What is Italian food without indulgence? Taking this indulgence up a notch are hotel JW Marriott’s Italian chefs Antonello and Daniele Trivero, who has been brought in especially for the ongoing Piedmont Food Festival.
On at the hotel’s dinner-only restaurant, Oregano, the chefs let us in on what comprises a typical Piedmont meal. “A typical meal in Piedmont, Italy, starts with at least four different antipasti (starters); each one is served individually. In this cuisine, cold dishes (salads and starters) come first, followed by the pastas, Italian rice, lamb, chicken and lasagna, and the meal ends with a variety of sumptuous desserts,” says chef Trivero, to which chef Antonello adds, “In Piedmont, food is cooked differently; the food is not spicy there. A lot of dairy products, especially cheese, are used generously; the meat too is boiled before cooking.”
Elaborating on Italians’ penchant for wine, chef Antonello says, “Wines are a staple with Italian food. While we usually prefer the Barolo (red wine), white wines are preferred during summers. Beer too tastes great with pizzas.”
About the basic ingredients used for Italian cuisine, chef Trivero says, “The most important and healthy ingredient is olive oil. People must think Italian is very unhealthy because of the cheese, but olive oil makes it all very healthy. The ciabatta bread is also a staple with food, being light.
Then, fresh red chillies, tomatoes, cheese (parmesan), caperberino (flour), olives, mozzarella cheese and basil are used in almost all dishes.”
Some of the desserts you must try when dinning at Oregano are Pere Cotte Al Vino Rosso, Ricotta E Mascarpone (poached peer in red wine, ricotta and mascarpone cheese), Bonet (traditional Piedmont dessert with amaretti, cacao and caramel) and Budino Di Pane Con Frutti Di Bosco (bread pudding and berry compote).
Meal for two is R2,000 (+tax) and the festival is on till July 30.
* Baccala Mantecato Con Patate Salsa Verde Piemontese
(Cream salted cod with potato and parsley sauce piemonte style)
* Caponet Di Mare Vinaigrette Di Peperoni All Olio (Stuffed cabbage with seafood, bell
pepper oil vinaigrette)
* Bianco Di Galletto Bollito, Insalatina Di Germogli E Salsa
Al Crescione (Poached chicken breast, micro green salad, watercress)
* Senifreddo Al Torrone (Nougat parfait & chocolate sauce)