Eat and Italy = Eataly. Need I say more?
A few weeks back I attended the inaugural Rome Food and Wine Festival held at Eataly.
The 3 day event featured 15 award winning chefs and 60 wines to taste and transformed the third floor of this mega food store into foodie heaven.
Receiving a media pass for the duration of the festival, I did my best to sample everything over two filling days!
Here’s how it went:
Young up and coming Neapolitan chef Marianna Vitale already has a Michelin star to her name. She prepared fresh in front of me her cheesecake of fennel infused salt cod, with chickpeas, tomato confit and lemon rind.
And then famed Heinz Beck and his 3 star Michelin team had me try their grilled tuna with a herbed veal jelly.
Back to do it all again the next day, I started at the stand of one of my favourite Rome chefs, Cristina Bowerman of Glass in Trastevere and Romeo in Prati.
She cooked up Polletto Borgogna – a modern take on spring style burgundy chicken. This delicious chicken roulade was served with a red bell pepper foam, sprinkled with dehydrated parsley and an olive oil powder. The final touch was a viola petal and pan fried bok choy.
Next was Christian e Manuel Costardi who for me served up the highlight of the day – Costardi’s Carbonara – their risotto take on the Roman classic.
These guys are the chefs and owners of Cinzia Restaurant in Vercelli, Italy and really impressed me. The dish was super cool served in an aluminum tin (Campbell’s soup style!) and layered up 60 degree egg yolk mixture, parmesan risotto, pecorino sauce and crispy guanciale. To. Die. For.
Alice Delcourt of Erba Brusca in Milan was next. Her dish was light and stylish – Cous Cous primavera with caramelised onion, goat’s cheese, pistachio and mint.
The wines to taste represented many Italian regions and we got handy recommendations for pairings with each of the dishes prepared.
On both days I tried desserts from a dessert buffet featuring 20+ types of cakes and sweets made by pastry chefs Luca Montersino and Eataly’s Gianluca Esposito.
The strawberry mousse and yoghurt and the ricotta and pear cakes were among my favourites.
With my last forkful of divine cake and sip of dessert wine (passito), the weekend of food and wine sadly came to close. And then we just about rolled out of Eataly!
I guarantee I’ll be first in line for the next installment.
Big congratulations and a thank you to the organisers Identità Golose who so kindly offered me a media pass. Thoughts expressed are my own.
Signing off from Trastevere,