Spell it right! Two ‘C’ and two ‘T’. Here ‘s the BOCCONOTTO , a delicacy from Abruzzo.

The History of Bocconotti –
Tradition places the origin of the Bocconotto of Castel Frentano towards the end of 1700, during the period of greatest diffusion of chocolate in Europe, the main ingredient of the filling. A sweet idea, always based on what has been handed down, from the creativity of a cook who invented for her noble master, famous for being very greedy, a little sweet to eat in “a single bite”. Today the Bocconotto is one of the symbols of Abruzzese gastronomy: a casket of delicate shortcrust that contains a filling of chocolate, minced     almonds and a pinch of cinnamon. The Bucci family owns and maintains the correct doses of one of the first recipes handed down. At the right balance between the ingredients, it combines passion for the traditions of Abruzzo and Castel Frentano.
The history of the Bucci family – Like all success stories, even the Bucci family and Bottega del Bocconotto’s story begins almost by chance. Since the 1960s the Bucci family has been engaged in a florid and productive artisan activity, with a wide range of customers not only in the province of Chieti and in the region, but throughout Italy.
Their main office was in Castel Frentano – where the Bottega stands today – and, as soon as summer began Claudia Bucci, the current owner, used to spend time in her grandfather’s sales point. So, sitting on the entrance steps of the store, she realized that many people stopped to ask for information with a single question: “Where can we buy the Bocconotti, the typical sweets of Castel Frentano and Abruzzo?”.
Bocconotto’s tradition is a long tradition, linked in the territory to important events such as weddings, baptisms, confirmations and communions … in practice you can not talk about feast without having on the tables the delicious sweets from the heart of chocolate and almonds. So, after giving directions on where to buy the Bocconotti to many people, in his mind he took a very happy idea: to put the same Bucci family to work with the opening of a workshop and a shop for the sale of Abruzzo dessert ! Sure of his intuition decided in a very short time to kick off the activity, strong also of another element: he was the custodian of one of the oldest recipes ever handed down by Bocconotto, thanks to his grandmother Sabbiuccia, known for his reputation as a skilled custard. It was she who prepared the Bocconotti for all of Castel Frentano and for every party: why not make such a delight to taste even those coming from neighboring villages? It was 2008 … and from there, after a period of settling, the success came, thanks to an increasingly large audience of customers and consumers who were able to recognize in the Bottega del Bocconotto of the Bucci family a quality guarantee closely linked to the tradition of Castel Frentano.Today the Bottega del Bocconotto is a flagship of all Abruzzo, a family-run business supported by valuable employees, operating in all stages of processing, from the preparation of individual ingredients up to packaging and sale.

 

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PANETTONE CAKE WITH A FRUITY TWIST FROM ABRUZZO

There are several legends about the birth of the Milanese panettone.
The most common dates back to the 1476. It tells of Ugo, a young falconer
who worked for Ludovico il Moro, the Duke of Milan.
The boy was secretly in love with Adalgisa, daughter of Toni, the most popular baker in Milan. To spend more time with her, Ugo managed to become a pastry cook apprentice. Christmas was coming, and Ugo wanted to give a twist to the usual bread.He sweetened up the dough, adding sugar, butter, eggs, raisins and chopped candied fruits, then he cooked and shaped it like a giant muffin.The novelty instantly became the talk of the town. Everybody wanted the new Toni’s bread (pan de Toni) soon named panettone.


There’s another side to the story. The Peduzzi Family (with Gaetano Sergiacomo, founder of Rustichella d’Abruzzo in 1924 and grandfather of the current Owners Maria Stefania e Gianluigi Peduzzi) moved from Valle d’Intelvi (Como) to Chieti (Abruzzo) in 1800, bringing with them all the Lombard culinary influences and starting the generation of high quality Food & Wine.
Here comes the artisanal production of this panettone labelled Rustichella D’Abruzzo from natural sourdough starter yeast, a mixture of flour and water. Each day throughout the entire year (including holidays), 10 kg of dough known as the Starter is prepared. It is composed exclusively of flour, water and 1 kg from the previous days Starter.
Aside from the classic taste, Rustichella d’Abruzzo proposes other real proper pleasures for your palate: the typical Black Cherry Panettone, for those who don’t like raisin and candied fruits (but don’t want to renounce to the tastiness of the typical Christmas sweet),

 

Another taste for the Figs and Chocolate Panettone, candied fruits and raisins free, made of irresistible dark chocolate drops and dry dotted figs from Cosenza. A tasty voyage discovering of Bella Italia from north to south, from the knowledge of the Pastry Master to the generosity of the sun that kisses the most desirable fruits of Italy.


INFO
https://www.rustichella.it/?lang=en

Magical Aladdin’s Lamp with the legendary puppets by Carlo Colla and sons

Aladdin’s Lamp is placed in the very rich collection of fairy tales by the legendary  Compagnia Carlo Colla & Figli where, alongside the titles of the repertoire as Cinderella and Puss in Boots, among the new creations. It was in fact expressly written in 1993 by Eugenio Monti Colla, who in the following year also directed him for his debut at the Spoleto Festival. The show, proposed in Milan in ’94 / ’95, was subsequently on tour, among other things, in Cremona, Rome, Puglia and the Macerata Opera Festival, always welcomed with great warmth by the public. Also in this case the “numbers” affect: the marionettes are two hundred, including protagonists, supporting actors, extras and animals; the animators are twelve of which two employees to move only the genius, a singular creature two meters long with the head, the bust and the arms of papier-mâché and the rest of the body made of silk and organza; the paintings of the show are thirteen plus the prologue and correspond to the same number of scenes, partly realized ex novo and partly coming from old shows; two hundred costumes were created for this edition; at least three are the inevitable parades: the procession of the princess, the parade of magical slaves produced by the genius and that of the imperial army that returns victorious led by Aladino, composed of dozens of puppets. The story basically follows the story of the Thousand and One Nights and is set in China, the true East for the Arabs. Among the many curiosities we can finally mention the character of the magician who is a Maghreb dervish, the two genes that come out one from the magic ring and the other from the lamp, one is black, symbol of the irrational, the other is white to to mean reasoning and feeling: from their union will come harmony.The music was composed specifically for the show by Danilo Lorenzini and, more than a commentary on the action, they are a real symphonic poem that follows the action.
Aladdin will ne onstage at
Teatro Studio Melato. Created as an experimental space, a “gymnasium” for the young students of the Piccolo’s Theatrical School and location for the annual international Masterclasses, the Teatro Studio, with its circular layout, is very much appreciated by directors from all over the world for the special relationship it creates between the actors and the audience.
Dates
12/ 27 – 01/06 , 2019
Tickets
https://www.piccoloteatro.org/en/2018-2019/la-lampada-di-aladino

 

 

 

 

LOISON XMAS PANETTONE GETS A FRUITY ZEST

THE ENCHANTMENT OF THE LANGHE

Destination Langhe Roero, Piedmont, Italy.
What a wonderful trip! Starting from the exquisite 5 stars boutique hotel La Ribezza located in Monteforte d’Alba, a suggestive borgo  on the hills of the Langhe, a territory  located in the southern part of Piedmont and encompasses the whole range of technical and economic processes relating to the winegrowing and winemaking that has characterized the region for centuries. The Langhe offer panoramas of carefully cultivated hillsides, following ancient land divisions punctuated with buildings that lend structure to the visual space: hilltop villages, castles, Romanesque churches, farms, cellars and storehouses for cellaring and for the commercial distribution of the wine in the small towns and larger towns on the margins of the vineyards.
The serial property is outstanding for its harmony, and the balance between the aesthetic qualities of its landscapes, the architectural and historical diversity of the built elements associated with the wine production activities and an authentic and ancient art of winemaking. 
The vineyards of Langhe-Roero constitute an outstanding example of man’s interaction with his natural environment. Following a long and slow evolution of winegrowing expertise, the best possible adaptation of grape varieties to land with specific soil and climatic components has been carried out, which in itself is related to winemaking expertise, thereby becoming an international benchmark. This landscape covers eleven little towns located in the  wine-growing areas with outstanding landscapes and the magnificent Castle Grinzane Cavour, an emblematic name both in the development of vineyards and in Italian history.
Back to the hotel: The pleasant surprises started from the reception (where a lovely lady offered to taste 4 different fragrances, in order for me to pick up my preferred and have all toilette amenities. like soap, shampoo, and shower gel  of the same fragrance. MY room was spacious, cosy, well equipped with TV screen, wifi, and tasty welcome fruit basket and a tempting bacio di dama (a two buttery hazelnut cookies sandwiched together with a dollop of dark chocolate) left on my pillow before the night, with a courteous prevision of the next day weather. How nice..
.La Ribezza boasts 20 rooms, a wonderful outdoor sauna-gazebo where you can relax while admiring the breathtaking view, Did I mentioned the view?…
The moRning after we left for an ‘simulated’ truffle huntIing with the expert trifulau Carlo Olivero and his dog Steel. Simulated means that a truffle was previously hidden on the ground (of course Steel didn’t know where…) Well, in less than 10 minutes the was able to locate one. Then Carlo took us for a little walk, when suddenly Steel went crazy over a spot and started digging, He was right! There another big one  (and not purposely hidden)  Everybody, Carlo included, very happy! Grand finale. Gala Dinner at 3 Michelin star Piazza Duomo.That was an  amazing gastronomic adventure with dishes created by resident Chef Enrico Crippaand guest Chef Támas Szell, from Stand, Budapest.
The remarkable menu
headlined the collaboration between the Italian and Hungarian  Bocuse d’Or Academies and the participation of the Hungarian Academy at the next edition (the 89th) of the Alba International White Truffle Fair 2019
The truffle is a sort of mushroom known since ancient times. The first testimonies come from the diet of the Sumerian people and from the time of Jacob the Patriarch, around 1600 – 1700 B.C. Truffle are known as a qualitative ingredient in finest quality kitchens. Their cost could reach up to amounts of one hundred dollars per kilogram!y
White truffle fair is held in the city of Alba, which is located in northwest Italy, for more than 80 years. The fair is held every Saturday and Sunday from the first half of October until the second half of November. It is a bonanza that celebrates not only truffles, but also the tipical products of the territory, from wine to cheese, to cakes, pastas and any kind of food produced in the Langhe. Visitors from everywhere, with particular attendance from Northern Europe, Germany, Switzerland, France, but with constantly growing presences also from the United States, Brazil, Australia and East Asia, in particular Hong Kong and Singapore, have confirmed the success of the 88th edition of the Alba International White Truffle Fair,
An edition, the one just ended, which took place “Between earth and moon” paying tribute to the satellite of the earth which, through the phases of the moon, is an integral part of the search path and which was also inspired by organizers and visitors. The vintage, quantitatively and qualitatively exceptional, has been lived intensely at the World Market of the White Truffle of Alba, the largest international exhibition of truffles from the Piedmont hills of Langhe, Roero and Monferrato. Here each single truffle has been checked by the special “Quality Commission”, available to customers for the entire duration of the Fair to guarantee quality and safety in purchasing. The season, which was hypothesized could be very interesting for the quantity and quality of the product, has surpassed the brightest expectations with about 700 kg of Alba White Truffle sold at the World Market of Alba White Truffle.
A celebration that offers a unique cultural experience. Chefs, vendors, experts and amateurs gather to have a glimp and possibly a taste of the precious mushroom. I was kindly invited to a yummy workshop featuring Chef Gabriele Boffa, from Relais Sant’Uffizio , Cioccaro , Asti . Gabriele, originally from Alba has an impressive curriculum: Yannick Alléno in France, Mugaritz in Spain, Pujol in Mexico, Piazza Duomo, in Italy,
He
prepared a Filetto alla Torrengo, with cooked radicchio, heart of lettuce, béarnaise sauce, smoked butter, onion water, fassona meat and, of course, white truffle.
Delicious! The yearly Alba International Truffle Fair is the most important food and wine event of Langhe Roero, increasingly open to the internationality of the proposed contents, will host, in fact, the Magogian food and wine tradition, thus contributing to promote two top-level enogastronomic traditions and consolidate the cultural relationships that bind the two Academies. In fact, both Academies are engaged in the preparation of the respective candidates for the World Final of the Bocuse d’Or, the most prestigious haute cuisine contest in the world, which will be held in the next 29 and 30 January, 2019  in Lyon. Between the many highligt of the trip I would like to mentin a dinner at Ca’ del Re, Verduno, a great lunch at  Wine Bar Barolo Friends in Barolo, the  wine tasting at Sordo Wines and and a visit to the exhibit Nina’s Tale in the suggestive San Domenic Church , where we got the chance to meet with the Artist Valerio Berruti.

 

 

All of that embraced by the beauty by the enchanting Langhe!

INFO
International White Truffle Fair
Boutique Hotel La Ribezza
Academy Bocuse d’Or Italy
Academy Bocuse d’Or Italy  Press Office
Bocuse d’Or

THE LEGEND OF THE MILANESE PANETTONE

There are several legends about the birth of the milanese panettone.
The most common dates back to the 1476. It tells of Ugo, a young falconer
who worked for Ludovico il Moro, the Duke of Milan.

6_Anonimo

The boy was secretly in love with Adalgisa, daughter of Toni, the most popular baker in Milan. To spend more time with her, Ugo managed to become a pastry cook apprentice. Christmas was coming, and Ugo wanted to give a twist to the usual bread.He sweetened up the dough, adding sugar, butter, eggs, raisins and chopped candied fruits, then he cooked and shaped it like a giant muffin.

The novelty instantly became the talk of the town. Everybody wanted the new Toni’s bread (pan de Toni) soon named panettone.

The history goes on
After centuries, the panettone is still the delicious centerpiece at many festive tables,
In 1930, two well-known patisserie masters, Mr. Agostino Panigada and Mr. Giovanni Cova came together to create their first workshop in Viale Nurzia in Milan. Here the real “Panetun di Milan” was born.
Traditional Panettone generously filled with  raisins and candied fruit peel (including a lot of squared oranges that I love) The “Milanese” pound (Libbra) is an ancient unit of measurement of Northern Italy – it corresponds to 1120 grams. Breramilano. have adopted this peculiarity to highlight the prestigious “Milano” line, where the combination between taste and art reaches the most impressive outcome. This line, called BreraMilano1930 (now widely distributed in the US)  is characterized by making use of a special paper, rough to the touch, that takes its stylistic inspiration from their original 1930s collections.  Breramilano produces superior quality confections particularly their Panettone and Pandoro which are known as the undoubted symbols of Milanese confectionary art all over the world. For this company, remembering and respecting the past means keeping alive the ancient confectionary art traditions, respecting old recipes and checking every single ingredient for quality. Their aim is to keep alive the flavors of the past as time goes by.
Finally, like in the old times, this panettone is rigorously hand
wrapped exactly like they use to do in the old Milan …Foto. Cesare Zucca

 

 

 

 

LOREDANA ‘I am no Lady’ BERTÈ CONQUERS MILAN

IN ONE OF HER MAJOR HITS SHE DECLARES ‘NON SONO UNA SIGNORA’(I am no Lady) THAT’S HOW THE FLAMBOYANT ITALIAN ROCK STAR LOREDANA BERTÈ LOVES TO INTRODUCE HERSELF

Text by Cesare Zucca
Album Photos by Giovanni Squatriti
Concert Photos by Cesare ZuccaLast night, all the ‘hip Milan’ packed at the Teatro Nazionale, in occasion of the comeback concert of Loredana Bertè, the undiscussed Italian Queen of Rock. Not a real come back: Loredana did not disappeared from the stages and the press, but she is not been recording a new album since 13 years.
The sold out concert was introducing ‘LiBertè‘ the very new work of the Artist where Loredana’s scratchy voice pours out all her anger, sleepless nights, bad thoughts, disappointments and disillusions.
The second part of the concert opens with Liberté (that gives the title to the whole album) with Loredana wearing a straight jacked (exactly like on the CD cover)
In a tour de force performance with song signed by great authors like Fabio Ilacqua, Davide Simonetta, Maurizio Piccoli, Ivano Fossati, Enrico Ruggeri, Pino Daniele, among others. Supported by a great band and her longtime backsinger-friend Aida Copper, Bertè scored her rich repertoire that includes hits like Dedicato, Mare d’Inverno, E la luna bussò,
Among new songs and previous hits, there was one that particularly touched me, rearranged with a new rendition. It is titled ‘Stare fuori,
while the big screen was showed the original video that I worked for as a stylist ..and I still love!
I would like to point out Anima Carbone(Soul charcoal) which is absolutely my favorite track of the album. The lyrics( (by Loredana Bertè) and the music (by Fabio Ilacua) are strongly pairing in a screaming confession.
The text says:
I’m not tired of making mistakes
And to burn up the time
To step on every morality
And then throw it away
If God has cheated on my disgrace
He’s got to settle the bill
With my charcoal soul
Of meat and anarchy
II so wish that Loredana’s new album would be released worldwide and her concert would perform not only in the Italian venues, but also abroad.  I am pretty sure that a lot of European and oversea rock lovers would be mesmerized and captured by her flamboyant personality and her music.
Following the tradition of those majestic ‘No Lady’ Artist like Nina Hagen, Siouxsie and the Banshees, Dolores O’Riordan, gritty and charismatic queens of the stage, soloists and frontwomen who gave to rock music a feminine imprint, revolutionizing the world of music. Some were true pioneers, eradicating stereotypes with their provocative performances and feminist texts. Others have collected this important legacy, adapting it to time and change, always leading the woman power forward.
Long life to Freedom, viva la LiBertè!
LiBertè tour will hit road till summer 2019 .
Check the schedule and if it happens that you ‘ll be in Italy, do not miss it!

More info for dates and venue
LiBertè Tour 2018-2019

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

NEW YORK, TAKING YOUR KIDS TO THE MUSEUM…

 

From NY to Italy. Life is a marathon for Pier…and the others.

Hamburg, discovering HafenCity, Where to stay? My suggestion is HOTEL 25 HOURS HAFENCITY.

HafenCity It is the new futuristic district of Hamburg, area of ​​creatives and artists,
To get there they have specially built the metropolitan U4 line. in 3 stops from the center you have already arrived. Here you can breathe fresh air, the spaces are open and many Hamburgers get away from work to go for a drink or a snack.
I stayed at the brand new 25 Hours HafenCity Hotel where I had a great time.
I felt like a sailor, the rooms look like a ship’s cabins, with prosperous painted models on the bathroom walls.Here atmosphere is easy and relaxed , The motto says  COME AS YOU ARE! There is also free access to a spectacular spa in stones and wood. In the morning a rich buffet breakfast is set up, there you can find everything, including rote gruetze, my beloved raspberry, blueberry and cherry sauce served on lean yogurt. Yummy!For lunch or dinner, the HEIMAT restaurant welcomes you with local and international food.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There is a wide variety of room types. Cabins, Each of the cosy 21-25sqm / 226-269sqft M Cabins contains a queen-size bed and has an ocean-going atmosphere without compromising on comfort. Perfect for short trip ashore. As you would expect from 25hours, they are designed with plenty of attention to detail.Anchoring made easy. The M Cabins+ are boutique retreats with an area of 21-25sqm / 226-269sqft and maritime-themed decor. Ideally suited for a short shore leave. These rooms either overlook Hamburg’s spectacular port or have full-length windows looking out onto the quiet courtyard.ou can almost smell the sea.                                                                               The laid-back Bunk Bed Cabins have an area of 20sqm / 215sqft and contain two single beds. You could be forgiven for forgetting you’re still on land. Ideal for friends to discover Hamburg or colleagues after a long office day. In addition you can find large Cabins are inspired by the harbour and the sea and offer enhanced comfort. With an area of 31-35sqm / 334-377sqft, they feature a king-size bed and additional seating. Finally the spacious XL Cabins, perfect forr those guests who are planning a special or extended stay in Hamburg and the logbook is a great source of inspiration. After a day spent exploring, free use of the Hafensauna is the perfect way to unwind.span approx. 40sqm / 430sqft and feature maritime design and extra comfort. The rooms each have a king-size bed, a couch to relax on and a Nespresso coffee maker. A room with a bath is available on request.
From many rooms, Guests can look out over the courtyard garden and landlubbers can explore the HafenCity by bike or using one of our MINIs

INFO
25 HOURS HAFENCITY

 

 

WHERE TO STAY WHILE IN HAMBURG, GERMANY. My suggestion: NOVOTEL Hamburg City Alster Hotel

Novotel Hamburg City Alster Hotel
4-star hotel boasting modern rooms and suites with a desk and free WIFI
Central location and U-Bahn station on our doorstep make the Novotel Hamburg City Alster hotel the ideal base in Hamburg.  5-minutes away from Alster-Schwimmhalle and within 20 minutes of English Theatre Of Hamburg. Highlights at this hotel include in-room free WiFi, free high-speed Internet,
Great place, convenient rates.

and LCD TVs. All 210 soundproofed rooms feature sofa beds, satellite TV, and separate bathtubs and showers. You’ll find nice touches like soaking tubs and free toiletries to enhance your stay. Coffee/tea makers, free newspapers, and safes are also available. Enjoy the fitness centre, Turkish bath/hammam, and sauna. Business amenities include a meeting room and a business centre.
Added amenities include free WiFi in public areas and laundry facilities. Each morning excellent buffet breakfast is served between 6:30 AM and 10:30 AM. Sights within a 20-minute walk of this 4-star Hamburg-Nord hotel include Museum of Arts and Crafts Hamburg and Mundsburg Center. Enjoy the comfort of the sauna and the video games area. Rooms are spacious and bright, Super comfy bed…I slept like a baby!
As I said, the hotel is centrally located  so all the major venues are easily reachable.
Dining in is an option with room service, and minibars provide refreshments.


I had a great lunch at the hotel stylish restaurant Novo2, and a nice chat with the executive Chef, who told me that his menu focuses on seasonal products and evergreen tasty meat. and suggested a juicy and tender La Maracho Rump Steak with sauteed vegetables  and … a silver swan (just for decoration…)

 

 

 

 

Novo2 is an innovative combination of a bar lounge , that offers delicious seasonal dishes and light snacks are served from 6.30am to 9.30pm. A cool spot where where you can have a nice glass of wine, like i did!


INFO
Novotel Hamburg City Alster Hotel
Luebecker Strasse 3
22087 HAMBURG

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

DUBAI CELEBRATES WORLD PASTA DAY 2018

26 members representing 18 countries (Argentina, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, France, Germany, Iran, Italy, Mexico, Portugal, Spain, Turkey, United States, Uruguay, Venezuela) and the two Federations European industrial pasta manufacturers (UNAFPA) and industrial Semouliers. Among the most important activities promoted by the IPO, the organization of the World Pasta Day, a fixed appointment every October 25, since 1997, celebrates the important role played by pasta to nourish the world and its ability to adapt to every culture. Every year a different city is elected as a “world capital” of pasta to welcome producers, representatives of the scientific and gastronomic community, institutions and stakeholders from around the world.
The Kingdom of Pasta will be celebrated worldwide on October 25 in Dubai!
I am a pasta lover and here are my choice for this big event.
Good pasta hunting!

Egg specialty SQUID INK LINGUINE and MACCHERONCINI ny Campofilone

SPAGHETTI A MATASSA Artisanal pasta by Cav. Giuseppe Cocco in Fara S.Martino, Abruzzi

 

World Pasta Day has been celebrated o since 1998 with promotional initiatives and parallel events held throughout the world. 2018 marks its 20th Anniversary!

3 GREAT SPAGHETTI from Rustichella d’Abruzzo, Pianella, Pescara. CHITARRONE, PRIMOGRANO, SPAGHETTI DURUM WEAT BRONZE DRAWN,and TRITICUM farro bio-organic

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The event is organized by the IPO (International Pasta Organization), for which Aidepi has taken care of the Secretariat since its foundation in 2005.

The first  World Pasta Day was held in Naples in 1998. Since then, this event has been held every year, moving to Genoa, Rome, New York, Barcelona,  Mexico City, Istanbul, New York  Rio de Janeiro, Buenos Aires, Moscow,  São Paulo and .Milan EXPO 2015

LE LIMONCINE by Campofilone, with essential lemon oil.

the unbelievable SPAGHETTI RAPIDA by Rustichella d’Abruzzo.It cooks in 90 seconds!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Organisation and AIDEPI (Italy) in Dubai, with the support of ITA (Italian Trade Agency).
The event aims to maximize promotion of an extraordinary, good, healthy, nutritious, accessible and sustainable food, a pillar of the Mediterranean Diet, recognized as an Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO.

CASERECCE bio farro by Vis Vita, S.Martino , Padova

 

RUOTE PAZZE by Benedetto Cavalieri. Maglie, Lecce

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

MISTA CORTA by Gentile, Gragnano, Naples

CANDELE LUNGHE by Pastificio Di Martino , Gragnano, Naples.

SPAGHETTATA EXPRESS. a gift box created by Rustichella d’Abruzzo celebrating the World Pasta Day. It contains durum wheat semolina spaghetti, tomato and basil sauce and the traditional wooden fork.

 

 

 

 

Authoritative experts and opinion leaders will be invited to delve into scientific, economic, technological, cultural and gastronomic aspects linked to pasta in front of an international audience made up of pasta makers and supply chain operators, representatives from the economic sector, academics, institutions and media, to reaffirm the truth about pasta starting from its roots and outlining its path between past, present and future.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Attending or not to the Dubai event, October 25 will be a great excuse to eat more than one pasta dish…wherever you are!for more info
http://2018.worldpastaday.org/

Bric Paradiso Roero DOCG Riserva 2013: memory of the sea

 

Among the vineyards of Nebbiolo at Tenuta Carretta, the storied winery in Piobesi d’Alba, those planted in the Menzione Geografica Aggiuntiva “Bric Paradiso” in Roero are distinguished for their ability to showcase a particular, and lesser-known, face of this wine. The soils of marine origin – poor in organic matter and rich in mineral salts – the predominantly sandy composition of the soils, the steep slopes of the vines and the important daily temperature range which is accentuated in the last stages of maturation gives the Roero DOCG wines that originate here ample and intense aromas, structure, finesse and the elegance renown in the great wines of Piedmont. These characteristics are coupled with the distinct terroir of the Roero that may seem unusual in a Nebbiolo. However, it is just further proof that vines grown on the left bank of the Tanaro benefit from the soils left from millions of years ago, which we know from the abundance of fossils found, when the area was the seabed of the Padano Sea. All of this amounts to a Roero DOCG appellation, which also bears the label of “Riserva” due to a long ageing in barrel and bottle. The 2013 vintage is remembered for an unusually late harvest, so much so, that the last of the Nebbiolo grapes were harvested in the first week of November.
A spring with below-average temperatures and plentiful rainfall slowed down the vegetative growth of the vines and required attentive care in the vineyards to ward off plant diseases caused by the excess water. Then, in September and October, there were consecutive warm and clear days which helped to balance vine growth and ensure proper ripening of the grapes. This turn in climate resulted in a harvest of much higher quality than expected given the circumstances. In particular, the Nebbiolo grapes proved to be some of the best of that year, showcasing the aromatic terroir that distinguishes it. This is all thanks to the contrastof hot days and cool nights that occurred in the last phase of ripening.

Roero Riserva DOCG Bric Paradiso 2013
A limited-production label of only seven thousand bottles Roero Riserva DOCG Bric Paradiso is made from the best Nebbiolo grapes harvested within the Bric Paradiso Menzione Geografica Aggiuntiva in the municipality of Piobesi d’Alba. The particular terroir of the vineyard united with sustainable vineyard management and attentive winemaking result in a wine in which its elegance, finesse and drinkability overpower austerity and a heavy structure. Roero Riserva Bric Paradiso, after ageing for 18 months in barrel and another year in bottle, is a deep ruby red with garnet flashes and intense aromas of red fruits, black pepper, spices and licorice. The palate is balanced between structure, elegance and drinkability with a persistent, long, mineral finish

‘GRAND CHOCOLATE’ PANETTONE… IS COMING! Check for Brera Milano 1930

In on the occasion of the 150th anniversary of  extraordinary composer and good food lover  Gioachino Rossini,, the prestigious Milan pastry shop Giovanni Cova & C,  also distributed in the US under the label Brera Milano 1930,  pays homage to him, dedicating his panettone to his works. Renewed collaboration with Archivio Storico Ricordi also for next Christmas-2018.  The idea of ​​celebrating the 150th anniversary of the death of Maestro Gioachino Rossini stems from the meeting of Giovanni Cova & C., an icon of craftsmanship in the Milanese patisserie, and the Archivio Storico Ricordi, custodian of the works of the greatest Masters of Melodrama , and represents the opportunity to continue the cultural journey that unites music with Italian confectionery excellence. The Ricordi Historical Archive is the most important private music collection in the world. Here are preserved the immortal musical works of great artists who have left an indelible mark on the musical culture. The Archive, founded in 1808, is the historical memory of the musical publisher Ricordi, acquired in 1994 by the German multinational Bertelsmann, which has since guaranteed its conservation and cultural development. Its prestige lies in the variety of preserved documents, which offer a complete view of Italian culture, industry and society. Hosted at the Palazzo di Brera in Milan, the Archive collects scores, letters of composers, librettists and singers, sketches and sketches, booklets

vintage photos and Art Nouveau posters. A sweet tribute to the most famous Italian opera Composers, such as Donizetti, Respighi, Toscanini, the incomparable Paganini, or the great Rossini of which this year is the 150th from hid death ,
To enrich the Ricordi Line the 2018 cake will be dedicated Rossini with the Panettone GranCioccolato (Grand Chocolate) covered with lozenges of dark chocolate and chopped hazelnuts and enriched with thick drops of dark chocolate, greedy in the recipe and precious in the wrap wanted for the occasion with the reproduction of the autograph score of the work L’Italiana in Algiers of Maestro Gioachino Rossini honored in his 150th anniversary also in the famous portrait of Vespasiano Bignami.
Panettone

Grand Chocolate
joins the range to offer to all the greedy of the magic ingredient an unparalleled combination capable of mixing the acidulous tones sourced from the yeast with the
moderate bitterness of a fondant 47% rounded in closing by the fragrant taste of butter. A cake devoted to a scrupulous selection and combination of first-class ingredients, from the first milk-processing centrifuge butter that arrives weekly from Northern Europe to strictly fresh eggs, from the flour mix selected in 80 years of mother yeast able to make the difference on a processing process of about 72 hours from the first delivery to the finished product. The hand wrapping gives an emotion capable of embellishing the Christmas table with an ode to the most extraordinary Italian musical culture, to be savored by capturing the aromas, for an experience of the five senses.

I tasted it, I loved it!

For more info
Panettone Grand Cioccolato
by Giovanni Cova & C
distributed in the US under the label Brera Milano 1930

LJUBLJANA CASTLE, STRELEC RESTAURANT: WOW-FACTOR GARANTEED! By Philip Sinsheimer

No proper visit of Ljubljana can be complete without a visit to the fortified castle way on top of the hill dominating the city. Easily accessible by tram, it rewards any visitor with breathtaking views of the city as well as a cultural journey into Slovenia’s history.
Don’t expect lavish ballrooms, the castle served mainly a military role, but various sections of the high perched citadel have small museum like spaces to visit, from Slovenia’s tormented history to a more anecdotal marionette collection.

 

 

Let’s face it, the view is the main draw for many visitors, but for the happy few, a meal at the revered Strelec Restaurant with tables both indoors or outdoors is the perfect way to admire at length the city below and enjoy one of the best culinary experience they will get to experience in whole Slovenia. It is pretty rare actually that a touristic hub is granted with a fine dining experience thanks to the talent of chef Igor Jagodic who is seen as a true reference in Slovenian fine dining. To top it all, this comes at a very reasonable price with tasting menus going from 44€ for 4 courses to 77 euros for the top of the hill 9 course experience. This is quite incredible for a chef already saluted chef of the year, winner of Regional Restaurants official selection.
Those who want to be free to chose can also pick à la carte from various Slovenian specialties, as humble as a Kranjka sausage served in the pot with freshly grated horseradish and sautéed potatoes.

But there are also chef’s creations with elegant plate compositions :
crispy octopus with young peas and strawberries anyone or would you rather experience the matured beef with goose liver, poached egg yolk and vegetable bouquet?

 

 

The service is truly first class.
As we asked if we could change tables to enjoy fully the experience without the sound of loud neighbors, our question was met with a smiling “of course” and an impressive efficiency to make it happen seamlessly.I also noted not only the incredible wine list which will enable you to sample some of the country’s best bottles, but the quality of our server’s knowledge on the wines and his capacity to describe them to match both food and personal preferences. His help was so important, because, especially among the native grape varieties. Quite frankly without his guidance, I never would have tasted (let alone pronounce it!) this beautiful white wine, Vitovska Grganja 2017 by Boris and Alen Lisjak (have a picture of bottle held, very dark label though), coming from the Slovenian region facing the Italian’s Friuli-Venezia Giulia.The perfectly cooked high-quality beef sirloin slices accompanied by a medley of both raw and cooked vegetables found a perfect match once again with a couple of Slovenian red wines. Having so far mainly tasted whites, this came as a beautiful surprise. If you re not dazzled by the view, you may well become dizzy by these exciting pours. See it as an educational experience, the last tram is there to get down the hill sound and safe!
For more info Strelec Restaurant, Ljubljana Castle 

 

 

 

The beauty of Ljubljana and the enchantment of Bled, Slovenia.

Ljubljana is the delicious, small, neat, clean, surprisingly lively and cheerful capital of Slovenia. The tiny, pedestrianized center, under the hill where the Fortress dominates the city, follows the curve of the Ljubjanica river and the walks on both sides are home to an impressive number of bars, restaurants and trendy clubs that are the heart of the nightlife. To go from one side of the river to the other there are the three old bridges, Cevlarski most, the Triple bridge and basically the one of the Dragons.Turning around you will meet green electric cards with the words Ljubliana The Friendly City. They are free, for tourists and locals, and you can go up for a tour of the city or simply to move comfortably from one side to the other
The best way to explore the city?  Rent a Bicike(LJ). bicycle.

 

Really convenient and practically free. The symbolic price (€ 1 for one week, € 3 for the whole year) covers the enrollment in the system. The first hour is free, if you want to cycle more, it goes from € 1 to a maximum of € 4.

 

For the lazy ones or simply for those who prefer a more sedentary transport, there is Urban, electric train ups and downs that runs throughout the city. € 8, ticket valid all day. Turning around you will meet green electric cars with the words Ljubliana The Friendly City. They are free, for tourists and locals, and you can go up for a tour of the city or simply to move comfortably from one side to the other.

 

 

 

You can also take a Boat Tour, a suggestive excursion in a boat open in summer and heated in winter, to discover the city from the river Ljubljanica.

An applause to Joze Plecnik, the greatest Slovenian architect and one of the most important pioneers of modern architecture in many European capitals including Vienna and Prague. It is a must to take a walk in the heart of Ljubljana and cross its famous Three Bridges. A riverside-night full of restaurants, bars, clubs, music at night. Maybe you did not know that Chef Ana Ros, winner of the 2017 World’s Best Chef Award, is from Slovenia! Ljubljana is a food heaven and offers the delicious Food Tour, a guided tour dedicated to anyone love good food and like to know the culinary history of this city.

 

Through shops, markets and typical restaurants, you will discovery (and taste!) a lots of local specialties. From the honey of Dobrote-Dolenjske, to the sausages of Klobasarna, to delicious cakes. Four green Dragons. The symbol of the city, will welcome you at the beginning and the end of the bridge.

 

People say that it brings good luck to stroke it and take home a dragon magnet, or a tshirt or one in pelouche  that you will find in the adorable Dragon Shop in the central Ciril-Metodov Street. I suggest to visit these beautiful churches: the Franciscan and the Saints Cyril and Methodius, the streets Mestni Trg (which becomes Stari Trg) and then Gornji Trg, the Kongresni Trg on which stands the beautiful University and the near the Parliament.
A must see is the Ljubljanski Grad , the mighty fortress that dominates the city offering breathtaking views of the City.. Today totally renovated and ntegrated with modern elements. used for a different events, including exhibits, cultural meetings, shows and concerts. Don’t expect lavish ballrooms, the castle served mainly a military role, but various sections of the high perched citadel have small museum like spaces to visit, from Slovenia’s tormented history to a beautiful puppets collection.   On the terrace the excellent Strelec Restaurant offers traditional Slovenian recipes revisited by the famous Chef Igor Jagodic who is seen as a true reference in Slovenian fine dining. To top it all, this comes at a very reasonable price with tasting menus going from 44€ for 4 courses to 77 euros for the top of the hill 9 course experience. Those who want to be free to choose can also pick à la carte from various Slovenian specialties, as humble as a Kranjska sausage served in the pot with freshly grated horseradish and sautéed potatoes. But there are also chef’s creations with elegant plate compositions: I had an amazing crispy octopus with young peas and strawberries anyone or would you rather experience the matured beef with goose liver, poached egg yolk and vegetable bouquet.  Every Sunday the Flea Market is a collector’s paradise. There you can find vintage stuff, original items, paintings, ceramics and jewels, while the Central Market offers fruit, vegetables, spices, Slovenian specialties such as ham and the traditional prekmurska gibanica (my favorite is at Gujzina)) Ljubljana is a great city for shopping. Many in the Ciril-Metodov. Among my favorites, there is the Catbriyur workshop-laboratory that supplies the cups even to Her Majesty Queen Elisabeth. Ladies and girls, here you will find unique ceramic jewelry, such as necklaces, brooches and earrings that will be envied by your friends.
For a special dinner, I suggest the new and innovative Bistro Monstera,, created by Bine Volvic, the judge of Master Chef Slovenia. It is a tiny restaurant with a traditional-alternative menu, where the law of ‘no waste’ prevails starting with the cutlery that is never changed. Top night in Metelkova Mesto, former slums, became the most alternative area of ​​the city. After sunset, it hosts music and underground performances. A riot of graffiti, street and locals that are the point of reference for the young crowd.If you are in the mood for an out of town excursion, I suggest a…paradise.
Lake Bled. It is only an hour North of the capital Ljubljana to the North-West and can be reached by car or with a convenient bus (perfect wifi on board)

It is a charming alpine lake, in the center of which stands a small island with its Gothic church from the legendary bell whose toll is customary to express 3 wishes.Bled is also offering hot spring source and thermal waters.

 

 

 

Be prepare to find a postcard like dreamy locationa, and breathtaking sunsets. You can come and go in the day, or enjoy an unforgettable night in the historic facilities of the elegant Grand Hotel Toplice, famous since 1930’s with grand salons adorned with memorabilia pictures and bring all the comfort of modernity, including a lido, a superb spa with swimming pool and free boats to row with to the island,

 

A remarkable venue for its class, for the fantastic views you can enjoy from your room or from the terrace and for the excellent Julijana Restaurant, signed by the starred Chef Simon Bertoncelj.  Having dinner at Julijana, especially if the weather allows to eat outdoor, facing the lake is a moment of bliss: the quality of service, attention to detail and classic décor evoke a certain respect of classical elegance. This doesn’t constrain the cuisine to old classics, and the chef’s creativity and modern techniques seem to find their place very naturally in this elegant environment. Sweet final: the famous sweet Cream of Bled, an iconic cake, a heavenly millefeuille which recipe goes back to 1953 and and is still secretly kept by the Hotel. The result was up to the legend: two layers of perfectly crisp puffed pastry holding a firm custard covered by a layer of lighter whipped cream is to die for..Last bit not the least: The precious Ljubljana Card that gives free admission to more than 20 attractions, free travel on city buses, guided tour of the city, 24 hour internet access.valid 24, 36 or 72 hours will be a great friend that will guide you to discover the beauty of the City.

 

For more info on Ljubljana and Bled
http://www.visitljubljana.com/en/visitors/

 

 

 

 

 

 

LJUBLJANA SLOVENIA, VINOTEKA MOVIA. IS ORANGE THE NEW WHITE? By Philip Sinsheimer

Let’s be honest, before I set foot at the beautiful Movia wine bar in Slovenia’s capital, I had never heard of “orange wines”. Have you? If not, the best thing is to do is go right now over there and ask for an orange wine tasting. For 18€, you will get a flight of 4 of them, beautifully presented and explained by the great staff, possibly Leonard, the charming and oh so enthusiastic young sommelier in the making.
I received a royal treatment from Borut, the manager of the wine bar, located on one of the most passing streets of Ljubljana’s center. It was 10 pm and all the tables outside were taken, so we started our tasting inside, historic looking bar with wood panels and huge counter. But, wherever we were, I know you’re burning to know what in the world are orange wines?
The short and simple answer is that they are NOT of course wines made out of fermented oranges! No, they are white wines with a dark and deep yellow hue, some leaning towards a true orange color. Why this color? Because of the way they are made. In short, white grapes are crushed and left to macerate and ferment leaving the juices in contact with the skins and pits. For how long? It depends, up to a year. The process is very natural in a way, often no yeast or other additives need to be added. Since when has this technique been done? Only 5000 years ago, approximately, especially in the Caucasus region and what now is Georgia (the country). But, it’s only 20 years or so ago that the process made a big come back. Here we are, Slovenia having been with Italy one of the wine countries at the forefront of this revival. So, if in doubt, you are in the right place and in good hands to discover the world of orange wines.
Ok, how do they taste like? Imagine a light, pale, crisp, light pinot grigio from Veneto… well, it’s about the perfect opposite of that: mature, deep, with tannins reminding red wines (because of the skin contact) and complex. These are serious, bold, sipping white wines demanding to be served cold, but not chilled, definitely not the type of wine you serve in an ice bucket by the pool. To go with them, Vinoteka Movia also offers various plates of delicacies to round things up, including some gorgeous and perfectly sliced “pata negra”, the king of Spanish cured hams, but also local charcuterie, cheese and Italian mortadella, for example. Now, orange wines are not for everyone. Some may actually be turned off by their semi-oxidized aromas: instead of appreciating expressions of honey, tropical nut, cooked apple and hazelnut, they may think this wine has passed its age or has been left opened on the counter for too long, thus this wood varnish and linseed oil smell and flavor.                      It’s alright, no panic… You are entitled to your taste, Borut won’t hate you or eat you up! He is prepared with about every type of wine you may like in the house. And yes, all of them Slovenian wines. Go for a flight of white wines, red wines or a mix of both with a tasting of various Movia wines, Movia being a very large producer located in Ceglo, on the western side of Slovenia, close to the order with Italy. Trust me, Slovenia is THE “under-discovered” wine country. The diversity of the terroirs and wine styles may be actually their obstacle to global recognition, because it is quite difficult to any non-Slovenian to decipher what’s written on a bottle: what refers to the area, what to the grape varietal, what to the producer?         With its fantastic staff, so attentive and knowledgeable, the quality of the pours (and of the gorgeous glasses used), I can tell you Vinoteka Movia is THE place to go for both newcomers to the world of orange wines and Slovenian wines in general, and aficionados who already know a thing or two on the matter, ready to be wowed and ask for more!

For more info Vinoteka Movia

 

 

LJUBLJANA, SLOVENIA, SVETI FLORIJAN: RESTAURANT AND MORE!

Welcome to one of the most recent addition to the up and coming Ljubljana dining scene! Sveti Florijan is one of a kind, as it as actually more than a restaurant. The creators have given a lot of thought into this multi-area venue where one can come to spend time at the wine bar featuring an eclectic selection of wines, 95% of them being “natural”, with basically no additives. Many of them are Slovenian, but shelves make place to some bottles from neighboring Italy, Austria and Croatia. If you feel in love with one of them, you can buy a bottle to take home along with a few goodies, the space serving as a wine shop as well as a delicatessen. Latecomers may bypass the bar area and head downstairs to what appears as a cozy jazz and cocktail nightclub, with a little scene for musicians to perform on given nights. Early and latecomers alike would really miss big if they were to bypass the restaurant which occupies the largest part of the ground floor, across from the wine bar. The atmosphere is warm and inviting.: small tables are an invitation to a romantic tête à tête, while larger ones welcome groups of friends wanting to spend an intimate, joyful moment. Cleverly, the choices are limited, so diners don’t spend hours picking, but are invited to jump in and have the party begin. The weekly wine list is composed of 6 references and the menu limited to 15 dishes, including desserts. It feels more like a homey private club than a restaurant per say.

The order was taken by a hip young man who appears more like a warm and friendly adviser than a waiter per say and the dishes are brought to your table by kitchen crew members, in our case the chef Matija Kostanjevac in command that night.
This absence of formal separations between front and back of the house gives a fluid sense of true hospitality.

We started off with the daily amuse-bouche made of a crisp chip, tender smoked trout and a touch of cool homemade sour cream. A perfect match with the 2016 Cattunar malvazija crisp white wine.

 

Another seafood appetizer came in the form of a tuna tartare mixed with a few diced strawberries, deftly seasoned with a hint of curry and the acidity of buddha’s hand citrus. Early on, you realize there is a lot of thinking going behind each creation, but one can also feel emotion and personality being involved here.

 

The rabbit pâté came to the table and revealed itself to be a homemade mousse of hare liver, sweetened by onion, butter and apricot. Lovely on great bread, no fuss, just great flavor. The slow cooked octopus with buckwheat, squid ink and tomato ragu was also a dish expressing heartfelt cooking, rather than any form of cerebral creativity.

The sweet touch came in the form of a sheep’s yogurt with white chocolate and raspberries, almonds and a dash of cardamom, a symphony of color, texture and flavor without unnecessary complication. Elegant, yet relaxed, thought through, yet soulful,Sveti Florijan has a truly unique offering in town. One feels that, from one evening to the other, it could be a totally different experience and it’s probably the case because, each patron here is left free to shape his evening as he sees fit.

                             A CHAT WITH THE CHEF

 

Matija, where have you previously working? 
Many different venues in different European cities, including a long period in Berlin.
How would you define your cuisine?
I would say contemporary European Slovenian, you will find different influences, from Austria to Italy, Croatia, Hungary. I like to mix the real fresh products that I found in the Ljubljana  market to European accents, creating a contemporary Slovenian menu.
You left the kitchen to chat with us, is that common?
Yes, I like to interact with the costumers, and, time permitting, seat at their table, perhaps have a glass of vine with them.
The most popular dishes here at Sveti Florijan? 
The octopus or the beef tartare.
If you were invited as chef guest at the TV Master, what would you prepare?
(smiling) I would snob the event, and serve a hot dog or fish and chips… 

What always in your refrigerator?
Some bottles of
Union beer and A bottle of Swedish Hernö gin!

For more info
Sveti Florijan

MY BEAUTIFUL, GOURMET WEEKEND IN LONDON !

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.

Potato and rosemary bread, salted whey butter

 

 

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…

Slow cooked lamb belly, beetroot, brioche

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.

Sweetcorn mousse, cornbread, pickled mushroom

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.

Swiss chard pancake, turmeric, coconut, cashew

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.

Gloucerstershire pork collar, bacon jam, peas, broad beans, courgette

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

LJUBLJANA FOOD TOUR: A MUST TASTE! by Philip Sinsheimer

You just don’t realize how lucky you were when your join the guided 3,30-hour food tour organized by VisitLLjubljana.com managed by the Tourism Office of Ljubljana until you experience it.          

They offer numerous guided city tours  including the Historical City Centre and Ljubljana Castle revolving around history, art and landmarks, whether on foot, bicycle or on a boat cruising the river.

There is no other way to sample the incredible diversity of Slovenian food in so little time and in such a fun and well-paced way.
Slovenia is a small country yes, but it counts no less than 24 gastronomic regions.

Ljubljana, reminding me of Paris in a way, is pretty much in the center of the country and, as a capital, has attracted many food vendors and restaurateurs to benefit from the largest concentration of population (and tourists) of the country. But, right off the bat, let me tell you that, at no point, do you feel shepherded to a pasture of touristic traps you would have found on your own. The choice is balanced between food shops and restaurants, clearly very carefully picked.

Also, it isn’t a gorging party:
at the end of the tour, you feel satiated, without ever feeling over full!. As all good cooking requests, things started with the sourcing of ingredients: the market!
And Ljubljana is blessed, right in its center with a human sized, yet substantial farmer’s market, with one section dedicated to only certified organic vendors. I had noticed on my way to the tour some beautiful chanterelle mushrooms, as well as yellow broad beans that I had never encountered before. Lucky enough, I was able to find them again and was met with the most charming smile the seller could have shared.

Then, we got to visit the permanent covered market, a beautiful building along the riverbank. That was like entering a world of its own. Gorgeous charcuterie, cheeses, breads (got a loaf of this dark and dense bread, yet moist and oh! so tasty). A separate section is dedicated to fish, perhaps for temperature and odor control. Whatever the reason might be, I was really impressed by the display of fish available and the absence actually of any strong fishy smell. Slovenia is known mainly as an inland country, but it does have a little bit of coast on the Adriatic Sea and they sure know how to source the best of what can come out of it. Everything looked so fresh, a real temptation for any cook.
But carrying fish on ice for the rest of the tour was NOT going to happen!

 

 

We met our lovely guide Simona in Ciril-Metodov, the cobblestoned main street. She took us at Klòbasarna, where we had the first tasting: a warm smoked sausage form the Carniola region just South of Austria, in other words at the Northern end of Slovenia. Made of the finest pieces of pork, this sausage neither greasy nor too dry, just hit the spot accompanied by a light red wine, a little horseradish and mustard which I loved.

 

 

Simona took us in more that 7 venues, specialized in different specialties, from the syrups and the honeys of Dobrote-Dolenjske,  to the traditional cake prekmurska gibanica homemade at
Gujzina

I won’t be going in the detail of all the things tasted, either in gastronomic shops or in restaurants… I want you to go and experience it for yourself. Besides beef tongue, fried chicken, honey (Slovenia is Europe’s largest producer per capita), my heart will go for this humble dish of mashed potatoes with sautéed onions and bits of bacon that we tasted at a very special restaurant, Druga Violina, where all the members of the staff suffer from some form of disability or another. It felt really good to contribute to this effort to support the community and, let’s be frank, it also tasted soooo good, just by itself. With influences coming from all neighboring countries (Italy, Austria, Hungry and Croatia), tucked between sea, plains, forests and mountains, the small country of Slovenia is rich of diversity and, if this three-hour tour cannot cover everything, it sure serves as the best introduction one can hope to taste in this timeframe!
Tours priced at 52€ everything included,
To make a reservation
For more info www.visitLjubljana.com