuts. It will be a pleasure for your eyes and for your mouth!

INFO
La Fortezza
Torrecuso, Benevento
www.lafortezzasrl.it

Antonio Autore
San Marco dei Cavoti

Cesare Zucca
Milanese di nascita, vive tra New York, Milano e il resto del mondo. Viaggia su e giù per l’America e si concede evasioni in Italia e in Europa.
Per WEEKEND PREMIUM fotografa e racconta città, culture, stili di vita e scopre delizie gastronomiche sia tradizionali che innovative.
Incontra e intervista top chefs di tutto il mondo, ‘ruba’ le loro ricette e vi racconta il tutto qui, in stile ‘turista non turista’.

WINE articles by CESARE ZUCCA

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Linda Ronzoni and Silvia Gottardi are two great women passionate about two wheels who call themselves the “CICLISTE PER CASO”, make a stop at the Bottega headquarters in Bibano di Godega, during the long bicycle ride that is taking them from Bari to Milan.
The arrival is scheduled at around 17.30 at the Bottega headquarters, where they will be welcomed by Monica Lisetto and a representation of the Women of Wine, headed by Alessandra Boscaini, regional delegate of Veneto. A visit of the Bottega structure will end with a toast based on Prosecco Docg, to anticipate the next stage that will lead the two cyclists to Feltre, crossing the hills of Conegliano and Valdobbiadene, recently included in the Unesco World Heritage list.
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Today I take you to Tenuta Carretta one of the most historic Italian wineries, founded back in 1467 and located in the Roero area, in the South of Piedmont Region, Italy .The property’s vineyards also extend close to the Langhe, such as 2.6 hectares in Barolo on the prestigious Cannubi hill, from which the nebbiolo grapes destined for the production of the celebrated Barolo Cannubi, a wine of grand character, elegance and longevity.Thanks to the vines’ exposure to sun and to the particular microclimate, it is a wine of grand character, elegance and longevity, thanks to the exposure to sun and to the particular climate.

 

Not to mention the iconic 2010 Barolo Cannubi Riserve 100% nebbiolo grapes , with a  minimum refinement of 60 months, of which at least 36 in barrel and 18 in bottle. Enjoy its scent of roses, citrus notes, cacao and spices.

 

 

Yes, Tenuta Carretta is preparing to showcase their wines in the industry’s biggest fairs in Verona, Italy called Vinitaly,  the largest Italian wine show hosting the best winemaking all over Italy.
Verona, April 15-18, 2018  at Pavillion 10, Stand R4
Tenuta Carretta is a splendid winery that sets the stage of an amphitheatre of unique and evocative vineyards. They make up a part of the touristic ‘wine mosaic’ through which visitors can follow a guided trail through the vineyards Guided visits to the winery, the elegant Charme Hotel and a welcoming Enoteca – Wine Shop, make up the rest of the mosaic.I saved the best for last…
Two high-end restaurants where your dishes will take to meet  the royalties of the territory: the tartufo bianco di Alba ( Alba’s white truffle) and the porcini.

 

 

 

 

Did I made you eager for all that?
Well, here how to make a reservation to this  Paradise… Milan, April 6th Berlucchi from 7.30 pm at Mercato Duomo Davide Oltolini will host a wine tasting featuring the classic Brut, Rosee and Saten Franciacorta Berlucchi ’61,
and including the new Nature, with five exquisite dishes large tapas like,
spanning from cold cuts, to veggies, to cheeses that representing the Italian excellence in the world of gastronomy. The event will take place in the beautiful Franciacorta Lounge right on Piazza Duomo. Wine tasting and food 35 Euros.IMG_9345 copy


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The Non Tourist Tourist is famous for discovering hidden gems.
Last summer I discover a jewel into a jewel into a jewel…
The incomparable  Tenuta Venissa Resort located in the island of Mazzorbo, which is home to a vineyard that has been able to overcome the challenge of the high tide for centuries, giving rise to a wine with characteristics that are entirely unique.                          Matteo Bisol created not only an amazing five star resort, but also a unique wine nested in a unique bottle

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Text and photos by Cesare Zucca
Back in the 70′ the iconic Fiorucci New York store discovered that music could actually influence and improve the sales. screen-shot-2016-10-26-at-10-27-57“Never play slow music, told me the legendary store manager Enrico Baroni, the man who helped the Fiorucci empire to bloom. Slow rhythm makes costumers slowing down; they loose the excitement of a new purchase and easily get bored of the shopping adventure. In our store we play loud up-tempo music either pop or disco and most importantly without any interruptions. That causes a shopping rush and improve the appetite of buying”screen-shot-2016-10-26-at-10-33-41
The world famous Japanese wagyu cows, in order to produce the tender kobe beef…non only are pampered with massages, drink beer and sake, but also spend their days  lessening to Mozart! The body relaxes, the muscles stretch and they seem to enjoy the music vibrations.

Can music influence the aging process of wine?
In the magical atmosphere of the Podere Rocche dei Manzoni in the beautiful Langhe territory (in Piedmont region, province of Cuneo) resident wine producer Rodolfo Migliorini and  one of the most influential living composers, Italian Maestro Ezio Bosso. screen-shot-2016-10-26-at-09-47-47
Recently this extraordinary couple of creative souls and long time friends invited press, friends and all the people who in recent years have “filled rooms” of the company
The occasion was to introduce the brand new sparkling wine named Valentino Cuvèe 185th Door, an exclusive, limited production (only 1500 bottles and 150 magnun size) of the  spumante cuvèe made with classic chardonnay, pinot noir and locally rarely used pinot meunier. . During an informal press conference, Rodolfo and Ezio unveiled the convincing theory that music can actually influence the wine making process, from the vineyard to the final bottle.
Obviously many questions:

How a sparkling wine may get refined listening to music? Which kind of music?
Bosso selected among his works a “symphony for the wine”: a suitable composition to act during the wine aging process and to influence the second fermentation of yeast. Loudspeakers were installed in the vineyards and in the cellars. After a minimum of 4 vintages assembly, a percentage which varies according to the characteristics of each of them, 185th Door, during its life in the bottle, which lasts at least 8 years, is subjected to a measured musical stress and controlled to optimize the activity of yeast.“We are the first to have thought of applying the vibrations of music to a sparkling wine refinement process, says Migliorini, At first, we proceeded by trial and after 12 years this project is still in an embryonic basis. However, with the data collected during the trial I can say that thanks to the music the activity of yeast is faster and the product is improved.  Certain notes and sounds have frequencies that the wine seem to .. listen , enjoy and mature with a pleasant aging. In the coming years we will try to understand how to further influence the activity of the yeast, thus modulating the music according to our needs“.img_9277-copy

Why 185th?
What’s behind that door?
Ezio as a co-composer of this innovative method, loved have a very unique and personalized name: The ‘door’ is linked to the theme of ‘the rooms’ the common thread of his recent albums.The 185, takes us the alphabet where the R (Rodolfo) is the18th letter while the E (Ezio) is the 5th. Ezio continues “The sounds coming from a violin and  a cello, from a full orchestra or simply from my piano were able to pass through wood and cement of the barrels to create a chain of harmonies that reborn in a chain of wine.

FASHION    MARRIES GAVI DEI GAVI LA SCOLCA AT MAISON VERSACE
Milan, October 6th Vendemmia di Montenapoleone

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AURUM, In the name of gold 
Are you a wine lover? Do you like to discover new tastes while sipping a nice glass of white or red? Do you enjoy to end up a dinner with a sweet touch of dessert wine?
Or …do you indulge meditation?
Here several good reasons to visit the Euganean Hills, to get acquainted with the local wines, starting from the typical Fior d’Arancio, a very golden Moscato to a variety of whites with the typical straw-yellow color and jasmine scent, The hills produce Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon reds, the Chardonnay, , the Merlot, to my fav, the sparkling Serprino.
I forgot… most importantly, are you ready to discover a hidden gem in Italy? Breathtaking panoramas, art, culture and good food?
Already excited? Well, hold your glass…
On the panoramic outdoor of the Villa Beatrice, a former Convent founded in12th century, on the top of the hill, we tried the Quota 101 wines, I loved the Malterreno an authentic expression of the Euganei  territory.  Authentic and true. The grapes are hand-picked in September, when the sun has made them nice and ripe. Warm yellow color, scent of Summer, in the mouth it is velvety and well-structured.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Next stop at Paolo Brunello’s Cantina Vignale di Cecilia,  located in Baone.
My fav was the white Val di Spie, an experimental trip in the world of sparkling wine, blinks its eye to the traditional natural fermentation in the bottle, while maintaining its natural yeasts, followed by the first born at Vignale, the red Passacaglia made with Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Barbera boasting a long maceration as well as the handmade mixing of fermenting grapes. In the evening I met with lovely Elisa Dilavanzo, owner of Maeli Colli Euganei featuring the yellow muscat
from these amazing volcanic hills, where Elisa decided to “work towards the production of a wine that is rich in emotion whilst at the same time a worthy ambassador for this prestigious territory”.Sparklyn Moscato Giallo IGT
Muscat 85% Chardonnay 15% Destemming and soft pressing, maceration on the skins for three days, pressing, fermentation on natural yeasts without added sulphites. The wine is bottled on its own yeasts with in-the-bottle secondary fermentation using the original must following the time-honoured method.
Grand finale with a wide varIety of Zanovello wines, hosted by Mr. Franco Zanovello, President of La Strada del Vino and owner of Cà Lustra wines. I ended my journey with the iconic Passito, born in the year 1200. Believe me, no many other places on earth would enrich a meditation time like being on the top of one of those volcanic Hills, specially after sipping a glass of a delicious wine…
The team of the Raffles Siem Reap, engaged us to pay a visit to a real jewel., located in their sister property in Phnom Penh, I am talking of the historic a place that exudes the charm of old school luxury. Not only do the walls spoke of history but, the service evokes a tempo of another time, a pace where the demands of productivity are not part of the game. Not to say we waited a long time for our cocktails, we waited just the right time for it to be made to perfection!
The signature cocktail is the Femme Fatale,
created for Jacqueline Kennedy during her 1967 visit in Cambodia.The bar boasts a selection of 54 hand-picked gins and among the most recent offerings you can pair your libation with a spoonful of Giaveri caviar from Italy for a very friendly $5.We were hosted by the young French F&B manager of this legendary institution,
Thomas Bianco. Thomas had the barman create on the spot a cocktail combining ingredients I loved: bourbon, fresh lime and ginger juice, simple sugar and mint leaves. Shaken with egg white and served on the rocks with a splash of angustura bitters. What a treat! Thomas coined the name Tsin-Tsin for the cocktail in a heartbeat, combining the first letter of his first first name and the first 3 letters of my last name for an inviting chin-chin ring to it. It is now on the menu of the Elephant Bar, sealing in history the final touch of a night made of whimsy, fun and good taste.
Info for The Elephant Bar at Ruffles Hotel Le Royal in Phnom Penh  at
http://www.raffles.com/phnom-penh/dining/elephant-bar/

 

Moet Ice Impérial breaks the tradition and launches a new style, a genuine drink experience that mixes unexpectedly sparkles and ice cubes to strawberries, raspberries and lime. 
Moët & Chandon created more than 270 years of elegance and savoir fête  now blended harmoniously with an irreverent yet inimitable spirit of celebration. Moët & Chandon created more than 270 years of elegance and savoir fête  now blended harmoniously with an irreverent yet inimitable spirit of celebration.

                                            A glizzy white bottle with the inevitable black tie, golden label and silver reflections Moët Ice Impérial is perfect synthesis of the Maison’s values: elegance, glamour and pioneering spirit.An  ideal drink for exclusive summer excursion in the trendiest locations all around the world: from the beaches of Acapulco, Rio de Janeiro and Saint Tropez, to Los Angeles, to the magnificent Duomo Terrace in Milan

Yesterday I went to the picnic lunch at the Palazzo Monti della Corte , in Nigoline right in the heart of the Franciacorta region, one of the best producer of sparkling wine.

Tasting a Berlucchi Brut, one of the most recognized product of Franciacorta

Tasting a Berlucchi Brut, one of the most recognized product of the Franciacorta region.The territory of Franciacorta is a section of the Province of Brescia

The annual Franciacorta Festival will entertain again his visitors with a two days tour de force of exquisite food and superb wines.
Saturday 25 will be dedicated to the discovery of the territory, its wines,its products and its food. Photo N.Tirelli
The wineries will organize little events, guided tours and tastings during the day, while in the evening the best restaurants, diners, farms and the Strada del Franciacorta venues will offer their menu, dedicated to local food and wine culture


South Tyrol is waiting  for you. 300 cellars, 100 artisans of Italian taste. 150 international wine producers! Merano is hosting the annual WineFestival, an international wine&food bonanza,  one of the most exclusive places and occasions for all industry operators, where the recurring keyword is always “excellence”.In addition You will find the best Italian wines produced organically, biodynamically and naturally, the  Beer Passion experience, where the artisan flavour becomes beer, Consortium: the Italian protection consortia are presented within the Gourmet Arena, charity Wine Master Classes. where the revenues of which are given to charity and spectacular show cooking among,seminars and workshops for discussion on the future of wine in Italy and Europe.November 5th-10th
More info at www.meranowinefestival.com

Imagine: a secret bottle kept in the cave for years (sometimes more than 30). It’s the rich and velvety wine called sciacchetrà. This aged treasure resurges in occasion of a wedding as the greatest gift that the family of the groom could offer to the bride’s family. I had the privilege of opening a bottle than was more than 10 years old. It reminded me of a rich passito straw wine, sweet and liqueur-like.
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TERRACE TIME

Chiantigno Photo © Cesare Zucca 2016

Chiantigno Photo © Cesare Zucca 201

On the Rooftop of the Hotel, that is called “Terrazza Boscolo” by Dama, Sommellier Diana Zerilli will create two exciting drinks Chiantigno, born from the encounter between Chianti Colli Senesi Mormoraia,with Campari, Gin, Angostura, Rosmarine and Ice Tropical Wine, con Vernaccia San Gimignano Mormoraia,
with Honey, Mango, Ice.

The Villa Il Palagio perches elegantly at the top of a long steep drive, overlooking the distant Tuscan hills and the undulating countryside which has always had profound agricultural significance. Screen Shot 2016-04-30 at 13.19.50The nearby medieval town of Figline Valdarno was known as the “barn of Florence” for its abundant corn supplies. Grains, wine, oil, sugar beets, peaches, apricots and cherries have long been grown here. Not only…Palagio has been the summer retreat for
Sting and Trudie’s family and friends for more than 15 years.Palagio produces an excellent red wine.
A blend of Sangiovese, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvigon Biodynamic wine. Screen Shot 2016-04-27 at 10.26.06Named after Sting’s song “Sister Moon”
this was the first IGT Toscano wine produced at Il Palagio.

MILAN EXPO 2015
Wine Pavillion, a true multi-sensorial experience. Tasting Settesoli.
Great surprise at Expo 2015!
I visited the Wine Pavilion boasts a wide array of communications tools, as it narrates the history of wine-production.The exhibit brings all five senses into play, with taste taking priority. Some of the best-qualified sommeliers are on hand to arrange wine-tasting experiences blending tastes with aromas.IMG_7903

I attended to the Cantine Settesoli tasting hosted by charming PR Roberta Urso.IMG_7871 copy

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My favorite wines?
Inzolia, a very reasonable price for a great white wine. Light and fruity, just the way I like it. Roberta suggested fatty fish such as halibut or dory with potatoes and cherry tomatoes to go with.
Grillo, with a distinct aroma of jasmine and citrus.To be served with grilled vegetables, medium seasoned cheese, legumes soups, raw meats.
The legendary Nero D’Avola with its ruby red, and a brightly intense taste, smooth and warm, with a distinctive scent of marasca, local red cherry, excellent with raw meat and grilled white meat.IMG_7892 copy

The Mandrarossa wines are the toprange of Cantine Settesoli.
They come from the careful selection of both the vineyards and the vines, together with the harmonious combination of local culture, traditional farming and winemaking technology.
The tasting ended up with an amazing finale.

The “meditation” chardonnay CALADEITUFI  calaMandrarossa Vendemmia Tardiva, produced in a small vineyard that slopes down toward the coast, between sandy dunes and wild vegetation. the breeze refreshes the grapes that are left to ripen on the plant.   Deliciously perfect as a  “solo” wine or ‘solo’ wine or accompanied by light cheeses, desserts, dry fruits. Settesoli is the largest wine company in Sicily, Twenty million bottles are made in a year and they are sold in 35 countries. “Settesoli is a stellar constellation, said proudly Cantine the general manager Salvatore Li Petri, each producer is a star”.

 
From Friday Feb 26th to Sunday 28th  “Wine Festival I am Romagnolo” where quality food and wine enthusiasts will enjoy local Sangiovese, Albana, Pagadebit *and more img_4542-copy

Try the wines of 30 wineries of Romagna, dozens of winemakers of the territories of Forli, Faenza, Cesena, Ravenna and Rimini
Purchase the cup,  and ticket “Euroromagnoli”, enjoy the guided tastings tours.
Entrance to the Festival is free.
Info at  Sono Romagnolo


Colomba is a traditional Italian Easter yeast bread. It is shaped like a dove (colomba in Italian), the symbol of peace and resurrection. Soft and fragrant, colomba is a generous cake with butter and eggs, filled with raisins and candied orange peel. Italian Easter yeast bread..The colomba could mean not only a peace message but also solidarity. Like in the case of the artisanal Colomba Arcobaleno (Rainbow Dove)  created by the Milanese sommelier Diana Zerilli  who supports gay rights and gay issues in Italy, such as marriage and child adoption. Her colomba is made with Sicilian Avola almonds, Calabria cedar, kneaded with Vernaccia Mormoraia, a traditional white wine from San Gimignano,d zerilli

Beside food, Diana passion  and expertise is (of course) wine. Twice a week, she gives classes and wine tasting at Hotel Rubens in Milan. Each class will introduce an Italian region, with its local wines and food.
March 10th Wines from Valle d’Aosta
March 17th Wines from Veneto and Diana’s Chiantigno drink tasting
March 22th Wines from Piemonte.Classes will continue in April, after Easter Holi days. Each class costs 35 Euros.zerillisommelier@gmail.com
To celebrate their wines, Villa Matilde owners Maria Ida and Salvatore Avallone, invited distributors, buyers, bloggers to spend a wonderful time in Cellole, in the Caserta Region, The location boasts a wonderful vineyard, a restaurant, a swimming pool, several bedrooms and, of course, good wines and delicious specialties from a traditional or revisited cucina napoletana. We were all invited and the Villa looked really festive.

 

During the all event, guests were invited to try the wines.I loved the golden and soft Falanghina Roccamonfina a  sophisticated fruity white that brings hints of pineapple, banana, yellow peach to rose and sage a great glass to star you meal , served with appetizer , light dishes, fish and white meat. Then the Mata Rosé, elegant sparkling wine obtained from one of the oldest and noble native Carnation vines, the Alleanic.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


My special applause goes to Terre Cerase Rosè, (I have to confess:I had 4 glasses) with a floral the bouquet of morello cherries, black and red wild berries, plus delicate hints of spices, ideal with fish, poultry, veal and making an outstanding paired with bufala mozzarella. Last but not the list the reason why we all were there. We were graciously invited to Celebrate the king of the Villa, His Magesty Falerno del Massico, a red wine famous in literature and history is a blend of aglianico and piedirosso; the clusters are carefully quality-selected from the hillside vineyards on the San Castrese estate growing on the slopes of the extinct Roccamonfina volcano, in the province of Caserta. Showing a deep red, its intense, rich bouquet is brimming with fragrant sweet violets, cherries, blackberries, and raspberries, finely balanced in all teir components. The “Falerno Party” started with the Exclusive Ceremony of opening and tasting Falerno del Massico aging in Amphora:
What an entertaining show! Fabio Gennarelli (Wine Making Director) opened one of the “Phitos” the traditional clay Amphora used exclusively by Villa Matilde, followed by an a unique sensing experience: the Vertical tasting of Falerno del Massico Vigna Camarato spanning from 1995 to 2010.  A parade of eight glasses where every “millesime” was telling his own story. Not to mention the final dinner stuck between tradition and  innovation, created by the chefs of “Taverna del Falerno”and the “Grand Hotel Parker’s 5 Stars Restaurant”  pairing their dishes with the new Villa Matilde baby born: sparkling Spumante Mata Falanghina, with its warm golden reflections and a fine and elegant perlage, thanks to the long stay on yeasts. Just put your nose to the glass to feel delicate scents of ripe fruit mixed with hints of yeast and crust of bread. The taste is fresh, elegant and harmonious, with acidic and intense fruity notes typical of the Falanghina, which are accompanied by pleasing sensations.
A dinner that brought
the culture of food of Napoli and Campania.ending with a nice souvenir that anyone who is a little superstitious would have love it . A little red corn, mounted on a Villa Matilde cork, a traditional “Good Luck”
for the Neapolitan people.

 

      


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


FOOD ARTICLES, CHEF INTERVIEWS, RESTAURANT REVIEWS by Cesare Zucca

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screen-shot-2016-09-30-at-12-50-30On my first night In Athens, I discovered a real hidden gem called Nice n Easy, a cosy restaurant song offers a beautiful menu based on quality and simple organic ingredients, carefully chosen. The dishes, created by the well known Chef Christos Athanasiadis, are a blend of Mediterranean flavors, keeping an eye to the tradition and the innovation. In the ‘savvy&healthy’ menu I found the place of origin of each ingredient, calories, and the nutritional value of each dish. Many of them have a screen legends ’signature’ from. Between the pastas stands up (who else…) the Sophia Loren, a gluten free vegetarian dish with skioufihta pasta, wild mushrooms, organic baby tomatoes and aged Cretan Graviera cheese flavored with thyme. Talking of screen goddess, here comes Audrey Hepburn grilled wild mushrooms with gorgonzola, flavored with thyme and Brigitte Bardot, where carrots, zucchini, baby corn, soya and bamboo sprouts meet noodles made of konjac root, that has zero calories, is rich in fiber and, thanks to the glucomannan, it absorbs liquids in the stomach, improves the level of glucose in the blood and decreases cholesterol, helps to detoxify the body and to stabilize the glycemic index and cholesterol levels. Viva la Bardot! I loved the gluten free Sean Connery, baked wild fresh salmon with barley crust, herbs and citrus, on quinoa tabbouleh with mustard- honey sauce. For meat lovers I suggest the succulent Frank Sinatra, prime beef flank tagliata with marinated grilled zucchini, organic baby tomatoes and truffle oil.All paired with an intense Thema 2016 made of assyrtico, probably Greece’s most striking white grape from Drama, Northern Greece.More than anything, ‘nice n easy’ is a way of living. It’s the food, it’s the music, it’s the people and it’s the moo. Nice n’ easy in open all day for lunch and dining, coffee and cocktails, and a fab Sunday brunch.see article

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At the last Milano TuttoFood, I met with Carlo Bolli, active producer of Palaghiaccio historic farm dated back more than one thousand years ago on the most rich soils of the Mugello valley, I tried a real excellence of Tuscany, called Grand Mugello Ubaldino, a straw-colored cheese compact, derived from simple ingredients: raw cow’s milk, cultures, rennet, salt. then the rich and creamy Gran Tartufo Toscano, regarded as an authentic art in Tuscany, It is aged in the “Ubaldini Grottos” located beneath the medieval Palagiaccio dating back around the 1200’s.Finally a big surprise, the Tonno di Firenze. (Firenze’s tuna). It is produced by baking white pieces of beef in white wine, extra virgin olive oil, salt, pepper and flavors. It has light hazel color, tastes and tones of light and delicate tuna
The beef is called tune because it’s smooth, tender and easy to cut as a piece of tuna. www.palagiaccio.us/

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GORI WINERY, FRIULY, ITALY: FROM MAGNIFICENT MAGNIFICAT TO HISTORICAL VERMUT, FROM RIBOLLA PRECIOUS GRAPES TO A LICIT DRINKABLE CANNABIS!

You want more?
I really enjoyed the Friulano, pure expression of the territory, the Chardonnay, the fruit of an international vine that finds here a suitable habitat, thus becoming one of the most characteristic white wines of the region; Sauvignon, also in this case an international grape variety which, thanks to the frequent daily temperature changes and to the fresh and dry soil, enhances its characteristics.
Finally I lusciously indulged in a glass of Ribolla Gialla, which comes from a native grape known in the 1300s and since then present on the table of the Doge of Venice and which finds its optimal position in the hills.
The winery is an extraordinary example of architecture integrated into the landscape, a symbol of the Gori family’s love for their land. Developed on three levels, it has been designed with respect for tradition and, despite being equipped with all the modern equipment to limit the use of permitted chemical products as much as possible, its construction is inspired by the old principles for the correct vinification and aging of wines The stainless steel containers and on the lower floor, excavated inside the hill, the wooden barrels are optimal and help red wines in their ripening phase, respecting their typicality and taste. Furthermore the use of refrigeration allows to obtain long and not tumultuous fermentations: in this way the wine retains the aromas and the aromas that the grape has obtained during the maturation, making the use of chemical products superfluous.
The tasting area welcomes guests with its contemporary design and the large window overlooking the vineyards and allows natural light to illuminate the environment. A place to live a sensory journey that, through the wines and recipes that best interpret local raw materials, leads to the discovery of the stories of these lands between territory, history, culture, traditions, excellences.Let’s party!
Magnificat ,the newest Gori creation, boasts the Classic Method sparkling wine signed Cantine Goritells while its excellence and expresses at the same time the joy for the result achieved after years of study and work. It starts with the harvest, which takes place between the last days of August and the beginning of September and, as for still wines, is performed manually in boxes of only 20kg, we proceed with the selection made with soft destemming on the sorting table, yes continues with fermentation in steel tanks and with bottling until manual disgorgement, after a stay on yeasts of at least 24 months. Finally, no sugar or “liqueur d’expédition”: only sparkling wine from the same cuvée to obtain a Zero Dosage with minimal residual sugar, a dry, elegant and natural taste, now increasingly appreciated.
Magnificat becomes part of Cantine Gori only in the magnum version, with 1.5 liter champagnotta bottles that make its evolution more stable and protected and enhance its sensory characteristics. The cuvée of Pinot Noir (60%) and Chardonnay (40%), typical blends of the eastern Friuli hills, best expresses a terroir that has always been devoted to the production of wine and to which the Cantine Gori are deeply linked.

Happy 10th anniversary !
Gori s familily celebrated the first certified organic harvest and was able to celebrate it with its first Magnificat bubbles!
Did you know that the ‘Vermouth’…
The vermouth was officially invented in 1786 by Antonio Benedetto Carpano in Turin,
But they say that this aromatic liqueur has a millennial history. Apparently already the Greeks used to add spices, honey and sea water in wine amphorae, however the legend according to which Hippocrates would be the inventor of Hippocratic wines, precisely wines flavored with honey, herbs and spices, is just a myth, but above all the wines were flavored to mask their defects, given that they were crude and highly perishable products.
Gori, au contraire, decided to the best grapes and best wines to make its great vermouth, simply called THE VERMUT, a product that emphasizes the Friuly territory by selecting the best qualities of Friulian wine, adding creativity, ingenuity and innovation.Aromas of herbs, fruit and spices give strength to our vermouth enhancing typically artisan properties.
Thanks to the richness and quality of the native vines Gori created 3 different varieties:
IL VERMUT ROSSO Ramandolo DOCG
From the lands of Ramandolo, with its fine and lovable taste and its ancient vineyards on the Friuli hills, blended with spices and aromas to give birth to the Red Vermouth.
IL VERMUT CANNABIS Vermouth Bianco e Aromi
A revolutionary yet simple recipe, born from the union of different cultures, but at the same time complementary, with antipodal flavors and which together create an exceptional drink Did I get stoned? not really …Did I get satisfied? A lot!
and finally…
IL VERMUT BIANCO Ribolla Gialla and Friulano
A blend of  Ribolla Gialla and Friulano, embellished it with spices and aromatic herbs, making it unique, classic, but at the same time innovative (and my favorite!) Ready ?
Let ‘s start a great ‘Gori-speed’ tasty journey!

INFO
GORI WINERY
IL VERMUT

CESARE ZUCCA
Travel, food & lifestyle.
Born in Milan, Cesare lives in New York, Milan and the rest of the world, traveling up and down in the US, Italy and Europe. Cesare photographs, tells about cities, cultures, lifestyles and discovers both traditional and innovative gastronomic delights.He meets and interviews top chefs from all over the world, “stealing” their recipes and telling you everything here, in a perfect ‘non-touristy-tourist’ style.

 

 

 

 

Udine, Restaurant ‘Il Fogolar’ Chef Stefano Basello and Chef Simone Gottardello. A four hands dinner to celebrate tradition, innovation and friendship

TEXT AND PHOTOS BY CESARE ZUCCA
Hello non-touristy-tourists friends!
I am in Udine, in the heart of Friuli Venezia Giulia, Let me introduce you to the The Marinis, or, I should say,  the Morets, because of their dark hair, in 1905 opened a small tavern with a stable and a large courtyard with a deposit where the horses could rest, and fed the passing patrons with a warm but unobtrusive welcome – the same one reserved for real friends – and offer them bread, salami, cheese and omelettes.
Precisely in this simple yet excellent formula adopted by the patriarch Giovanni, lies the success achieved and consolidated over time by the Marini family: genuine and lively hospitality according to the canons of authentic Friuli, combined with the excellence of the food and wine proposal, have in fact made the Best Western Plus Hotel Là di Moret The trademark “Là di Moret” is a real guarantee – also confirmed by the prestigious awards obtained over the years, first of all the numerous Best of Alpe Adria Awards – which it is renewed daily not only in the kitchen of “Il Fogolar” but also means welcoming 360 ° to involve gourmets and all guests, all travelers who want to be pampered by the comfort of the 86 rooms and take advantage of the high international standards of services the hotel – at the forefront those dedicated to women and noteworthy for the excellence and flexibility those dedicated to business customers and the world of MICE – and to experience the beauty and wellness paths of the Blu Moret SPA.
more than five generations has been wisely guiding this structure, symbolizing the best of accommodation and the high quality catering of an incredibly rich territory of history and culture, history and great gastronomy
Let me tell you about the cozy restaurant Il Fogolar
The room is warmed up by a real wood burning fireplace,  the sealing boasts 500 dishes ‘del buon ricordo’ ( great remembering) a tribute to the traditions and the history or this territory.
The dinner was created by resident Chef Stefano Basello and host Chef Simone Gottardello from EVO at Aqualux Hotel SPA Suite & Terme Bardolino -.
it was a comeback , actually the couple worked together in a previous dinner in Bardolino , so this time they were more familiar with each other ways of cooking .
The two young chefs both believe in a gourmet cuisine deeply tied to their origins and to their territory understood as a baggage of history and culture in operation of a personal and professional enrichment, they decided to get together and share their experience once again.The encounter happened at “Il Fogolar”, for over a century a real window on Friuli, the symbol of the values ​​of tradition and hospitality of this still little-known region, which has taken the helm of the previous event from EVO, the restaurant of the design hotel with a green soul that rises in one of the most suggestive corners of the Verona side of Lake Garda, and that allows you to live an experience of taste, tradition and creativity, immersed in a refined environment and at the same time welcoming.
The menu entitled “When tradition rhymes with emotion” give a foretaste of rediscovered flavors, classic revised suggestions in terms of personal interpretation and new preparations that open the dances of imagination and curiosity.
The hoers d oevre were served with a Scala Bianco White wine,from Tenuta S. Antonio
and they keep the promise to tribute the territory, including the sound!
EAT AND LISSEN!
Yes , it happened when an extraordinary dish was served on a wooden box completed with hearphones.  Eat and listen to the really recorded sound of the surrounding hills…
Cows included!
Stella Chianzuttan, a great pralina di Montasio and Blave di Martena a crunchy Blave by Mortean (a polenta – dialect means polenta – made with a flour made from a native variety of maize grown in the lands of the municipality of Mortegliano, Udine) accompanied by Caffè di mais, a a very original aperitif found in the stories of the peasants, while the Venetian chef thought of the Baccala ‘mantecato, yellow bean from Val Belluna (a precious bean, very tender, with an almost inconsistent skin after cooking, whose cultivation is documented since early twentieth century) and onion sorbet in saor (literally “flavor”, a typical Venetian condiment made from onions, vinegar, raisins and pine nuts). Simone continued with a Vialone rice creamed with a 48-month matured cheese from the Corrado Benedetti reserve, chestnuts from San Zeno, suckling pig and cabbage.  tefano responded with a classic of autumn, pumpkin ravioli, Montasio broth and pitina (the famous “meatball” of Friuli Venezia Giulia that has obtained the IGP recognition in 2017).
Then Stefano’s signature dish , the Faraona in Tre Servizi (first, the clarified guinea-fowl broth is served, then the breast stuffed with walnuts and plums and wrapped with bacon.
One of my fav was the dish ‘Da Sauris A Grado’ a delicious pan brioche combining Cheese from Sauris and sardines from Grado.
Finally Gottardello’s signature dessert, a real gem with lemon, Orelys chocolate and Lake Garda’s Viola DOP Oil.

 

INFO
https://www.ladimoret.it/

CESARE ZUCCA
Travel, food & lifestyle.
Born in Milan, Cesare lives in New York, Milan and the rest of the world, traveling up and down in the US, Italy and Europe. Cesare photographs, tells about cities, cultures, lifestyles and discovers both traditional and innovative gastronomic delights.He meets and interviews top chefs from all over the world, “stealing” their recipes and telling you everything here, in a perfect ‘non-tourist tourists’style.

A SWEET MONA LISA CONQUERS NY!

TEXT AND PHOTOS BY CESARE ZUCCA In 1795, Mastro Tommasso di Filippo Muzzi opened small pastry shop in the heart of Foligno, a town in central Umbria. Today, Muzzi continues to make the highest quality Italian pastries, cookies, and cakes. While in Milan for the entire Christmas period a real “Panettone festival” will be organized which will see the specialties of the prestigious Giovanni Cova & C. pastry shop at the extraordinary Eataly Smeraldo Store. In New York, Boston and Chicago, in synergy with Eataly, Tommaso Muzzi’s Panettone will be told in its essence, as we know it in Italy. The rigor and complexity of production will be transferred, making it one of the most prestigious national gastronomic symbols. he collaborative project between Eataly, the Farinetti family company and Borsari family Confectionery Company of the Muzzi family, owners of the “Tommaso Muzzi” brand, will take the form of setting up real single-brand temporary stores, in which they will be protagonists classic panettone and pandoro, coated and stuffed specialties that will find narrative opportunities and sumptuous exposure. Connoisseurs can, in a guided way, taste the products and understand the substantial characteristics and differences with respect to any other dessert. Emphasis therefore on the mother of natural yeast, sensory analysis, occasions and ways of consumption, to establish a path of knowledge and culture with the consumer.
 “We are in perfect agreement with the Eataly philosophy based on the celebration of Made in Italy excellence – states Andrea Muzzi Ceo of the Group – we also share the values ​​and the will to bring Italy where no one has gone so far so determined. The conquest of the international tables is above all a cultural issue and those who become standard-bearer are also guarantors of an entire system or supply chain. The Italian tradition must be defended and protected, therefore teamwork is not only a necessity but I would say, an imperative “.
The historic pastry shop Giovanni Cova & C., also distributed in the US with label Brera Milano 1930,  from Mid.November till January 2020  will host a great sale of its products at NY Eataly, including a sumptuous exhibition the celebration of the 500th anniversary of the death of Leonardo da Vinci. Combining excellence and art, all the celebrations of the Leonardo 500 Line will be on display and on sale. La Gioconda will wrap the Classic Panettone, awarded with the Three Star Superior Taste Award and the Annunciation, the extraordinary GranCioccolato Panettone.

The Lat Supper will be an elegant Panettone livery with drops of white chocolate, raspberry and pistachio, while to embellish the Panettone with curcuma and ginger there will be the fascinating reproduction of the work La Dama with Ermellino; The Virgin of the Rocks will be the protagonist with the Panettone stuffed with cream of “Pistacchio Verde di Bronte DOP” and Sant’Anna, the Virgin and the baby with the lamb will be the copy that will adorn, finally, the Panettone Pere e Cioccolato.

To complete the assortment, but no less important, will be the presence of all the iconic products of the prestigious Milanese pastry brand. A grand take on the traditional Italian Christmas cake, this classic basso panettone is made with natural yeast that takes at least 30 hours to rise, then filled with a generous helping of candied fruit and raisins. Excellent on its own, panettone pairs well with fresh berries, whipped cream, and dark chocolate. Enjoy with a cup of coffee for an afternoon pick-me-up, or serve as after-dinner dessert with a glass of wine.INFO
Muzzi
Brera Milano 1930
Giovanni & Cova.G
Eataly NY

 

RUSTICHELLA HAS ABRUZZI TRAVEL THE WORLD: FROM LOCAL EXPERTISE TO INTERNATIONAL RECOGNITION!

TEXT BY PHILIP SINSHEIMER
PHOTOS BY CESARE ZUCCA After the discovery of Abruzzi thanks to the guidance of local pasta maker extraordinaire Rustichella, I collected my thoughts about their business model relying largely on export. Why would this company deeply rooted in this region of Italy have both the desire and the possibility to reach the four corners of the world? Wasn’t there a form of contradiction here between local and global?This happened to be around Oct 25th which is celebrated as pasta day around the world which put things in context, as pasta appears as an icon of Italiy and, at the same time, an international product, almost universal. Looking at things from a historical perspective, this is not that shocking or contradictory. Pasta is, by definition, a product made to travel. By “pasta”, I am referring to dry pasta made of durum wheat semolina, not fresh pasta made from tender wheat flour with the adjunction of eggs most of the time. Italy is the birthplace of pasta as a commercial commodity capable of withstanding long periods of time, being a dry product that can last for years. The first mention of commercial dry pasta making dates to the 12th century (way before the birth of Marco Polo you may note!) with a text from an Arab geographer referring to a large production of it in the vicinity of today’s Palermo in Sicily. It is clearly stated that the goods produced were sent by ships to various Christian countries.Genova was soon to become an important area of dry pasta production as well. Why? Because of the importance of its port and shipping capacities. Think about it: at a time with no refrigeration and slow means of transportation, how far could food really travel? Pasta, well protected from humidity, rapidly grew in popularity and started traveling the world, just like salt cod did! Fast forward: today, how can a medium-size company like Rustichella manage to have their products fly over continents to reach the kitchens of chefs and gourmet home cooks as far away as Japan and Brazil? How can they compete with industrial giants such as Barilla which benefit from massive marketing, advertising and financial power? The answer is both material and immaterial qualities, just like soul and body. How can that be in the case of pasta which is basically made of 2 ingredients, durum wheat and water, the latter being at the end eliminated for the most part by the way. How can such a basic and simple food product have a soul and how can it vary so much in quality? Food products are not only a collection of molecules. They carry with them emotion and identity. Think of Proust and his lengthy internal voyage through the remembrance of his past, just by biting into this piece of madeleine cake ducked in a cup of tea. Rustichella does everything to delivery emotions. Opening a package of their product is an invitation to a journey to Abruzzi without having to take a plane. Of course, having been there is a prerequisite to experience this motionless journey. People should really come and taste all that Abruzzi has to offer in order to tie emotional knots in their memory and feel something when they open a package of pasta coming from there. Who knows where Barilla pasta is produced? And more importantly, who cares? The giant company which headquarters are in Parma translate nothing of the soul of this beautiful city of Emilia Romagna.Besides this immaterial quality that Rustichella instils at the heart of its products, there is a good deal of very concrete and technological elements that make them stand out as a pasta like no other. In short, the product is not a mere invitation to dream of Abruzzi. If it carries a soul, it’s because its body is of the best quality to begin with. You wouldn’t have people dream and get off their feet with a food product that wouldn’t be worth their attention in the first place. Now, what are the material qualities that make a pasta exceptional and dream-worthy? First, the quality of the ingredients. Well, we do not have to go very far with that: durum wheat and water, that’s it. I had been told that the quality of the water was important, but Gianluigi Peduzzi – co-owner of Rustichella with his sister Stefania – seemed to dismiss that element. Just pure water. The ingredient that really counts is the durum wheat. The siblings being children of famous millers in the region of Vestina knew one thing or two about the ingredient! A great wheat will lend not only great flavor, but great texture. Whether imported or locally sourced, only the best quality is used. An organic line of pasta has also been created recently RUSTICHELLA
But the best durum wheat in the world won’t automatically make a great pasta. It would be too easy! Technique is essential. An exceptional visit of the factory was the occasion to have a clue of all the parts involved in the process. One of the key elements is the use of bronze dyes, which are pierced wheels of metal, if your will, through which the pasta dough is pushed through leading to various shapes of pasta. Why is this better than the Teflon coated molds used in basic quality pasta? Well, the bronze can never be totally smooth and thus the pasta will have a superficial rugosity which will help the sauce cling to the pasta. With plastic coating the extrusion is way faster, but the result is a pasta texturally bland. This represents a big cost for the company: not only does the production is slower, but the dyes need to be replaced more frequently.The second most important technical element is the drying process. Ordinary pasta is produced in a continuous fully automated way. As soon as the pasta is extruded and cut, it is dried rapidly with the help of heat. Well dried, I should perhaps say baked. Notice that deep yellow color of basic pasta: it’s the sign of a caramelization and pasta shouldn’t be resemble candy making! Here, the pasta is slowly dried in chambers. It is during that drying time that the flavor of the pasta develops. Artistry is at stake here: the pasta maker will have to consider the humidity in the air to see first how much water to add to the semolina in order to obtain the perfect consistency and then, one has to judge when has to make sure the drying process is done at the right temperature and for the right time. Technique and artistry work hand in hand. As Gianluigi shared all his insights in terms of the technology, his sister Stefania gave us to see how far her artistic involvement went. She not only designed various packaging but created pieces and oversaw the art direction of a temporary exposition dedicated to Rustichella from its origins to its latest creations.One of those creations is a revolutionary spaghetti name ? that cooks in 90 seconds without sacrificing the quality of the pasta. No precooking here, like those sheets of lasagna that do not need to be precooked in boiling water. It is a technological feat coming from the shape of the pasta itself.     Here again, a combination of imagination and technology, tradition and modernity.All this explains why chefs at the other end of the world decide to put the price in this high-end product. They have a story to tell, not noodles to sell. They also have a well-made product which won’t let them down in their kitchen. Because the quality of the ingredients and of the process, they know the pasta won’t get limp on them and will remain al dente. They can even pre-cook the pasta halfway and finish the cooking process in the sauce or with a short plunge in boiling water.
The pasta has the strength of a tank and the grace of a Ferrari!INFO
https://www.rustichella.it/

DISCOVER ABRUZZI THROUGH THE LENS OF A LOCAL PASTA MAKER: VIVA RUSTICHELLA!

TEXT BY PHILIP SINSHEIMER
PHOTOS BY CESARE ZUCCA Have you already been to Abruzzo? No? Well time is due to discover this Italian region, due East from Rome, encompassing part of the Apennine mountains down to the Adriatic Sea where sits its capital: Pescara. But that, you may know already if you’ve had the chance to visit this region that locals like to nickname “Tuscany without the marketing”!Personally, my first Abruzzian experience dates no further than last July, in spite of many trips to Italy, both for pleasure and for research on my book on the history of Italian pasta (Les Pâtes du Terroir Italien. I knew that one of the most typical shapes of pasta in the region was the long threads resembling square spaghetti obtained by pressing down with a rolling pin a sheet of pasta dough against the strings of an instruments called a Chitarra (as it resembles in some way a guitar)One would want to also associate the region with the famous penne pasta (meaning pens or feathers) since there is a town by that name sitting less than 20 miles from Pescara. This brings me directly to the occasion of my four-day trip invited, by one of the most respected pasta manufacturers of not only Abruzzo, but the whole of Italy: Rustichella, a family owned mid-size company which origins go back to the 19th century in the town of Penne.The occasion was the annual celebration nicknamed Primograno (literally “first grain”) by the company in honor of the beginning of the wheat harvest in the area. It is the occasion for the family to host a selected number of importers, chefs and some happy few journalists, and here I am! The generosity displayed was beyond this world… yet, absolutely rooted in Abruzzo! arrived the evening of the big celebration where all guests were united under a tent set in the middle of a field  name ? to experience a culinary experience not to be forgotten in the breeze of a warm summer night.
Despite the number of tables and the absence of a professional kitchen, dishes arrived one after the other perfectly plated and magically hot. Chefs not only showcased the quality of the company’s Rustichella d’Abruzzo pasta, but had at heart to offer some other delicacies, such as this incredibly moist and tasty roasted guinea hen (called faraona in Italian). The magic continued after the dinner with a live band under the stars to shake off on the dancefloor those few extra calories of gastronomic indulgence, but also a firework display like no other. A man in costume at a rather close distance started to dance on a traditional music that was going to stick with our group for the rest of the stay covered with a hat shooting thousands of fiery spurs. Besides the food and the fun, I began to wonder how connected to reality was the celebration.
Was Primograno a mere nostalgic reference to a past when Italy was actually producing most of the hard durum wheat necessary to the making of dried pasta. Is this a question?My research had led me to discover that nowadays the great majority of durum wheat is imported from the US and Canada, fulfilling both quantity and quality necessary to fulfill the avid and well-advised Italian market for pasta, first consumer per capita in the world and by far.I was soon to discover that for Rustichella this celebration was “for real”, honoring the actual beginning of local wheat harvest that was going to end-up in form of semolina in their factory. With the development of local sourcing of ingredients and the “farm to table” craze, Rustichella, very smartly, developed indeed a line of pasta made only of local wheat. It is not only a marketing move, it’s an ecologically and socially responsible investment.A specific green packaging has been created for this 100% local pasta. Like a “cru” of wine, you could almost know which parcel of wheat was at the source of the handful of spaghetti you are holding in your hand. An approach very far from the industrial standardization at stake with the giant pasta manufacturers, for which uniqueness boils down to their single named brand not the actual pasta you’re about to drop in your pot!
Among the various shapes offered in this locally made and sourced line of pasta, I discovered two that I had never heard about. The first one, called “virtu” , is not a single shape, but a collection of little broken bits and pieces of seven shapes of pasta. It is to be used for a very special occasion, once a year, in celebration of spring. A hearty dish combining 7 shapes of pasta, 7 grains and legumes, 7 vegetables and 7 herbs. Now that is purely Abruzzian.The other discovery was the “traghetto” shape. This is a pure creation of the Rustichella R&D department, showing that innovation can work hand in hand with local and tradition. From a distance traghetti look like spaghetti, but they actually have a triangular section (thus the “tra” in their name), as if three capellini had been glued together on all their length. They are in fact extruded from a special bronze drawn that leads to this unique shape of long pasta, not to be seen anywhere else. The result? A different sensation in the mouth and a shape that will capture more sauce than a simple round or flat shaped pasta.The Rustichella team took Primograno as an occasion to have our happy group experience various highlights of Abruzzi from the inland the beauty of rolling hills where wild horses graze the grass to the coastline where one can breathe the salty breeze of the Adriatic while strolling on the beach or eating a fabulously fresh and piping hot fritto misto. Among Abruzzi’s specialties, I really loved those little grilled meat skewers, traditionally made with lamb.I was also really impressed with different local wines that I had never heard about before. For the whites, I loved the “passarina”  that we got to try, made from the grape of the same name yielding an incredible fresh acidity smoothed by a round fruitiness. In several occasions, we got to have fantastic rosés, notably. No doubt about it, Rustichella had it at heart to have us experience the best of their products, but also their region in general. And you should too. You will only regret to have to go back home…  But I have good news for you. First, if you fly back using the airport of Pescara, you will be able to purchase various gastronomic treats at the airport shop and stock up on Rustichella’s 100% Abruzzian green line of pasta. Unlike liquor, no limit there except the size of your luggage! Bring along a pack of traghetti, you will make your landing easier with a little piece of Abruzzi with you. Actually, chances are your trip may be prolonged in your home country, as Rustichella has decided to dedicate most of its production to export. In the following piece I’ll show why and how famous chefs around the world decide to use Rustichella as their primary source of pasta. In the meantime, look around because if you can’t make it to Abruzzi, Rustichella has perhaps already come to you!INFO
Rustichella D’Abruzzo

 

BOLOGNA , DOVE DORMIRE CHIC , PRIVATO, CONFORTEVOLE, CHARMANT

Dove Dormire

Un’indimenticabile notte a Palazzo.
Il Palazzo Gregorini Bingham
vanta 200 anni di storia, arte e cultura. Fu disegnato dal celebre architetto Camillo Morigia e in seguito divenuto residenza del Conte Riccardo Bingham e di sua moglie Adelaide Gregorini.
Il palazzo offre sei suites, dotate di ogni moderno comfort e arricchite da stucchi, stemmi, pavimenti antichi e tutti i beni artistici rinnovati da un accurato restauro per preservare la loro resistenza e la capacità di trasmettere energia. Scoprirete inaspettati elementi artistici, come pavimenti originali, stemmi ottocenteschi, affreschi che ornano i soffitti, oltre a  suggestivi saggi di restauro che trapelano dalle pareti.

Le suites propongono allo stesso tempo una esperienza confortevole, frutto di una ristrutturazione e di un design che mescola elementi artistici a un’ assoluta cura dei dettagli tecnologici di ultima generazione. Ho scelto la Suite Exagon, chiamata così per il soffitto dal disegno esagonale, un ambiente antico e nello stesso tempo contemporaneo. Ho apprezzato i tessuti speciali e biancheria rigorosamente di artigianato italiano.


Il Palazzo non serve la prima colazione (peccato, mi sarebbe piaciuto sedermi in uno dei salotti e gustare un capuccino con chsisà quale dolce delizia…) però in camera troverete tutto il necessario per un buon caffe o un the mattiniero, compresi deliziosi biscotti al cioccolato.

Qui l’eleganza contemporanea si manifesta attraverso materiali nobili come il legno, i marmi e i metalli satinati si alternano in uno stile che accoglie e custodisce. Il servizio, discreto e attento, è sempre disponibile ad ascoltare le esigenze degli ospiti, nel completo rispetto della loro privacy.

Nel cuore della città ho incontrato la deliziosa Maria Ketty, splendida signora di origini venete e ex fotomodella, che da 14 anni gestisce con passione il suo B&B Bologna nel Cuore, un accogliente appartamento con due camere finemente arredate,  ognuna con bagno privato e altri due appartamenti completi.

Un meraviglioso soggiorno con quadri d’epoca nel quale Mary serve un’ accurata prima colazione personalizzata a secondo delle esigenze del Cliente (ho gustato una dei miei dolci preferiti, la torta di riso, rigorosamente fatta in casa, una bontà…)

Quindi se cercate disponibilità, calore familiare ed un’attenta cura, nel massimo rispetto della privacy, altrechè preziosi spunti per avventurarsi alla scoperta di Bologna, questo delizioso B&B fa per voi.

THE GREAT RAPHAEL ! Visiting Milan? Do not miss RAFFAELLO 2020, an amazing immersive exhibit dedicated to the great Urbino painter.

AT SARAH’S VINEYARD, A DREAM CALLED ‘FULL MOON HARVEST’

TEXT AND PHOTOS BY CESARE ZUCCA
Iconic Federico Fellini’s Muse Sandra Milo and the governor of Veneto Luca Zaia were the guest of honor of the amazing harvest that happened few days ago (or I should say few nights ago)…) at the under the full moon celebration of the superb Sarah Dei Tos 2019 vintage of the Prosecco Superiore DOCG “Grappoli di Luna”.
Over two hundred guest, including entrepreneurs, journalists, wine and food bloggers, public administrators, gourmet enthusiasts and a delegation from Imoco Volley, the women’s volleyball team from Conegliano which plays in A1, gathered to celebrate the all-biological Night Harvest of the “La Vigna di Sarah” farm, in the hills of Prosecco UNESCO World Heritage Site in Cozzuolo di Vittorio Veneto.
The “twinning” with the viticulture of Ponza with the awarding of the prize “La Vigna di Sarah BIO for heroic agriculture” to the Antiche Cantine Migliaccio.
Vittorio Veneto. It took three years of “virtuous” farming practices, and a lot of determination, to reach the goal of the first totally organic Glera grape harvest, with which the 2019 vintage of Prosecco Superiore DOCG “Grappoli di Luna” Brut Millesimato, tip will be produced diamond from the sparkling wine collection of Sarah Dei Tos, a young wine entrepreneur, owner of the “La Vigna di Sarah” farm, in Cozzuolo di Vittorio Veneto (TV). Organic and bio farming is the basis of its production philosophy and it has confirmed it in the fifth edition of the Night Harvest, the first completely organic, the only initiative of its kind in the lands of the Conegliano Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore appellation. On Friday 13 September the Col di Luna vineyards were crowded with “professional” and amateur harvesters, who harvested ripe grapes (healthy grapes at first glance) under the light of the full moon, the last of the summer, and at light of the great white globes and of the powerful lighthouses that lit up the night of Cozzuolo.    Another highlight of the party was the presentation of the third prize “La Vigna di Sarah BIO for heroic agriculture”, awarded to the Antiche Cantine Migliaccio of Ponza Island managed by Luciana Sabino, who along with her husband Emanuele Vittorio handed down a viticulture whose origin dates back to 1700. The governor of the Veneto region Luca Zaia commented on the important international commitments on which the Veneto Region bet, under his guidance: “When we left, I was the only one . We must believe in dreams “. And he recalled what was concretized in 2019: the Milan-Cortina 2026 Olympics and the Hills of Prosecco, a UNESCO heritage, “a result I chased for 10 years”
I would like to mention the welcoming Agriturismo di Sarah, a comfortable old colonial  bnb located in the farmhouse far only 40 minutes from Venice and 1 hour from Cortina d’Ampezzo, one of the most famous and prestigious village in Dolomiti Mountains. the farmhouse has a wonderful panorama: the view starts from Prosecco hills and arrives to Venice Lagoon. a great destination if you planning to visit this marvelous land.You will find And surprise… In addition to the cosy rooms, you can find some unique accommodations: three huge wooden wine barrels, perfect for an ‘ I love ‘ vacation.
To brighten up the party there were also the charm and friendliness of Sandra Milo, who recently published a book of her touching poetry ‘ Il Corpo e l’Anima’ (Body and Soul) about the power of love: “If I hadn’t loved so much, and if I didn’t love now, who knows if I’d still be alive,”, she said and dedicated a beautiful poem to Sarah that says:
 “Inebriating reliefs, like the dreams of men who know peace. From Mother Vine the grapes reach the vats and then to the barrels. The sparkling wine is victorious to the cups, to reach the mouths of those who make life their own values. The generous Moon approves, shining with pleasure. God smiles because he knows that what he has created is divine. and it is repeated on earth, in Sarah’s vineyard “.
The legendary actress was the godmother of the Night Harvest, distributing smiles, selfies, hugs, including my emotional one !  On the stage and among the vineyards also the youtuber Canal has arrived, presenting its new video “On the stage and among the vineyards also the A grape harvest begins you”. To crown the party, the “country” dinner on the lawn of the “La Vigna di Sarah” farmhouse, framed by the Prealps. Almost a rural “snack”, as tradition dictates in order to repay the fatigues of the grape harvesters: Ulysses’ salmon trouts, raised in Follina, in the version by chef Elia of the Mainor of Fregona; the rich table of Friulian cheeses from the Latteria di Aviano (PN), presented by Linda Del Ben, including ‘Modesto’ that literally has been sleeping wrapped in straw…Excellent 5 hours grilled meat by the Alpini group of Soligo; dishes and vegetables from the organic vineyard of Sarah’s Vineyard, cooked by the trattoria Larin da Bepo, the yummy Treviso soppressa with Mauro Pinel’s bread and pumpered by the extra virgin Istrian olive oil Mate produced by Aleksandra VekicAnd in the glasses the two wines of the Antiche Cantine Migliaccio, the Fieno and the Biancolella of Ponza IGP, and the Prosecco Superiore DOCG “La Vigna di Sarah”, for a sparkling goodbye to the Night Harvest 2020.Sarah Dei Tos, after this commitment, is now projected to the next event that will see it, together with other companies, protagonist of the event “The corporate culture of the lands of the Alpe Adria meets the Milan Wine Week“, the 7-8 -9 October at the Itlas Flagship Store in Milan.
Finally a well deserved ‘grazie’ to Sarah her beautiful team and the unstoppable PR Cristiana Sparvoli, who graciously invited me to be part of such a dream!INFO
La Vigna di Sarah

 

HERE THE BEST! BIWA Italian Wine Awards 2019

The 8th edition of the tastiest event created by Luca Gardini and Andrea Grignaffini,
awarded the wines entered in the 2019 ranking and awarded special prizes
50 labels were selected during the summer through blind tastings by the international jury composed of some of the world’s leading wine experts and the two founders of the awards.
Here the winners:
Iin first place, Bolgheri Sassicaia DOC 2016 of Tenuta San Guido (Tuscany), followed by Barolo Monvigliero DOCG 2015 by Burlotto (Piedmont) and by Terminum Gewürztraminer late harvest Alto Adige DOC 2016 by Cantina Tramin (Alto Adige).
congrats to the producers and ‘salute!”
INFO

 

Lou Von Salomé, philosopher, writer, psychoanalyst, muse. Italian release: Sept 26th

Lou Andreas-Salomé is such a relevant figure in the world of philosophy and feminism. Finally her life  life is brought to the screen in this German film directed by Cordula Kablitz-Post. Lou Andreas-Salomé, the woman who enraptured 19th century Europe’s greatest minds, recounts her life to Ernst Pfeiffer. A published novelist, poet and essayist, Salomé’s desire to live a life free from convention scandalized society but spurred genius and passion in others, including Friedrich Nietzsche, Paul Rée and her lover, the poet Rainer Maria Rilke. Under the tutelage of Sigmund Freud, she became the first female psychoanalyst.A boldly unconventional woman gets a crushingly conventional biopic with “Lou Andreas-Salomé, The Audacity to Be Free.” Such a heavy-handed title fits the film perfectly, far more than the original English-language handle, “In Love With Lou,” which confusingly made the movie sound like a sitcom. In her feature debut, director and co-writer Cordula Kablitz-Post clearly decided that Andreas-Salomé, famed author, philosopher and psychoanalyst, needed to be treated not just with kid gloves, but with pristine laminated mitts, robbing her subject of humor, let alone the charm that bewitched the likes of Friedrich Nietzsche, Rainer Maria Rilke and Sigmund Freud. The movie will be released in Italy on Sept 26th , 2019

E DOPO CAROSELLO TUTTI A NANNA! After CAROSELLO everybody goes to sleep!


After CAROSELLO…kids go to bed !
That was the slogan that ran in families as a motivation to send kids to bed after the 20 minutes of fun and entertainment that the TV show CAROSELLO punctually aired every night after dinner. I remember, even if I was really young, the black-and-white commercials, everytime different unlike the today s ones that keep repeating same images and slogans.
At the magnificent Villa  Fondazione Magnani Rocca in Mamiano di Traversetolo near Parma, the CAROSELLO exhibition tells the story of the iconic transmission born in 1957, when the strictly black and white spots had truly remarkable directors, writers, singers along a bounch of great actors such as the comedians Carlo Campanini,Macario, Gino Bramieri, Raimondo Vianello and his wife Sandra Mondaini and directors of the caliber of Lucio Fulci and the Taviani Brothers. Lights costumes and sets were carefully curated by the best In the showbiz. The exhibition is really a hoot both for those who remember the show and for the younger ones who have never seen it, and who can thus enjoy the taste and the trends of the 60s and 70s and maybe compare those spots with the more frenetic today tv rythm  euroticly assemblyied, super fastly edited. In addition to the videos, there is a rich collection of memorabia as objects, dolls, inflatables, plastic objects, postcards of the protagonists of the carousels including Carmencita, Susanna tutta Panna, Mucca Carolina and Calimero.and then again posters are original brackets, even the iconic drink Rabarbaro Zucca that, believe it or not, my great great father invented!
Some of those aperitifs and digestives are no longer produced…  but  thanks to the careful research of the exhibit curators , they are back to life , at list on the wall. I was impressed of the great number of original market sketches and rafts used for the realization of cartoons. Let CAROSELLO take you back to the legendary first TV years and enjoy this funny era of great advertisement.
The exhibit will last till Dec 8th 2019
Don’t miss it!
INFO
CAROSELLO. Pubblicità e Televisione 1957-1977
Fondazione Magnani Rocca,
via Fondazione Magnani-Rocca 4,Mamiano di Traversetolo (Parma).

LONDON AT THE TABLE!

HERE MY STEPS. TAKE A LOOK!
Everyone wants to visit the UK’s busiest city, but aside from the main tourist sights, what is there to see? How do you get from one place to another in this huge place? Need an insider’s perspectiveI want to share a ‘ NON TOURISTY TOURIST’ perspective on what to see in the Big Smoke! If you want to visit the mainstream attractions like the London Eye, Tower of London and Madame Tussauds then, of course, you should go for it!
They’re lots of fun.
BUT………
There’s another fascinating side of the city that goes far beyond the usual tourist highlights. I want to share some quick tips that real Londoners enjoy to make your time there truly memorable!
Friday:
First things first, get accustomed to the TFL (Transport for London) website and buy an oyster card from your nearest station: it’s the most affordable way to travel.
You arrive early afternoon and want to see as much as possible this weekend! Head towards Greenwich to see the Cutty Sark ship, hire a Boris bike and cycle under the Thames. At the other side, enjoy the view and take a left towards Canary Wharf to get a sneak peak of all the city’s penguins (the crowds of businessmen in suits). If shopping and city life is your thing, the Canada Water shopping centre is your new best friend. Enjoy all of the main high street shops, in addition to some more fancy brands! The restaurant ROKA in Canary Wharf has a beautiful view of the city from a great height, and serves delicious food and cocktails.
If you prefer the scenic route, continue along the river you’ll reach some cobbled streets (difficult for cycling: it’s going to be a bumpy ride!) with quaint English pubs before arriving at St Katherine Docks. Dock your Boris bike somewhere and catch your breath before the evening adventures begins. There aren’t many places I’d recommend more highly than Frank’s bar in Peckham on a warm evening to really appreciate the atmosphere of London. Opposite the station lies a formerly disused multi-story carpark, which now hosts Frank’s Bar on the roof! Affordable drinks (for London) and a view over the whole city!
For my first night in the city, I went exotic and choose a great restaurant in Portobello.
Outdoor, a flashing red neon sign says Japanese Gastropub, just below a mysterious face of a mysterious woman. Is she a geisha? Is she crying or praying? Let’ s go inside. Previous doubts ended as soon as I found myself embraced by UKAI’s cosy and warm atmosphere . A welcoming bar to the front and an open kitchen restaurant in the back. It looked loke a nice mixing of Japanese design with Italian flair and some traditional British pub features black and white photo portraits give an art gallery feeling, while Japanese artwork and foliage painting decorate walls and ceilings the rooms adorns the walls; furnished with causal wooden tables and filtered by an amber lighting that warms up the rooms.

 

The big surprise was to briefly chat in italian with the head chef Alex Verros or should I calling him Alessandro, as he’s Italian born, like me.

Alex, who previously worked at Roka and Nobu, told me about his passion of mixing different cultures and ingredients, like his native land North Italian truffles, to South Latin accents, to British influences, not afraid to combine simplicity with complexity. I started with a warm, inviting and comforting wonderful salmon miso soup, served with tofu, seaweed and spring onion. Then I beg Alessandro to surprise me. And he did. Between his choices, my favorite were the kampachi salad, with thin slivers of tender cobia white fish, drizzled with yuzu truffle and rocket, a dish that Alessandro likes to pair with galapeno and the prawn tempura maki. From the menu, I would like to mention also some signatures dishes as the truffle white tuna tataki, the lobster tail tempura and his ceviche, where Japanese flavours meet South American tradition. In addition to a generous choice of sushi, sashimi and nagiri and of course the beef robata dishes that Alessandro loves to cook in person, lighted by the fire grill fireworks .

 

 

 

 

Impossible not to ask such a nice host a souvenir picture…
‘Let’ do it at my robata grill, said Alessandro, it is my favourite spot in this place’ ‘Certamente!’, I enthusiastically answered, and, both risking a fire attack, I shoot the pic.
A hot moment of an unforgettable dinner.For more info
UKAI
240 Portobello Rd, London W11
Phone: +44 20 7792 2444

Saturday: Grab brunch or food from every country you could think of at Borough Market (get off at London Bridge station) and wander around the stalls and old backstreets. Head down the steps on London Bridge and walk left along the river, passing lots of cute English pubs, the Globe Theatre and the Tate Modern gallery (many free exhibitions for lovers of the creative).
Stop by the National Theatre mid-afternoon for any last-minute discount tickets, or sit and enjoy the view of Big Ben or the London Eye from the South Bank. There are often pop-up bars or street performers there too!
Now you can carry on over the Jubilee Bridge towards Trafalgar Square and the West End. On sunny days I would highly recommend taking a left turn before Covent Garden and checking out St James’s Park, where you can find most people in London enjoying the weather and nature. If rainy England is sticking to its infamous title, head towards the National Gallery: free entrance and some of the most breath-taking paintings and sculptures you’ve ever seen!
Covent Garden is the perfect place for an evening out. From Sushi to Greek, Burgers to Quinoa, the choices are endless. There is also the option of trying out an old English pub or one of the trendy new bars the city is popular for. If you’re planning a late night, Oxford Circus is only twenty minutes away by foot, where you can party until your heart is content!
DINNER TIME!
I choose Tredwells, a Marcus Wareing restaurant and winner of AA’s London Restaurant of the Year.
Great location, excellent service and a breathtaking menu signed by the charming Chef Chantelle Nicholson, Tredwells showcases the very best in British seasonal produce  Located in the trendy Seven Dials area, right in the heart of Covent Garden, the venue boasts two bar areas serving seasonally inspired cocktails, cementing Tredwells’ reputation as one of the best drinks venues in Seven Dials. the restaurant sets over three floors, while the mezzanine and lower ground floors are available for exclusive hire.

 

 

I went for lunch, tried several of Chantelle proposals and found them all perfectly cooked and pleasantly tasting, starting from the beginning with a great potato and rosemary bread with salted whey butter till the end, indulging in a delicious fig mousse.

 

 

 

I noted, and photographed my choices and my recommendations.
After lunch, I meet with Chef Chantelle, obviously in her kingdom,the kitchen, and chatted oh her life, her love for cooking and her first solo cook book Planted.

Where your passion for food comes from?
It’s all because of the love of my New Zealand garden, so rich of herbs and vegetables and my two aunties who were great cooks Probably since that tender age I wanted to be a Chef, but…story of my life, I went to university to become a lawyer.
So you forgot your culinary passion?
Not really , while studying, I got a job at the local café, waking up at 6am on Saturday mornings to bake muffins, then proudly becoming a kitchen hand in the restaurant of a small hotel that also had a garden…
A garden? Here you go…
Yes, my passion for fruits and vegetables was there again, learning about seasonal food, how they grow, and the ecosystem of the garden. I remember picking up herbs super early in the morning…

What happened to the lawyer?
Well, I passed the bar in my law exams and ready to become a layer , but the still enchantment of the kitchen was always in my head…Coincidentally I enrolled the amateur cooking competition Chef Search, run by Gordon Ramsay. I made it to the final six, and was offered to work at The Savoy, London.

After that?
I have co-authored Marcus’s cookery books and in 2015 worked with him consulting on the movie Burnt. Then Marcus Wareing asked if she’d join Pétrus, his two-starred restaurant, as a junior sous chef in 2006, followed by The Gilbert Scott in 2011 and from 2014 I was in charge of as group operations director of the entire range of Marcus Wareing restaurants. Now I am back to my passion: cooking! I am proudly the chef patron at Tredwells created by the genius of Marcus Wareing.

Your new book ‘Planted’
Is not a book about veganism, it is about tasty dishes, made without animal products. You will find recipes for a plant-based cooking, focusing on plant based cuisine that deliver taste and creativity. I like to celebrate produce, seasonality and food that taste good.

Chantelle, what will I always find in your fridge?
Vegetables, vegetables, vegetables and a bottle of a great New Zealand Chardonnay!

for more info
www.tredwells.com

Sunday:
The perfect day for a relaxing walk around the local parks. Check out Dulwich’s Horniman Museum, a small childhood favourite of mine with beautiful botanical gardens, before riding on the banana bikes through the peaceful Dulwich Park. Then take a well needed rest and sit in the garden of the Woodhouse pub, sipping your ale (if you dare) and enjoying your roast dinner. If you still have time after doing all of this, then firstly, congratulations; you’re super efficient! Brick Lane, Camden and Liverpool Street would be my next recommendations. If there’s a day to spare, you can’t pass up the opportunity to go to the Harry Potter Studios cast some spells!
SUNDAY IS …. Brunch time!!!!
I discovered Trangallán.
It’s a word from Galicia, Spain for a kind of bohemian artist.
This so called ‘gastro-cultural space’ certainly has that bohemian feel, with its shabby chic-flea market furniture contrasting with rich glass chandeliers and vintage objects all around. The menu changes frequently boasting imaginative dishes revealing a good deal of skill and creativity. Add an easy-going welcome from the stuff and the super cool owner–chef, who came at my table to say hello while sipping a delicious 2016 Albarino Igrexario de Salar and snacking some succulent Manzanilla olives.                                                        I followed his suggestions and went for a very traditional tortilla made of eggs and potatoes. Perfectly browned on the outside, still tender within and served at room temperature. I asked if that is the way that tortilla should be served, medium warm not hot. They told me that is a Spanish tradition to cook tortillas in the morning and let them rest till the meal so, yes, the temperature should be room temperature, Good to know. Then I tasted a more winterish dish of judion, a butter beans & piparras, followed by a perfectly roasted octopus with saffron potatoes and wilde samphire.                                  If you’re looking for a ‘not so commun’ tapas restaurants in North London, or Spanish food in Stoke Newington then you must try this cool venue.
For more info
Trangallán  
61 Newington Green, Mildmay Ward, London N16

Monday
Smart move. I took a  day off from work and reserved a late afternoon flight!
Yes I wanted to enjoy London and … I had London at my feet!

London. I happily experimented the OXO TOWER restaurant located at the eight floor of the OXO Tower. Relaxed atmosphere, good service and … the view. The menu boasts dishes so-called ‘contemporary British’ with European accents spanning from Spain with a gazpacho with sardine paté, to Italy with bresaola paired to a watermelon carpaccio. I tried a rich yet delicate soup of Scottish langoustines, spaghetti style chopped squids, tomatoes, fennel, and lobster- It tasted rich yet delicate, not too spicy or garlicky (I hate too much garlic…) Notably the langoustines were nicely straight, not curvy at all, My very nice Italian born waiter, told me that the secret is simply to put them in the freezer for about 40 minutes.When you take them out, the shell will be solidified, you would easily break it and extract the langoustine in all its fullness and horizontality. As a main dish, I followed Guido’s suggestion and opted for a John Dory fish, served with lobster, celery puré, oil and herb sauce with little white beans.

 

 

I must say all the ingredients were in perfect fusion and the broth maintained its freshness thanks to the acidity of the vegetables. I paired with a very fruity Albarino Atlantico white wine from Galicias, excellent!

 

As a side dish, a kale salad, sprinkled with a powder of beets and pumpkin seeds and seasoned with a Caesar dressing.Delicious finale: English strawberry and basil mousse.
Not to mention the spectacular sunset view that made my dinner unforgettable.

 

For more info
https://www.harveynichols.com/restaurant/the-oxo-tower/

For reservations
Call 020 7803 3888 or
email oxo.reservations@harveynichols.com

Finally ….. here the best list of the two M I am crazy about …
MUSEUMS …AND MARKETS!

British Museum
Imperial War Museum
Bank of England Museum
Science Museum
Design Museum
Maritime Museum
Sir John Soane’s Museum
Natural History Museum
Queen’s House, Greenwich

Victoria & Albert Museum THE BEST!!!!!!
MUSIC MUSIC MUSIC
Royal Academy of Music Museum
YOU WANT MORE ???
Museum of London Docklands
RAF Museum
Horniman Museum & Gardens
Science Gallery London
Grant Museum of Zoology
YUMMY….
The Chocolate Museum

MARKETS, MY PASSION!
Borough Marketk ( my fav…)
Leadenhall Market.
Brick Lane Market.
Columbia Road Flower Market.
Camden Market.
Greenwich Market.
Portobello Road Market.
Brixton Village and Market
Old Spitalfields Market.
Mercato Metropolitano

A CITY IN YOUR HEART


 

In the heart of the city I met the lovely Maria Ketty, a splendid lady of Venetian origins and ex-photomodel, who for 14 years has been passionately managing her B&B Bologna nel Cuore, a cozy apartment with two finely furnished rooms, each with a private bathroom among two other fully funished apartments.

A wonderful living room with period paintings. There Mary serves an accurate personalized breakfast according to the needs of the customer (I tasted one of my favorite desserts, the home-made rice cake …)

So if you are looking fo service, family warmth and careful care, with the utmost respect for privacy, as well as precious ideas for venturing to discover Bologna, this B&B is for you.

INFO
https://www.bolognanelcuore.it/

Are you looking for a top central location? Here where to stay while in Bologna

A New York impera il motto “location,  location, location” vale a dire che più si è in centro, più si vale… Trasferiamoci a Bologna e …niente da dire dell’ Hotel Orologio strategicamente situato nel cuore del cuore della città: Piazza Maggiore, una delle piazze medievali più belle del mondo.

Situato proprio di fronte all’antica torre dell’orologio del Municipio, da cui deriva il suo nome e che l’hotel onora, adornando le aree comuni e le camere da letto con orologi di ogni genere, grandi e piccoli, in bronzo e ceramica, smalto o legno.


In un mix di stili, l’atmosfera generale è calda e accogliente, quà e là troverete simpatici dettagli come coprisedili all’uncinetto, la sala breakfast (ricchissimo) in contrasto con i suntuosi lampadari e un piacevole salone con una combinazione di colori giallo intenso e un trio di divani.

Sculture occasionali, stampe storiche e altri oggetti artistici fanno un cenno al titolo di hotel d’arte, mentre sorprende la decorazione delle camere a tema, come la Suite Africa, impreziosita da oggetti esotici.

Questa proprietà fa parte della mini catena Art Hotel, specializzata nell’ offrire carattere e atmosfera del vecchio mondo ma anche della contemporeità in egual misura, con camere confortevoli e ben arredate in aggiunta alla passione per la qualità e all’incomparabile ospitalità emiliana.
Bologna , I love you!

Naples, Santa Chiara Boutique Hotel, a jewel into a jewel ! Un gioiello nel gioiello.

Mi trovo a Spaccanapoli, arteria pulsante della vita mondana nel pieno centro storico, al numero 23 di Via Benedetto Croce, mi aspetta Palazzo Tufarelli, dimora storica del XVII secolo che mi accoglie con un cortile magico e evocativo. Dalle arcate ritornano alle mente immagini, scene da film, rumori, vociare delle signore e bisbiglii di nobili. Mi infilo nell’ascensore con gettoniera vintage (si, per salire o scendere si metteva una monetiva!) oggi fuori uso, ma suggestivo. Benvenuti al Santa Chiara Boutique Hotel  un gioiello di ospitalità, arte e storia che nasce nel ventre di Napoli, da cui ne eredita accoglienza e passionalità.

Spaccanapoli,  arteria pulsante di vita mondana è la pittoresca strada che ‘spacca’ Napoli in due. Animata da bancarelle, negozi souvenir, ristoranti, taverne. Qui potrete trovare il calore, la passionalità e l’allegria di questa città nelle forme più disparate: dai locali più tradizionali al folklore locale, ai personaggi più stravaganti che animano il quartiere.

In questa strada ogni muro, ogni volto è pronto a raccontarvi millenni di storia e cultura. Lasciatevi guidare dall’euforia e fatevi inondare dallo spirito accogliente di Napoli. Giusto di  fianco all’hotel, si trova l’insurabile incanto del Monastero di Santa Chiara, il cui porticato è un’ oasi di pace e di bellezza.

Il Santa Chiara Boutique Hotel  è permeato da un’atmosfera di pace e relax, che sa coinvolgere l’ospite e chiunque voglia costruire la propria esperienza esclusiva che, grazie alla disponibilità e ai suggeriementi del gentilissimo staff, lo porterà alla scoperta delle magnificenze, dei luoghi magici e dei segreti di Napoli.

Nelle 7 suites, il classico degli affreschi restaurati incontra un design moderno e confortevole, le finestre si affacciano sulla città,  un attento restauro ha conservato molte delle caratteristiche di questo magnifico edificio (soffitti con travi originali, splendide porte dipinte, finestre alte, pavimenti in cotto antico); mentre un mix di mobili antichi e contemporanei uniti ai comfort di oggi , lo rendono aggiornato e accogliente.

Il Santa Chiara Boutique Hotel, inoltre, è situato a pochi passi dalle principali attrazioni napoletane come: il Chiostro di Santa Chiara, San Gregorio Armeno, Piazza del Gesù, Piazza San Domenico Maggiore e Cappella San Severo con il suo Cristo Velato.

Questo piccolo ed elegante hotel è un tranquillo rifugio dal caos del centro storico e offre camere belle e spaziose e un servizio personalizzato nel contesto di uno storico palazzo napoletano.
Anche i prezzi sono ragionevoli.

Il breakfast è, per dirlo alla napoletana, “nu babà”! Ho trovato tutte le prelibatezze della pasticceria napoletana, accompagnate da altre squisitezze dolci e salate, ll buffet comprende torte e le sfogliatelle del famoso negozio Scaturchio oltre a frutta freschissima, uova e omelettes a richiesta.

Una dritta: chiedete al gentilissimo Direttore Giuseppe Autorino di farvi vedere la terrazza sul tetto, da dove si gode una vista a 360 gradi della città e da cui potrete godere di uno spettacolare tramonto magari con un buon bicchiere di  vino.

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Santa Chiara Boutique Hotel  

NAPLES: ATELIER INES, HIDDEN JEWEL. ATELIER INES, GEMMA NASCOSTA

Nel cuore della Sanità, ho scoperto un piccolo gioiello . Atelier Ines, un B&B con sole tre camere tutte dotate di bagno privato, una diversa dall’altra, arredate con i pezzi design creati da Vincenzo Oste. Tranquille, luminose e curatissime nei dettagli e nei comfort,

Un indirizzo nascosto dietro a un bellissimo giardino arricchito da sculture contemporanee create da Oste, che qui ha il suo magico laboratorio artigianale, dove tutto è rigorosamente fatto a mano, schizzi dei disegni appesi alle pareti, opera incompiute, pennelli , scalpelli. Un luogo poetico come poetiche e visionarie sono le opera che lo decorano.


Da una parte ci si sente a casa e a nostro agio e dall’altra si è affascinati dal decoro, dall’arredamento e dal grande talento presente in ogni singola creazione.  Oltre a elementi di arredamento e oggetti per la casa , l’Atelier produce meravigliosa gioielleria, bracciali, anelli, collane.

Ines, la padrona di casa è appassionata della sua città. “Guarda verso l’alto, mi suggerisce, scoprirari pareti, palazzi e una luce speciale che filtra prepotente dallì’alto dei vicoli. Fermati a chiaccherare con gli abitanti del luogo”Oasi elegante ed eclettica nel quartiere Sanità, questo B&B  è un omaggio all’arte e alla sua bellezza.Tutto, dalle lampade ai portasciugamani a spirale, alle testate scultoree uniche nel loro genere, , integrati da materassi paradisiaci, una scelta di cuscini e bagni in ceramica Vietri.
Gli ospiti sono invitati a esplorare il laboratorio e l’archivio Oste.. Situato nel quartiere del centro storico di Napoli, a 600 metri dall’Osservatorio astronomico di Capodimonte, l’Atelier Inès offre camere climatizzate con WiFi gratuit, mentre alcune unità dispongono di un’area salotto dove è possibile rilassarsi La colazione offre marmellate fatte in casa, yogurt e torte (meravigliose) nonché uova strapazzate fresche di fattoria e frutta biologica.