Last week was a frenzy of Italian activity at my school. It was Viva Italia! (note the exclamation mark) week and there were a series of amazing events with chefs from Italy, New York City and Toronto. As students in the Italian program, we were asked to help out. I helped out with a 5-course meal with Chef Soldati, from ALMA, the cooking school where we will be spending our first 2 weeks in Italy and a gala tasting event which I will post about when I get photos from my classmates.
In the course of the week he was also going to be interviewing us all to decide where we would be placed in Italy. Going to another country is somewhat terrifying as it is, but not knowing where exactly you will be going until a month before you leave is really nerve wracking. The interviews were short and I’m not sure that they will have much bearing on where we are put, Chef wanted to be sure that we understood the accommodations the restaurants house us in could be rustic and that we might be sharing a room with several people, male or female, Italian or not. I told him that living in a house with 10 people in university prepared me for living with just about anyone. In response, he shook my hand. I guess that’s a good sign. I asked to be placed in Central Italy, in a traditional restaurant with a focus on pasta making. We’ll see…the anticipation is killing me.
The meal he prepared was incredible. Here’s the menu:
Insalata di cappesante con zenzero e pepe rosa
Scallop salad with ginger and red pepper salad
Risotto mantecato agli asparagi e rabarbaro
Risotto with creamy asparagus and rhubarb
Halibut con panpepato e capperi
Halibut with tuscan bread and capers
Agnello alle olive, yogurt e liquirizia
Lamb with olives and liquorice yougurt
Mousse al caffè bianco con konquat confit e pistacchi
White coffee mousse with confit kumquat and pistachio