From Italy: the best Christmas gifts… on your table!

Mangia, mangia.…. Xmas is coming, Italian families celebrate with food, wine and happiness. Here our choice for some of the best italian product to enrich your table.
Buon appetito!

Let’s start with pasta.
Feudo Mondello, Sicily

I prepared the traditional dish with Sicilian durum wheat pipe rigate with pumpkin, an easy recipe from the “poor cooking” of the Sicilian history.

https://www.feudomondello.it/en/

Let’s go to Ferrara, one of the most beautiful town in the Emilia Region
Pasta di Canossa was born from an intuition of Ottavio di Canossa and is produced in Ferrara in the ancient Tenuta Cuniola where the Canossa family has been taking care of these lands with passion and dedication for a century. Our Pasta, produced only with our durum wheat, is the result of love for the Emilian artisan traditions, for experimentation and the search for quality.

https://www.pastadicanossa.it/

Have a Happy and prosperous 2022 with … lentils!
In Italy It is a traditional habit to eat lentils at the stroke of midnight on New Year’s Eve
They are said to bring money and luck. Lentils are considered the oldest legume, cultivated as early as 7000 BC. in Mesopotamia and loved by the ancient Romans, to whom we owe the custom of eating them on New Year’s Eve and giving them a “scarsella”, or a leather bag containing lentils, with the hope that they would turn into sound coins during the year. Even today we say “Eat the lentils that bring good luck

Well, Felicia is following the trend with a line of alternative organic pasta to flavour a healthy and natural diet. Felicia was founded in 2009 in Gravina, Apulia. A brand by Andriani SpA Benefit Corporation. Felicia brings to your table an experience based on wellbeing, taste and balance. Made from organic and naturally gluten-free raw materials such as buckwheat, brown rice, oats, chickpeas, lentils, peas and beans.

For your “lentils moment” , Felicia uses red lentils that grown mainly in southern Italy, between Puglia and Basilicata, from organic and sustainable agriculture. There are several kind of pasta like Spaghettini, Spaghettoni (love them….) Sedanini, Red lentil Fusilli and Risoni They are lovable and , considering the “good lluck” superstition… may be a good reason to eat them all year long.

https://www.felicia.it/en/

Too lazy to cook?
Chek this: My Instant Pasta created a range linked to tradition and another related to organic. It’s a great novelty for lovers of pasta and good Italian cuisine … ready in 4 minutes!
Easy and quick! Just add some hot water, stir, wait few minutes and enjoy a great pasta dish.variety italian style: fusilli with cheese and fusilli with pesto. The organic line is instead composed of tricolor fusilli . I tried the pesto, and loved it!

https://my-instant-pasta.webflow.io/eng/home-eng

Add a drop of oil, but make sure it’s good!
Centonze oil has ancient origins, blossoming along the Mediterranean until reaching Nino Centonze’s Family, custodians of an Olive Oil Legacy. in Castelvetrano, Sicily, where the olive trees are nourished by the mineral present in abundance in the tuff rock on which they majestically stand. Since 1953, this company has been cultivating within this area of extraordinary historical and scenic interest.The “Latomie” are ancient quarries from 800 B.C., testimony to centuries of the Greeks extracting large blocks of limestone tuff for the construction of Selinunte.

Centoze oli characterized by its green colour, fruity fragrance, and rich, complex aromatic composition. These qualities have made the company winner of numerous national and international awards. and recognized by Slow Food Presidium.

https://www.oliocentonze.com/?lang=en

Let’ s spice it up !
Let me introduce Italipepe a factory born in 1969 in Rome from the passion of Alfonso Vitaletti. Italpepe exports spices, aromatic herbs, seasonings and salts to 35 countries around the world. It offers a wide range of references including black pepper, chilli, saffron, turmeric, ginger with its properties, oregano, superfoods such as maca, spirulina, moringa, baobab among others.

Santa is coming from a very cold land, perhaps he would love a hot, spiced up drink….
Shall we give him a warm welcome?
The Italipepe Spice Up Your Cocktail line, created by the Chef Davide Mazza, brings home the originality and innovation of the best international mixologists. Nine aromatic mixes (Gin Tonic, Spritz, Mojito, Margarita, Negroni, Irish Coffee, Daiquiri, Hugo and Bloody Mary) able to give refined and intriguing nuances to the most popular cocktails you grind the product directly into the drink and let yourself be amazed by the refined aromatic notes released by fascinating combinations of flavors. Easy!

https://italpepe.com/linea-cocktail/

Let it shine!
Bottega Stella is a Brut sparkling wine of great personality that originates from a special cuveé obtained from Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Glera grapes. The bottle of great and immediate impact portrays a constellation on its surface. The blue background highlights the stars that shine intensely, thanks to the LED light bulb placed at the base of the bottle and which can be activated through the simple flip of a switch. Original and refined, Bottega Stella is an intriguing suggestion for exclusive parties, informal events or evenings with friends.

https://www.bottegaspa.com/en/collections/stella/
CESARE ZUCCA Travel, food & lifestyle.
Milanese by birth, Cesare lives between New York, Milan and the rest of the world. He photographs and writes about cities, cultures, lifestyles. He likes to discover both traditional and innovative gastronomic delights. Cesare meets and interview top chefs from all over the world, ‘steals’ their recipes in a ” non touristy tourist ” style

Merry Christmas!
Buon Natale!

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Italy, Ciociaria Territory, near Rome . Cabernet Sauvignon has been grown, since 1860

For generations, the Ciociaria companies have been producing sheep and goat cheeses, grazing animals, farm animal rennet. Among the most delicious are Caciofiore, Pecorino di Picinisco, Conciato di San Vittore, the Marzolina slow food presidium.

To pair a “pecorinoso” dish, nothing better than a glass of the vigorous cabernet produced by Masseria Barone, in the heart of Ciociaria, both the gold Atina “Ricucc” and the Riserva “Marcon”, with their hand-painted label, are perfect companions. journey of Lazio dairy excellence.
The cabernet of Masseria Barone, dated 1800 and inhabited by the famous Baron Brancalasso. How much history and how many traditions in the Ciociara food and wine …

Cabernet Sauvignon has been grown, since 1860, on the sunny hills that frame the historic center of Atina. After careful harvesting and manual selection of the best grapes, an accurate vinification follows from which this elegant and powerful wine is obtained.

A patient aging in French oak barrels allows the development of a complex and intense aroma. Brilliant red with intense garnet reflections. The taste shows sweet tannic notes in balance with a structured and persistent body.

2021 Summary CAKES & DESSERTS Articles by Cesare Zucca

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THE MONASTIC CUISINE OF THE MARCHE REGION

TLA CUCINA MONASTICA MARCHIGIANA
Ninth stage ‘of the spirit’ at the San Giacomo Restaurant
SATURDAY 23 OCTOBER – 8.15 pm in Montepandrone (AP) –
A step back into the history, secrets and recipes of monastic cuisine.

Discover the ancient culinary traditions of monasteries, abbeys and convents to rediscover the simplicity of food and flavors.

‘The Monastic Cuisine of the Marche’ is the title of the ninth food and wine event at the San Giacomo restaurant, within the project funded by the Department of Agriculture of the Marche Region. A ninth stage ‘of the spirit’ that aims to enhance a heritage of knowledge and flavors that has been handed down for centuries and that tells of productions characterized by authentic tastes and intense aromas.


The monastic cuisine of the Poor Clares preferred natural ingredients and made dishes that were not very elaborate and particularly varied. The menu chosen by the San Giacomo restaurant intertwines typicality and customs and combines them with Doc and Docg wines of the Piceno area:

WHAT WILL YOU EAT
Bruschetta (Clarisse di San Lorenzo in Belforte del Chienti), Crispy Crostini (Benedictine of Santa Maria delle rose Sant’Angelo in Pontano ), Chestnut broth (Clarisse di Atri), Maccheroncini with humid Marchigiana (Clarisse di San Giuseppe Pollenza),


Macaroni pie (Clarisse di S. Maria Maddalena Serra dei Conti), Chicken with green olives (Clarisse di S. Chiara di Montegiorgio), Salad with tanned oil (Clarisse di Jesi), Ice cream (Benedettine di San Marco Offida). The wine pairing will be carried out by the most popular wineries in Italy: Le Canà, Le Caniette, Allevi Maria Letizia.


‘Marche: from the vineyard to the table’ is the regional call created to support producers of quality wines and the catering sector in view of the post Covid reopening, allocating resources for promotional and tasting projects of quality food products, starting from wines with certified denomination.
Cost: 35 euros including wines
info in english
https://www.ristorante-sangiacomo.it/en/it/cucina-dello-spirito.cfm

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2021 Summary of my articles published in “VIAGGIO GOURMET IN…” “A GOURMET TRIP TO….”

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Fano, Italy. Discover a delicious fish dish!

By Cesare Zucca

Italy. Fano is a seaside resort and town, located about 12 kilometers southeast of Pesaro.
It is the third largest city in the Marche Region and a tourist destination for those looking for a first-rate cultural, historical and environmental heritage.

Fano offers visitors, tourists and locals the opportunity to enjoy the sea and the delightful countryside of the hinterland. If you have never visited Fano, I suggest you to add it in the list of future weekends.
You will not be disappointed!

La Torre d’Augusto

No to be missed
L’Arco di AugustoPalazzo Montevecchio
il Giardino Storico di Piazzale Leopardi
Fontana della Fortuna
Mura Augustee ( Augustus Walls)

Le mura Augstee e la Fontana della Fortuna

Maria Nuova Church
Piazza XX Settembre
Museum Civico e Pinacoteca nel Palazzo Malatestiano hosting the magnificent Guercino‘s painting “The Guardian Angel”

Guercino‘s painting “The Guardian Angel”

THE BRODETTO FEST
Every Year Fano celebrates the most iconic local fish dish : the brodetto .
The brodetto is a dish born on board fishing boats as a soup of “poor fish”. A super mixture of mazzole, monkfish, dogfish, weever, ray, boccaincava, St. Peter’s fish, mantis shrimp, cuttlefish, redfish were cooked with oil, onion, tomato paste and vinegar.

The brodetto is the result of the historical and profitable “cultural” and “material” exchange between fishermen and gardeners, between sea and land. It was born as a poor dish of fishermen who used that low quality fish difficult to sell. The ingredients provided are extra virgin olive oil, garlic, parsley, basil, yellow pepper and tomato Fish varieties can vary, but should be at least seven, including ray, mullet, cuttlefish, big head, walnut, cod, sea cicala , sole, mussels, clams, redfish, scampi.

BrodettoFest 2021
This year edition was set up by Omnia Comunicazione that managed to create an extraordinary food & wine bonanza, featuring Michelin starred Chefs, show cooking, meetings, kid games, culinary talks and tastings of the best brodetto in the Region.

Here come the Stars!

Three amazing dishes prepared by Michelin starred Chefs. From left RISOTTO RIVIERA ADRIATICA by Alberto Faccani, SPAGHETTO BREZZA MARINA by Michelangelo Mammoliti, CALAMARATA WITH ALKERMES by Silvia Baracchi


The United Cities of Brodetto
Sounds like a new nation! and a very tasty one!
Five chefs showed their skills while cooking different styles of brodetto.
The winner? All five of them… dishese were delicious.

Five different styles of brodetto, one common denominator: a slice of a crunchy roasted bread
you can add unusual extra ingredients , like peppers, saffron or passatelli pasta
The five dishes created by the Chefs from the Marche

Brodetto Experience. Let’s take a class!
From the fish market to the home table in an authentic and convivial atmosphere.
Let’s learn how to cook brodetto together! – Tour to the fish market in Fano to buy fish, then travel to a Show cooking soup in a country house .
With a small group of four ( the lucky ones…) with lived the brodetto school experience. The adventure started quite early in the morning, shopping around the Fano great Fish Market, in order to choose the best ingredients to male the best brodetto ever….

shopping for the right type of fish at the Fano Market
TUQUI Tour Adolfo and with the lovely Ivana, a brodetto expert.

We were guided by Adolfo Ciuccoli, from TUQUI Tour, a travel agency specialized in discovering the Marche Region, aiming to emotionally involve the traveler, who becomes the main actor of the experience.

“Absolutely no clams or mussels in the authentic brodetto! ” Sentenced Signora Ivana the cook in charge of the Experience… “Let the mussels be in my “Pepata” on the side”
et voilà! the brodetto is served ! Buon Appetito!

What In the glass?
Certainly a Bianchello del Metauro, a white white produced in the Marche with the Biancame and long white Malvasia vines, It is a precise, young and versatile wine, with a straw yellow color and a dry, fresh, pleasant taste of wild thyme,
My fav are Asdrubale e Pian dei Fori from Azienda Agricola Mariotti Cesare,

Two Marche excellencies : Bianchello Mariotti Cesare, and Fossa Cheese from Sogliano

The Bianchello d’Autore Project is from the union of some historic producers of Bianchello Metauro DOC and has been entrusted to the experience and professionalism of a careful choice of nine local producers, whose labels bring to the table a wine that can accompany with harmony the most varied dishes, especially those of fish, including the brodetto, a true icon of the Marche cuisine.

Great meals! what about ending with an amazing coffe?
Sure, but must be a moretta!
Moretta Fanese, is a pretty alcoholic corrected coffee originating from the city of Fano also widespread in neighboring areas and cities.
It is strong and sweet, and is usually drunk as a digestive after meals or as an afternoon energizer, since the correction is an alcoholic blend based on aniseed liqueur, rum and brandy.

2021 Brodetto Fest did not ignore it , on the contrary set up the Moretta Competition, featuring barmen and cocktails expert form all over the region and awarding Nicolas Vincenzetti as Best Moretta Maker 2021, The secret ingredients of his winning coffee? ….Anized drink Varnelli, coffee grounds, sugar syrup, lemon peel, rum and brandy, banana juice.
Try to make your own at home!

Brodetto Fest 2022 will be back next year! Check online and Add the dates to your calendar!

2021 Summary of FOOD articles by Cesare Zucca

Cesare Zucca
Milanese by birth, Cesare lives between New York, Milan and the rest of the world.
He photographs and talks about food,,wine and gastronomic delights then reports
everything in his “non-touristy-tourist” style
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Prosecco Follador 1769… on the road

The special Truck dedicated exclusively to sparkling wines, signed by Follador Prosecco dal 1769 and conceived by Massimo Morelli with Nicolò Barbisotti, is on tour!
Fun and a desire for lightheartedness will be the common thread of the journey in stages destined for the major Italian Street Food Festivals, where you can taste the spearheads of the historic Venetian company.
Among the main proposals are Cru Torri di Credazzo, DOCG Extra BrutXzero, DOCG BrutNani dei Berti and Prosecco DOC RoséLaelia, accompanied by delicacies studied ad hoc to enhance their aromatic characteristics. All paired with great gastronomic proprosals

I choose a refined sparking Valdobbiadene prosecco:
the Cru “Torri di Credazzo”MILLESIMATO EXTRA DRY-
Brilliant straw yellow with greenish reflections. Very fine and persistent perlage.
Elegant to the nose, with hints of apple, peach and rose petals. Excellent aperitif and with fish-based first courses and seafood

The magnificent Torri di Credazzo PATRIMONIO UNESCO and may fav Prosecco

Here when to find the “Follador Food Truck“and its gourmet proposals
Marina di Massa (9-11 August)
Comeriodi Busto Arsizio Park (3-5 September)
Sesto San Giovanni Crane Bridge (24-26 September) ).

Prosecco is on the way!

INFO
Follador Prosecco dal 1769
Sparklin’ Wines on the raod

Planning your next Italian holidays? Fano is waiting for you…

Italy: Fano in the Marche Region, is the place where Roman and Renaissance histories blend with modernity and sweet life. From the Arch of Augustus to the Malatesta’s walls to the Roman Amphitheatre, to some peaceful beaches on the clear blue Adriatic Sea. In Fano you can also sample the local cuisine that offers a great choice of dishes.

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Here some: traditional dishes from the Marche Region.
The tripe omelette rolled and cut into strips sautéed in a tomato sauce, the Pesaro’s pasticciata a stew of beef in red wine with lard, cinnamon, cloves, tomato sauce. In Senigallia , the specilaty is the cutanèi , kind of “poor” dumplings made of water, flour and a few eggs.The scepter, however, goes to vincisgrassi, the most famous pasta of the Marche region, cut into large strips, seasoned with chicken giblets and baked in the oven. You ‘ll find many rabbit dishes, raised in inland areas between Ascoli, Macerata and Fabriano, the tastiest is the one in porchetta, stuffed with spices and wild fennel or stewed with white wine, garlic, chilli and aromatic herbs. Last but not the least the Ascoli olives, stuffed with meat, breadcrumbs and grated cheese, then floured, passed in egg, in breadcrumbs and fried.

Ascoli Olives

What about fish?
A lot! From sea snails, molluscs, seafood, cooked in stew with tomato, mint and wild fennel or the stockfish cooked in abundant white wine, anchovy pesto, celery, carrots, onion, chilli, aromatic herbs, peeled tomatoes, black olives and potatoes and the iconic brodetto, a fish dish widespread in much of the Adriatic coast prepared in many different styles,

Talking of brodetto, I stopped at the restaurant which has been awarded over the years as “Best Brodetto in Italy” and won again last year Fano Brodetto Festival. It’s called La Liscia da Mr.Ori , located in the premises of the 4 stars Augustus Hotel, an elegant venue in the center of Fano, boasting 22 rooms carefully prepared to welcome all year round guests from all over the world.

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I stayed at the next door 3 stars Hotel De La Ville, owned and managed by the Augustus team with excellent level services and trained, professional and multilingual staff. Hotel De La Ville has 24 rooms, including 8 comfort, completely renovated, bright and equipped with air conditioning, satellite TV, mini bar and free Wi-Fi. Some have a sea view while others overlook the ancient city walls

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I choose this hotel because is in the heart of the city of Fano, directly on the ancient dock, it is an excellent starting point for a relaxing beach holiday and a great discovering of history, art and excellet food

Both hotels have free private parking and a bike sharing service by reservation. A gym with innovative equipment and a sauna for relaxing moments, as well as a quiet and private reading room and internet point are also available to guests of the Augustus Hotel.
Simplicity, exaltation of natural taste, freshness and genuineness combined with tradition and creativity: these are in summary the virtues that you will appreciate at the La Liscia Da Mr.Ori restaurant a certainty in the gastronomic panorama of the Marche region.

Good morning at the Augustus. A tempting home made cake

There I meet with the Executive Chef Francesca Paradisi and the mysterious Mr.Ori himself…aka Luca, Francesca’s husband. Pretty soon we were joined by the all family: mamma Tiziana and papa Gabriele. Hey, we are in Italy, after all…

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Tiziana, Francesca, Gabriele: it’s a family affair... Photo @ Cesare Zucca 2021

Ciao Francesca, ciao Luca, where do you like to travel to, if you have some free time?
Luca: We love travelling, exotic destinations are our favorite, Francesca, me and 3 kids, big company. We went to Etiopia, Kenya, Nepal, India, who knows what would be the next…
While in your territory, what car do you like to drive?
Francesca: I am the only driver in the family because Luca doesn’t have a driving license. I have a spacious Peugeot where I can easily fit three child seats in the back
Are you curious about those local cuisine?
Francesca: Absolutely. Sometimes we export ideas, like my ricciola sashimi with mango yelly or the Meo Meo tuna iinspired by Thai cuisine, based on rice, fried vegetables, soy and oyster sauce. We aim, especially in this period that we cannot easily travel, to take our clients around the world with imagination and taste.

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What is important on your cooking?
Taste, freshness, variety, all of that wiith a bit of fantasy and inspiration, for example I named Cesar my laurel, zucchini and prawns skewers as laca and me, we were both inspired by Caesar Augustus,

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Francesca, tell me about your menu and your top dish
My cooking is thetraditional way the cooks form Fano use to prepare a meal: simple, fresh products, lots of fish.

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My number one dish undoubtedly the brodetto, a traditional “poor” soup that local housewives used to cook using the leftover fish that the fishermen did not sell. It is made with oil, red vinegar, tomato paste, pepper, salt and a large quantity of fish: cuttlefish, spider fish, redfish, sole, monkfish and more…

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the iconic brodetto

As a matter of fact in the kitchen there is another “Cooking Queen” I am talking of Tiziana, Gabriele’s wife and expert Chef, here she is…
Tiziana, your restaurant is famous for fish dishes, any particular you would like to mention?
Tiziana: I would love you to try the octopus with mint, green beans, potatoes and the cuttlefish salad with ginger, then you’ll tell me what you think… I also “created” another dish that am proud of: tortelloni stuffed with ricotta and monkfish and wild fennel.

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A Tiziana’s creation: Octopus with mint, green beans, potatoes
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tortelloni stuffed with ricotta, monkfish pachino tomatoes and wild fennel.

Let’s go back in time: Your fist memory in the kitchen?
Francesca: Mom cooking all the time… with some huge sunday production making fresh pasta tortellini and those large tables settled up in three huts, on holidays such as communions and confirmations and was served in three huts.

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Gabriele: Oh yeah, I remember. I was a kid and my job was to shape the gnocchi using my fingers, I kinda loved and hated…actually usually two were ending up on the table and one… in my mouth, even raw they were so good…

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A succulent and tasty traditional dish. the ” fritto misto” served with fried vegetables

Gabriele, you have won the Best Brodetto Award, can you tell me a little bit about it?
Gabriele: Sure, we were the winners of the first edition and we keep the title for a long time, including last year. Fano BrodettoFest it’s a great event that will happen again this year from September 10th to 12th I consider it an unmissable appointment for seafood lovers. There will be great chefs exhibitions and cooking contests to declare the best fish recipe, evaluated by a technical and popular judges.


There is also an area for the children Brodetto & kids, with entertainment, games, didactic activities and detailed workshops about the fish in the Adriatic Sea and the snack time served with fish to approach the children to eat fish, especially the local ones.

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What a great event! Pity only 3 days....
Well, you ‘ll be happy to hear that several restaurants will take part to the “Fuori Brodetto” promotion: a serving of that delicious fish soup will be served at the fixed price of 20 Euros until the end of the month!
So, come to Fano and enjoy this delicious specialty!
Well, I have already save the date…
Grazie Tiziana, Francesca, Gabriele and Luca, see you in September!



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INFO
BrodettoFest
For restaurant info, details, menus, timetables and addresses, click on the name in orange

CESARE ZUCCA
Travel, food & lifestyle.
Born in Milan, Cesare lives between New York, Milan and the rest of the world.
For WEEKEND PREMIUM he photographs and writes about cities, cultures, lifestyles. 
He likes to discover both traditional and innovative gastronomic delights,

to meet and interview top chefs from over the world and to ‘steal ‘their recipes.
All of them treasured in his blog, with a “Non Touristy Tourist ”  style

2021 Summary of WINE articles by Cesare Zucca

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Perugia, Italy. Discover Hotel Sangallo and meet Chef Islam


Be enchanted by the wonderful landscape of Umbria, in my opinion one of the most beautiful regions of the Peninsula. Perugia is awakening from the forced torpor of the lockdown: many accommodation facilities of all kinds, many museums, restaurants and trattorias, have reopened and tourists, especially Italians and Europeans, have returned to enjoy the beauty of this city. Among the hotels, the 4-star Sangallo Palace stands out for its quality-price ratio, service and location, being strategically located right next to the escalator that will first take you to the magical Rocca Paolina, the imposing fortress built by Pope Paul III.

La Rocca Paolina. Get lost in a labyrinth of underground rooms of extraordinary beauty

Continuing on the escalators, you will arrive in the wonderful center where the Fontana Maggiore triumphs in the sumptuous Piazza IV Novembre, the setting for summer concerts during the Umbria Jazz festival.

Night fairy tale on the square

Let’s go back to where we started from, and that is the Sangallo Palace.
A venue that we recommend for its exquisite hospitality and professionalism, welcoming comfort rooms, design details in the furnishings and lighting, which quote the floor graphics of the Annunciation by Perugino with futuristic neon accents. colored in the showers

Perugino in the quotes of the Hotel Sangallo

Despite being in the center, the rooms are very quiet, thanks to a first-rate anti-noise system. For workouts, relaxation and a nice swim, you will find a rich spa with swimming pool and gym

The spa and a really “Perugina” room with the iconic couple of the famous kisses

Finally, his excellent (indeed I would say very good) Sangallo Restaurant, where we meet Chef Kamrul Islam, born in Bangladesh and living in Italy for more than 30 years.

His renowned cuisine is now decidedly Italian, indeed Umbrian with a French accent.
There is a lot of traditional Umbrian cuisine in the pasta dishes, strictly homemade, like strangozzi, served with salmon and zucchini and umbricelli alla norcina, with cream and sausages.

Chef Kamrul Islam

Good morning Kamrul, your first memory in the kitchen?
When I was looking around mother Nasmakan intent on preparing our typical dishes. Unlike Indian cuisine, ours is much simpler and certainly less spicy. Sitting at the table is a ritual, just like in Italy, and no expense is spared for food.
Your cooking is …
Based on local products, meats, vegetables, cured meats, cheeses, I would define it as an Umbrian cuisine, often with traditional dishes, such as polenta and sausage and grapes, a classic of the winter months.

A Chef Ismal signature dish: Colfiorito lamb chops marinated in herbs

Do you cook at home?
(laughs) Never! My wife forbids me, only her is at the stove, also because our women think that we husbands are not so good at cooking. that we mess and leave everything in a mess, so at home they don’t let me touch a pot.
What does Mrs. Ismal cook?
In my house, the pasta is a winner, also because I have a son who literally lives only on pasta … sometimes rice, as a second course maybe a hamburger or a chicken breast, or … again pasta!
Always and never in your refrigerator…
Well, easy to guess: many types of pasta in the pantry and some homemade sauces in the fridge. Never: eggplant. And yes I like them a lot … but for my wife they are out of discussion … Luckily I cook them here in the restaurant … i

Unfortunately never … in the chef’s house fridge

Where do you like to spend a weekend?
If we stay in the area, at Lake Trasimeno, if we have a few more days, we like to visit a European city like London or Paris, but above all to discover our wonderful cities in Italy, also because the hospitality of Italians is incomparable.
Do you do gastronomic research on your travels?
No, when I go on vacation I take off my chef uniform and completely forget that I am a cook. I am a pure tourist interested in other things.

fishing and relaxing on Lake Trasimeno

Any new dish on your menu?
Brand new, perhaps you are the first to taste it. A very summery dish and easy to make: lemon and mint tagliatelle. Here the recipe

LEMON AND MINT TAGLIATELLE.

Ingredients for 4 people)
1 lemon peel
Egg Tagliatelle (300 grams)
Fresh mint (1 bunch of 50 grams)
Garlic (2 cloves)
Olive oil
Parmesan cheese (30 grams)
Parsley (10 grams).
Preparation : Boil the lemon peel to chop later Prepare the mint pesto with garlic, olive oil, parmesan and parsley. Mix everything well and pour over the pasta cooked al dente
A wine to pair?
A wine that interprets history, elegance and modernity. Think it was the first Chardonnay to be grown in Umbria, in the early 1970s and its label recalls, with stylized graphics, the four-lobed tiles of the fourteenth century. that adorn the facade of the Cathedral of Perugia, I am talking about Umbria Chardonnay of Cantine Lungarotti, with a full and well balanced character. It has a color: intense straw yellow with greenish reflections and a perfume that expresses notes of banana, peach and pean

Chardonnay Lungarotti

The Lungarotti company maintains a strong family imprint based on respect for the values that unite tradition, history and territory and is today directed by the sisters Chiara Lungarotti and Teresa Severini, while Maria Grazia Lungarotti successfully directs the work of the Foundation. At the forefront of environmental protection, the company operates a sustainable viticulture, with choices that aim at obtaining the best quality of the grapes without stressing the plant or the soil, together with the defense of the environment, not using either herbicides or chemical fertilizers. i.

The Lungarotti hills, famous for their Rubesco

INFO
Hotel Sangallo Palace
Secret Umbria
Cantine Lungarotti

Angsana Resort Corfù, Greece

Looking for an historical, alive, welcoming destination?
The answer is Greece
Looking for a Greek Island historical, alive and welcoming?
The answer is Corfù
Looking for an amazing accommodation where indulge your Corfù vacation?
The answer is the Angsana Resort Corfù, the newest, incomparable addition to the Island.

The view from the Angsana Terrace

I spend there 5 fabulous days, enjoying my room, my terrace, the SPA, the private “Emerald”
beach and the immense swimming pool, a truly amazing endless space that literally seems to plunge into the blue sea.

the Angsana Corfù swimmimg pool

The resort is set on an idyllic lush green hilltop overlooking the turquoise waters of the historical Benitses Bay. It boasts a close vicinity to the exotic Paxoi and Antipaxoi islets.
Located a short 12 km drive south of Corfu town, an UNESCO World Heritage site with its imposing Old Fortress, the resort is strategically positioned for must-see spots, beautiful sandy beaches, historical sites and activities for all tastes, an experience of local heritage and a deep sense of belonging.

The estate is surrounded by a landscape of exquisite beauty with Mediterranean gardens and olive tree groves, overlooking the picturesque Benitses Bay, presenting far-reaching views of the Ionian sea and the countryside.

THE SWIMMING POOLS
This swimming pools are undoubtedly among the Angsana Corfu’s greatest attractions. They both, outdoor and indoor, encapsulates the heart of the resort’s lifestyle. In addition, an indoor heated pool for winter days or training regimes and a kids’ pool bring the fun of poolside life to every guest.

A personal fitness program can be designed and executed at Angsana Corfu dedicated state-of-the-art Gym and at the outdoor Yoga Pavilion, for a healthy and fit summer life.

Yes, that’s me with the lifeguard, always present and on the alert, with a smile, like the entire professional team working in the property.

THE ROOMS
The resort offers a collection of 159 contemporary rooms and suites, plus 37 luxury villa homes built in the style of local architecture, laid out across the hilltop estate.with a choice of 159 rooms and suites plus 37 private pool villas, backdropped with infinity sea views.

Spacious and stylish accommodation on a historical hilltop location of Corfu, offering a fine blend of the Greek “philoxenia, friend to the stranger” and the mystique of Asian hospitality, a home away from home feeling.

amazing sunset from my beautiful terrace

The rooms, the suites and pool villas are backdropped with infinity sea views define the spacious and stylish accommodations on a historical hilltop location of Corfu, offering a fine blend of the Greek “philoxenia, friend to the stranger” and the mystique of Asian hospitality, a home away from home feeling.

THE FOOD
Here comes one of my favorite part…. Food here is amazing.from the huge breakfast buffet to the greek cuisine of Sofrito, to the experience at Botrini’s, a fine dining restaurant guided by the stellar Chef Ettore Botrini.

Botrini’s and Sofrito

THE AMAZING BREAKFAST
From Freshly pressed juices made to boost your health and stamina, enhancing a feeling of happiness in you, to rich omelettes made just the way you like them, an infinite number of local and international sweets and desserts,

You will find fresh homemade bread, cold cuts, salmon, local cheeses, a great variety of yougurt, fresh honey that melts under your eyes, a huge choice of vegetables, cooked or sautéed, such as mushrooms, potatoes, yellow and red cherry tomatoes and ratatouille,

So, If you are into salads, You ‘ll find them
if you are into eggs, You ll find them
if you are into sausages …well, you got it !

Add seasoning of any kind, sweet and salted delicacies, fruits and tasty local pastry, such as bougatsa a greek pie with a creamy custard and light phyllo, and the incomparable cheese pie called tiropita… in short: a king’s breakfast!

Dessert time: going local with bougatsa and tiropita

DINING
Angsana Corfu places gastronomy pleasures high on its priority list… and so do I !
The resort offers a unique palette of vibrant flavors and taste combinations sourced from around the world. Our chefs serve up a universe of options, from fusion Asian cuisine and sushi bites to Greek cuisine with local Corfiot delicacies and tasty international favorite dishes.

With a full range of signature restaurants, and outdoor dining lounge terraces overlooking a panorama of expansive seaviews and mountainous Corfiot landscape, every meal will be an experience to remember.

Angsana Corfu is a Mediterranean sanctuary of extraordinary beauty, a luxurious spa and beach resort offering the warmth and charms of its unique blend of Greek and Asian hospitality. Its proximity to Achilleion Palace, once home to the famed Empress Sissi of Austria,
enriches its surroundings with echoes of a royal era.

THE SPA
What better than a relaxing foot massage upon my arrival? I gOt the stress out and enjoied the one hour session that you I felt like walking on a cloud.
Wellness is revived in the signature award-winning Angsana Spa, a space of euphoria, providing guests with a rejuvenating sense of touch using fusion massage techniques, where East meets West.

Angsana Spa consists of 11 treatment rooms, outdoor with secret gardens and superb seaviews, located right next to the indoor pool area overlooking the bay, making it a true oasis for the body and the soul.

There will always be something for the children, who can happily hang out and socially mingle at our kids’ club and pool, the Ranger’s Club. Our beach spot will offer luxurious sun loungers, a beach bar and fun water sports activities. A dedicated concierge is available to deliver special guest requests.

The “Emerald Beach” at Angsana

And this is only the beginning…. more surprises are in their way…
Like an additional 4th and 5th floor huge terrace where you ‘ll feel like on top of the world

And if… a photo is worth more than a thousand words…
THAT’S THE WAY I WAS FEELING, WHILE THERE!

Arrivederci Corfù! See you soon ! Τα λέμε αργότερα !

Arrivederci Corfù !
See you soon !
Τα λέμε αργότερα !

INFO
Angsana Resort Corfù
Akra Punta, Benitses, Corfu, Greece

Photos © Cesare Zucca 2021

Meissen, Saxony, Germany . Discover the Meissner Fummel, the “flying sweet bread”


Welcome to Meissen. History, art, porcelain and a dessert that flies … 

MUST SEE IN MEISSEN

Stadtmuseum This is the city museum, in the former church of a Franciscan monastery. Do not miss the large manual press dated 1788 or the last fishing boat on the Elbe river The Cathedral of 1400, of French-Gothic style, one of the most richly furnished and decorated Saxon churches. The perspective of the columns really looks like a neverending curtain.

Frauenkirche, make your way up to the spire (193 steps!) For a spectacular view of the city and to hear the Meissen porcelain bells. Albrechtsburg, a fairytale castle built in the Gothic style, overlooking the city of Meißen, in the land of Saxony, Germany.

Un bellissimo tramonto a Meissen

It is actually the porcelain, locally nicknamed “white gold”, one of the things that Saxony is best known for, being the first place in Europe to produce porcelain since the early 1700s. Two crossed blue swords will welcome you in the famous Manifattura di Meissen whose precious creations are famous all over the world. le cui preziose creazioni sono famose in tutto il mondo.

le meravigliose ceramiche di Meissen, per impreziosire la vostra tavola

At the end of the visit, do not miss the well-stocked gift shop, I’m sure you won’t resist the temptation to buy a souvenir.

piccoli souvenir in porcellana

The historic puffed sweet bread

Meissen’s historic sweet specialty is Meissner Fummel, whose origins date back to at least the 17th century. It is a pandolce with a very thin and extremely crumbly puff pastry, so fragile that it breaks at the slightest vibration.

‘bretzel’ salati e il tipico pane dolce soffiato

It has a rounded shape, empty inside, very light and extremely fragile. A real cloud! It has no specific flavor, so no appreciable nutritional value, however, with the addition of a sprinkle of powdered sugar it becomes a dessert, often paire to a good sweet wine.

Volete la ricetta? Eccola Curious about the recipe? here you go!

MEISSNER FUMMEL

Meissner Fummel, Il dolce tipicodi Meissen. La dimensione è quella di una pagnotta sottile e friabile., vuota all’interno e riempita d’aria.

Ingredients
▢ 50 g of butter ▢ 1 egg yolk ▢ 100 g of flour ▢ 1 pinch of sugar ▢ salt ▢ 1 straw (not a joke)

Preparation
▢ Put the flour on a work surface, mix well with the sugar and salt and then add the butter. ▢ Knead the dough well for about 10 minutes so that at the end it is elastic. ▢ Roll out the dough very thin. ▢ Brush one half with egg yolk and cover the other half. Press the edge firmly and flip the piece of dough to the other side. It is best to place everything on a baking sheet lined with baking paper. This is then spread to obtain two thin discs, on one of which, moistened with water or egg, is made to match the other by squeezing the edges well. ▢ At this point, use the straw, first to pierce the upper half of the dumpling, then to blow some air into it and inflate it slightly. ▢ Then put the gnocchi in the oven preheated to 240 degrees and bake for 3 minutes.

INFO
Manifattura Porcellane di Meissen
Meissen Tourism
Visit Meissen

TV CHEF SUPERSTAR ALESSANDRO BORGHESE WITH A SUMMER RECIPE

PACCHERO “PASTA ARMANDO” STUFFED WITH RICOTTA, LEMON AND PIENNOLO CHERRY TOMATO

Pacchero Pasta Armando farcito con ricotta, limone e pomodorino del Piennolo.

Ingredients
320 g of Pacchero Pasta Armando
400 g of cow’s milk ricotta
1 bunch of Basil
1 Lemon
500 g San Marzano tomatoes
1 clove of garlic
Salt, black pepper, extra virgin olive oil
Preparation
Cook the Pacchero Pasta Armando in plenty of salted water. In the meantime, prepare the ricotta, mixing it with the grated lemon peel, basil, salt and pepper. Drain the pasta halfway through cooking and use the sac à poche to fill with the creamed ricotta and the San Marzano tomato cut into fillet. Place parchment paper on a baking sheet, pour a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and place the stuffed paccheri. Complete with a sprinkling of grated pecorino, a drizzle of oil and a grating of black pepper. Brown in the oven for about 10 minutes. Once ready, plate and finish with a few leaves of fresh basil.

Chef Alessandro Borghese restaurant “Il Lusso della Semplicità” Milan , Italy

INFO
il Lusso della Semplicità

Italian version
Ingredients

  • 320 g di Pacchero Pasta Armando
  • 400 g di Ricotta vaccina
  • 1 mazzo di Basilico
  • 1 Limone
  • 500 g Pomodori San Marzano
  • 1 spicchio di Aglio
  • Sale, pepe nero, olio evo
  • PreparazioneCuoci il Pacchero Pasta Armando in abbondante acqua salata.
    Nel frattempo prepara la ricotta, mantecandola con la buccia grattugiata del limone, basilico, sale e pepe.
    Scola la pasta a metà cottura e utilizza la sac à poche farcisci con la ricotta mantecata e il pomodoro San Marzano tagliato a filetto.
    Posiziona della carta forno su di una teglia, versa un filo di olio extravergine di oliva e adagia i paccheri farciti. Completa con una spolverata di pecorino grattugiato, un filo do olio e una grattata di pepe nero. Fai gratinare in forno per circa 10 minuti.
    Una volta pronti, impiatta e finisci con qualche fogliolina di basilico fresco

OSCAR OR … A GOLDEN BOTTLE?

UN OSCAR O … UNA BOTTIGLIA D’ORO?

(English and Italian version)

Oscar nigh: “And the Oscar goes to….”
Well, I am not sure who is going to win…
Best movie: Nomadland? Mank? or a surprise winner such as The sound of Metal?

For sure I know that a well deserved award honor the extraordinary Northern California winery “directed” by Oscar Winner FRANCIS FORD COPPOLA who will celebrates THE 93rd Awards WITH TWO LIMITED EDITION WINES IN GOLD BOTTLES, PRODUCED BY BOTTEGA S.p.A. “The Family Coppola 93rd Awards’” limited-edition bottles themselves have been produced by Bottega Spa and feature a mirror gold color exterior. Each bottle was crafted as a symbol honouring the significant talent, passion and hard work achieved throughout the entire film industry.

The Francis Ford Coppola Winery wines selected for the 93rd Awards are a Chardonnay , extraordinary Northern California winery,and a Cabernet Sauvignon, both coming from grapes grown in Sonoma County,
From the friendship between Francis Ford Coppola and Sandro Bottega is born an exclusive golden bottles have been produced by the Bottega S.p.A. winery in Bibano di Godega (TV), which for years has been developing an exclusive metallization process, thanks to the mirrored gold colour becomes “glass,”, a patent recently recognised also by the Court of Appeal of Venice.

Francis Ford Coppola and Sandro Bottega

INFO
Bottega

VERSIONE ITALIANA

UN OSCAR O … UNA BOTTIGLIA D’ORO?

Posted on

OSCAR O… UNA BOTTIGLIA D’ORO?

La notte dell’ Oscar è vicina
Beh, non sono so chi vincerà … Miglior film: Nomadland? Mank? o un vincitore a sorpresa come The sound of Metal? Di sicuro so che una statuetta d’onore andrà alla straordinaria azienda vinicola della California del Nord “diretta” dal Premio Oscar FRANCIS FORD COPPOLA che celebrerà IL 93 ° Premio CON DUE VINI IN EDIZIONE LIMITATA IN BOTTIGLIE D’ORO, PRODOTTI DA BOTTEGA SpA The Family Coppola 93rd Awards ‘ prodotte in edizione limitata da Bottega Spa,
Ogni bottiglia, di color oro specchiato, è stata realizzata come un simbolo che onora il talento, la passione e il duro dell’intera industria cinematografica.

Francis Ford Coppola and Sandro Bottega

I vini della Francis Ford Coppola Winery selezionati per il 93 ° Premio sono un Chardonnay, , e un Cabernet Sauvignon, entrambi provenienti da uve coltivate nella contea di Sonoma,
Dall’amicizia tra Francis Ford Coppola e Sandro Bottega è nata questa bottiglia dorata prodotta dalla cantina Bottega SpA di Bibano di Godega (TV),

INFO
Bottega

Ciao Chef, what car do you drive?

Cristiano Tomei

Our ‘four-wheeled culinary investigation’ begins with the popular television judge of “Cuochi d’Italia” Cristiano Tomei. His Michelin starred restaurant L’Imbuto, is located in the splendid Palazzo Pfanner in Lucca, whose gardens have from scenery to great films such as Il Marchese del Grillo and Portrait of a Lady.
What car do you drive?
“In the past I was a fan of the classic Land Rover, then I switched to more comfortable, more ‘mature’ cars and lately I drive a Citroen minivan.”

Agostino Iacobucci

What a journey! From tortellino to babà… In his Michelin starred Restaurant Agostino Iacobucci , Agostino takes us on a journey between tradition and innovation, from true Neapolitan cuisine to the great gastronomic heritage of Emilia.
What car do you drive?
“A Mercedes, I chose it because I find that the Germans have an edge in terms of cars and I’m also a Mercedes Ambassador

Luigi Biasetto

Luigi Biasetto

In Padua we meet the pastry chef Luigi Biasetto. In 1997 his “Torta Sette Veli” earned him the award as “best pastry chef in the world”. Biasetto pastry shops are in Padua and Udine, his desserts are famous all over the world.
What car do you drive?
“A Volvo, efficient and safe. I’ve traveled an avalanche of kilometers, driving relaxes me, but I’m constantly on the phone, being in the car with me … pretty boring”

Riccardo Succi

Riccardo Succi

Asina Luna is the white donkey that Italian artist Fabrizio de Andrè sings in ‘Monti di Mola’ and it is also the name that Riccardo Succi has chosen for his restaurant in Peschiera Borromeo (MI) which he runs together with his wife Tiziana Dinoia. A place where, among some vintage touches such as 50s radios or grandmother’s dresser transformed into a wine bar, meat, selected and imported, reigns supreme, among the best in the world
What car do you drive?
“I like to go around Northern Italy, discovering the local gastronomy, so I adopted a Land Rover: it allows me to take the family around and, like a good truck, it helps me with the transport of groceries.

Dario Loison

Dario Loison

Costabissara, in the province of Vicenza is the home of the “sweet paradise” born as a small bakery oven, in 80 years, the laboratory has been transformed into an established artisan company whose products are in demand all over the world. For three generations Loison has been able to continually question itself to keep up with the times and tastes.
What car do you drive?
“An Audi / 4-wheel drive gives me security. Perfect for my weekends in South Tyrol where I can enjoy the panorama of the Dolomites.”

Roberto Toro

Roberto Toro

The starry nights and a star (the Michelin one) shine on the wonderful terrace of the Belmond Grand Hotel Timeo which houses the Otto Geleng restaurant with its precious tables, silvers, crystals, hand-embroidered tablecloths, Here an incomparable view of the coast and the spectacular cuisine by Chef Roberto Toro
What car do you drive?
“An Audi. But I’m not a big fan of cars, I just need it for getting around.”

Tano Simonato

“Milan at the table”means Tano Simonato, Michelin star and his famous restaurant Tano , passami l’olio – Tano pass me the oil- where the attention is particularly focused on the condiment per excellence: extra virgin olive oil, both in cooking and cold. Tano’s slogan is There are two ways to eat: one to feed, the other to have fun. The nice thing is that the second does not eliminate the first
What car do you drive?
After 35 years of Volvo, I switched to Lexus because I wanted a hybrid car, a super-comfortable seat, as I travel and a generous trunk capable of accommodating at least three pre-prepared line boxes

INFO
Asina Luna
L’Imbuto
Loison
Tano Passami l ‘olio
Otto Geleng
Luigi Biasetto
Agostino Iacobucci

ITALY: WINE AND COOKIES

“PESCIOLINI DI CESENATICO” THE TRADITIONAL COOKIES FROM CESENATICO

What wine to pair?

Solara Albana Passito DOCG from Cantine Celli

The Bertinoro vineyards: Solara Albana, is a passito with the Romagna inside
The first year of production of Albana Passito wine for the Celli di Bertinoro company dates back to the mid-80s, although in Romagna the tradition of hanging grapes in the attic is much older. It is harvested in early October, rests for 40 days, to be pressed in mid-November.

I vigneti di Bertinoro. Solara Albana, un passito con la Romagna dentro

This is followed by alcoholic fermentation and aging in barrique for 8 months. It is a wine with a sweet flavor, but balanced by acidity and a slight tannic presence, with an intense shiny golden yellow color and a perfume with notes of apricot, candied fruit, citrus. A perfect passito with fine pastries, chocolate, blue cheeses, pies with fruit jams and acacia honey

INFO Vini Celli

Vino e Dolce. La torta di albicocche di Aurora Mazzucchelli, Stella Michelin

                                   

               Che vino abbinare?

Il moscato non è solo un vino bianco dolce e aromatico: stimola la curiosità, il carattere, ed è il modo giusto per interpretare le diverse situazioni della vita. E’ ideale con i dolci e le crostate alla frutta e perfetto per il dessert di Aurora.

Moscato d’Asti Saracco DOCG

Il Moscato d’Asti Saracco DOCG è un vino aromatico autoctono dal colore giallo paglierino e dall’aroma caratterizzato da profumi di arancio e pesca. Il vitigno è il Moscato Bianco di Canelli tipico della zona delle Langhe. Questo moscato è diventato il preferito dei rapper e hip hoppers americani  che non solo lo sorseggiano nei party ma addiruttira lo citano nello loro canzoni.  Così hanno fatto Kanye West, Lil ‘Kim e Kendrick Lamar che ha ritmato: «Quando le cose si fanno difficili da digerire / abbiamo bisogno di una bottiglia di Moscato»

INFO
Forno Mollica
Via Porrettana n.291, Sasso Marconi (Bologna)
Cantine Saracco
Via Circonvallazione 6, Castiglione Tinella (Cuneo) Italia

Harlem: gospel, banana pudding and the legendary Miss Norma Jean Darden

Harlem, meta delle comunità afro-americane e di visitatori provenienti da tutto il mondo.

TEXT AND PHOTOS BY CESARE ZUCCA

Sunday morning in Harlem, a destination for African-American communities and visitors from all over the world. For those who love to travel in groups, there are organized tours, including welcometoharlem.com, harlemspirituals.com, harlemheritage.com.offering a global view of Harlem and its historical path.

Gospel masses start at 11, better to arrive well in advance to ensure entry. Harlem, a destination for African-American communities and visitors from all over the world.

Abyssinian Baptist Church

Among those that host the most renowned choirs I like to mention: New Mount Zion Baptist Church, one of the most traditional churches in the neighborhood, founded more than 80 years ago. Its choir is considered one of the best in Harlem. Here the singing never stops, even during the Pastor’s sermon. In fervent union with music, the faithful clap their hands, mark the time and pray ecstatically (171 West 140th Street) .Abyssinian Baptist Church, a true architectural jewel with splendid mosaic windows. It boasts a mighty choir and is a favorite destination for tourists. Long line to enter. (132 Odell Clark Place / West 138th Street) Mount Neboh Baptist Church Its choir, in addition to traditional sacred hymns, sings new versions of popular pieces such as “Oh Happy Day” and “At Calvary.” The service starts at 10.45. (1883 Adam Clayton Powell Ave) and finally

The Greater Refuge Temple, my favorite. Large modern amphitheater where numerous choirs alternate. The energy is sky high, the music is enthralling. , voices and prayers are transformed into a musical crescendo, accompanied by organ, drums, electric guitar, and by the numerous tambourines with which the elegant African American ladies mark and color the rhythm. (2081 Adam Clayton Powell Avenue)

The Greater Refuge Temple


Powerful voices and sensational harmonies result in a collective frenzy that ignites souls and turns into a real show. Video and photo shooting inside the church are prohibited. Unadvisable (and irreverent) to be smart.

For the black ladies, it is an opportunity to show off an elegant look and unpredictable hats.

Per le black ladies, l’appuntamento domenicale è anche un’occasione per sfoggiare un look elegante, acconciature elaborate e imprevedibili cappellini.


It’s time for lunch, one of the most popular soul food restaurants is Spoonbread Too
which serves authentic Southern American home cooking, famous for gumbo, collard greens and traditional fried chicken.

Norma Jean, ieri e oggi

The restaurant is run by a Harlem icon: the legendary (and still beautiful) Norma Jean Darden, one of the first black top models in fashion history.
Norma serves comfort food based on the family recipes she collected in the book Spoonbread and Strawberry Wine, written with her sister Carole.

il fortunatissimo libro libro Spoonbread and Strawberry Wine,

Among the classic dishes of the South, here is the “banana pudding” a banana pudding enriched with whipped cream or, just like the grandmothers of the South, with a meringue top.
GRAND MA BANANA PUDDING

Il “banana pudding” di Norma Jean Darden

Norma Jean Darden’s “banana pudding”, a Southern dessert made with layers of vanilla custard, biscuits and slices of fresh bananas Ingredients For 8 people 4 tablespoons of 00 flour 1 1/2 cup of sugar pinch of salt 3 separate large eggs (you will need the egg whites later for the meringue) 3 cups of milk 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract 1 box of vanilla wafers about 45 wafers 5-6 bananas 3 egg whites 1/8 teaspoon of cream of tartar 1/4 cup of sugar 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract Preparation Preheat the oven to 325º F. How to make custard for pudding Combine the flour, sugar, and salt in a large heavy-bottomed saucepan. Lightly whisk the egg yolks and whisk to combine with the milk in a large bowl or also use a large liquid measuring cup, such as 4 cups. Whisk the egg yolk mixture into the dry ingredients in the saucepan over medium-low heat. Stir constantly until the custard has thickened, remove from heat and add the vanilla extract. How to assemble banana pudding Arrange the vanilla wafers on the bottom of a 2-quart dish, such as an oven-safe glass bowl or dish. Slice the bananas and place them on top of the vanilla wafer layer. Pour 1/3 of the pudding over the waffles and bananas. Repeat the layering process, ending with a wafer layer. Grandma recommends serving it in a glass bowl How to make the meringue garnish: Use a very clean whisk and bowl that have been chilled for a while. Then, whip the egg whites with your electric whisk at very high speed. When the egg whites begin to foam, add the cream of tartar and then the sugar one tablespoon at a time. Continue beating the egg whites until all the sugar has dissolved and hard peaks form, then stir in the vanilla extract.
Spread the meringue over the top of the pudding, taking care to spread it completely to the inside edge of the plate to completely cover the pudding. Cook for 25 minutes until the meringue is lightly browned.
Remove from the oven and serve.

Nonna consiglia di servirlo in una ciotola di vetro

Spoonbread Too
366 West 110th Street, di fronte a Morningside Park, New York

Tour
https://welcometoharlem.com/
https://www.harlemheritage.com/
https://www.harlemspirituals.com/

Cesare Zucca
Travel, food & lifestyle. Born in Milan, Cesare lives between New York, Milan and the rest of the world.For WEEKEND PREMIUM he photographs and talks about cities, cultures, lifestyles and discovers both traditional and innovative gastronomic delights. Cesare meets and interviews top chefs from all over the world, ‘steals’ their recipes and tells you everything in his blog, in style ‘Turista non Turista’

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Harlem: gospel, banana pudding and the legendary Miss Norma Jean Darden

Harlem, meta delle comunità afro-americane e di visitatori provenienti da tutto il mondo.

TEXT AND PHOTOS BY CESARE ZUCCA

Sunday morning in Harlem, a destination for African-American communities and visitors from all over the world. For those who love to travel in groups, there are organized tours, including welcometoharlem.com, harlemspirituals.com, harlemheritage.com.offering a global view of Harlem and its historical path.

Gospel masses start at 11, better to arrive well in advance to ensure entry. Harlem, a destination for African-American communities and visitors from all over the world.

Abyssinian Baptist Church

Among those that host the most renowned choirs I like to mention: New Mount Zion Baptist Church, one of the most traditional churches in the neighborhood, founded more than 80 years ago. Its choir is considered one of the best in Harlem. Here the singing never stops, even during the Pastor’s sermon. In fervent union with music, the faithful clap their hands, mark the time and pray ecstatically (171 West 140th Street) .Abyssinian Baptist Church, a true architectural jewel with splendid mosaic windows. It boasts a mighty choir and is a favorite destination for tourists. Long line to enter. (132 Odell Clark Place / West 138th Street) Mount Neboh Baptist Church Its choir, in addition to traditional sacred hymns, sings new versions of popular pieces such as “Oh Happy Day” and “At Calvary.” The service starts at 10.45. (1883 Adam Clayton Powell Ave) and finally

The Greater Refuge Temple, my favorite. Large modern amphitheater where numerous choirs alternate. The energy is sky high, the music is enthralling. , voices and prayers are transformed into a musical crescendo, accompanied by organ, drums, electric guitar, and by the numerous tambourines with which the elegant African American ladies mark and color the rhythm. (2081 Adam Clayton Powell Avenue)

The Greater Refuge Temple


Powerful voices and sensational harmonies result in a collective frenzy that ignites souls and turns into a real show. Video and photo shooting inside the church are prohibited. Unadvisable (and irreverent) to be smart.

For the black ladies, it is an opportunity to show off an elegant look and unpredictable hats.

Per le black ladies, l’appuntamento domenicale è anche un’occasione per sfoggiare un look elegante, acconciature elaborate e imprevedibili cappellini.


It’s time for lunch, one of the most popular soul food restaurants is Spoonbread Too
which serves authentic Southern American home cooking, famous for gumbo, collard greens and traditional fried chicken.

Norma Jean, ieri e oggi

The restaurant is run by a Harlem icon: the legendary (and still beautiful) Norma Jean Darden, one of the first black top models in fashion history.
Norma serves comfort food based on the family recipes she collected in the book Spoonbread and Strawberry Wine, written with her sister Carole.

il fortunatissimo libro libro Spoonbread and Strawberry Wine,

Among the classic dishes of the South, here is the “banana pudding” a banana pudding enriched with whipped cream or, just like the grandmothers of the South, with a meringue top.
GRAND MA BANANA PUDDING

Il “banana pudding” di Norma Jean Darden

Norma Jean Darden’s “banana pudding”, a Southern dessert made with layers of vanilla custard, biscuits and slices of fresh bananas

Ingredients For 8 people
4 tablespoons of 00 flour 1 1/2 cup of sugar pinch of salt 3 separate large eggs (you will need the egg whites later for the meringue) 3 cups of milk 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract 1 box of vanilla wafers about 45 wafers 5-6 bananas 3 egg whites 1/8 teaspoon of cream of tartar 1/4 cup of sugar 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
Preparation
Preheat the oven to 325º F. How to make custard for pudding Combine the flour, sugar, and salt in a large heavy-bottomed saucepan. Lightly whisk the egg yolks and whisk to combine with the milk in a large bowl or also use a large liquid measuring cup, such as 4 cups. Whisk the egg yolk mixture into the dry ingredients in the saucepan over medium-low heat. Stir constantly until the custard has thickened, remove from heat and add the vanilla extract. How to assemble banana pudding Arrange the vanilla wafers on the bottom of a 2-quart dish, such as an oven-safe glass bowl or dish. Slice the bananas and place them on top of the vanilla wafer layer. Pour 1/3 of the pudding over the waffles and bananas. Repeat the layering process, ending with a wafer layer. Grandma recommends serving it in a glass bowl How to make the meringue garnish: Use a very clean whisk and bowl that have been chilled for a while. Then, whip the egg whites with your electric whisk at very high speed. When the egg whites begin to foam, add the cream of tartar and then the sugar one tablespoon at a time. Continue beating the egg whites until all the sugar has dissolved and hard peaks form, then stir in the vanilla extract.
Spread the meringue over the top of the pudding, taking care to spread it completely to the inside edge of the plate to completely cover the pudding. Cook for 25 minutes until the meringue is lightly browned.
Remove from the oven and serve.

Nonna consiglia di servirlo in una ciotola di vetro

Spoonbread Too
366 West 110th Street, di fronte a Morningside Park, New York

Tour
https://welcometoharlem.com/
https://www.harlemheritage.com/
https://www.harlemspirituals.com/

Cesare Zucca
Travel, food & lifestyle. Born in Milan, Cesare lives between New York, Milan and the rest of the world.For WEEKEND PREMIUM he photographs and talks about cities, cultures, lifestyles and discovers both traditional and innovative gastronomic delights. Cesare meets and interviews top chefs from all over the world, ‘steals’ their recipes and tells you everything in his blog, in style ‘Turista non Turista’

Venice. Trattoria alla Madonna, 75 years of history and the recipe of the famous “Risotto with seafood”

Un ritrovo all’antica, dall’arredamento tradizionale e quadri d’autori contemporanei alle pareti

Venice. Trattoria alla Madonna,  a classic Venetian restaurant for 75 years.
You can’t go wrong here: abundant dishes, accurate service, family atmosphere, and above all… no music! An old-fashioned meeting place. Traditional furniture and paintings by contemporary artists on the walls.

The menu is a dip in the past with the delights of the present with lots of fish processed in a natural way so as not to affect the typical flavors of each dish. Among the many proposals I point out the rich mixed fish appetizer (canoce, shrimp, octopus, garusoli, dairy products) the traditional “sarde in saor”, crab, vermicelli with cuttlefish ink, spider crabs in the shell, fried or grilled fish and, of course, the Venetian-style liver with polenta.

Le vongole veraci, valide ‘eredi’ delle antiche va

This Trattoria is a true Venetian institution, whose management has passed from generation to generation, Today we find the Patron Lucio Rado and the Chef Enrico Liberalesso who has been at the helm of this iconic restaurant for 42 years. Good morning Enrico. Where do you like to spend a free weekend? I like to discover the Venetian hinterland, both by mountain bike and by car.
What car do you drive?
A Volvo, gives me security. Any destination abroad?
The Canaries, Sharm el-Sheikh, Barcelona and a little all of Spain, although in Spanish cuisine I have not found an interesting use of single fish, but almost always mixed, in fried food or paella.

Il meraviglioso antipasto di pesce della Trattoria alla Madonna

 Unlike Venetian cuisine …
Exactly. In Venice, fish has always been a precious element for a cuisine born ‘poor’ and developed over the centuries. Never throw anything away, the “no waste” philosophy can even be found in ancient eighteenth-century recipes, such as the ‘brodetto that is a restricted fish broth made with the leftovers.
 Your first memory in the kitchen?
A great fright … my mother Carla who had come back from the market with a basket full of live and trampling moeche … they had terrified me.

Enrico Liberalesso

You have been at the helm of this restaurant for 42 years. What are the dishes of then and those of today?
The ‘petite marmite’ is gone. It was a dish much loved by the French, with chicken livers and offal; even the ‘peverasse’ have given way to clams. Always current are the cuttlefish spaghetti in black, the sardines n saor, the timeless Venetian liver and our main dish, the “Risotto with seafood alla Madonna” (smiles) It is said that it is the best in town around the world. ..

RISOTTO WITH SEAFOOD

Il famoso risotto ai frutti di mare della Trattoria alla Madonna, Venezia

Ingredients for 4 people 1/2 kg of mussels 1/2 kg of clams 1/2 kg of scampi 300 g of rice 2 celery sticks 1 onion 1 carrot 2 bay leaves 1 sprig of thyme 1 clove of garlic 1/2 glass of brandy 2 glasses of white wine salt, pepper and chilli to taste The broth Lightly fry the onion, celery, carrot, garlic, bay leaf and thyme. Deglaze with the white wine and let it evaporate, then add the tomato sauce, the scampi shells, the monkfish heads and tails and the water. Boil for an hour and a half, strain and keep only the liquid. The risotto Sauté clams, mussels and scampi, then peel them. Saute celery, chopped garlic onion with a bay leaf. Add the scampi, mussels and clams and pour in the white wine. Add the rice and cook pouring the broth a little at a time and stirring constantly, remembering to add a glass of brandy about 3 minutes before the dish is ready.

INFO
Trattoria Alla Madonna

Cesare Zucca Travel, food & lifestyle.
Born in Milan, he lives between New York, Milan and the rest of the world.For WEEKEND PREMIUM he photographs and talks about cities, cultures, lifestyles and discovers both traditional and innovative gastronomic delights. Cesare meets and interviews top chefs from all over the world, ‘steals’ their recipes and tells you everything in his blog, in the style of ‘A Tourist not soo… Tourist’