Foodies prepare to be shook by the unique events hosted during Italy’s premiere culinary festival The Taste. We were unprepared for the youthful Italian food scene nor the discovery of so many new and exciting artisanal trends.
Fresh and seasoned chefs presented new Italian culinary products made with classic and unconventional food items, all sustainable and local from their homeland. From an aperitivo of Shark salumi sourced directly from the Mediterranean sea to single-serving chocolate tartines as a modern afternoon snack, check out the 5 most memorable moments from The Taste.
Parmesan & Gin: The Unlikely Couple
Real life couple Chef Edoardo Till and Claudia Till caused a stir during Pitti Taste with their dinner party pairing well loved Italian products in unusual combinations. Hosted as part of Fuori di Taste, events held off-premises from The Taste’s main Pavilian, the dinner affair featured unique dishes, from pasta courses to appetizers, using Italian Parmesan at different levels of maturation, from the most acidic to the most balanced. Each dish was paired with a cocktail made from Tuscan gin.
The event titled “Edoardo Tilli and The Unlikely Couple: Parmigiano and Gin” was held at the prestigious Plaza Lucchesi.
Hotel mixologists worked in collaboration with Chef Tilli to create signature gin cocktails served through-out the evening. The unusual pairing of cheese and gin instead of wine is a new Italian concept. Chef Tilli shared that his aim was to challenge old habits of eating and drinking, without losing touch with Italian taste and tradition.
Farm to Table dining at Le Luna Restaurant
Le Luna Restaurant, located in the heart of Florence, boasts a sustainable farm to table production model. The restaurant began as a cafe inside a family-owned nursery about a year ago. All of the food served came directly from their farm.
In honor of Pitti Taste and to celebrate their one year anniversary Le Luna hosted a special farm to table dinner featuring meat and pasta dishes served with seasonal ingredients and organic olive oil.
The large selection of vegetables came from local farmers’ markets. The pasta was made fresh from Florence’s Pastificio Fabbri. And Le Luna used Chianini beef from their farm.
Brunch with a Michelin Chef
Florence’s grand Four Seasons hotel and Michelin Star Chef Vito Mollica developed a special Fuori di Taste menu featuring Pitti Taste exhibitor Acquerello Risotto.
Executive Chef Vito Mollica and a well-prepared bar and menu staff led by Tommaso Ondeggia invited Pitti Taste guests to their open kitchen where we could experience traditional Italian dishes served buffet-style and interact with the chefs.
The Acquerello featured dishes included risotto with turnip greens, a medley of rice and crustaceans, traditional Arancini – handmade rice balls stuffed with cheese or meats before deep frying, and an assortment of sweet bread puddings with delicate flavors.
In addition to the Acquerello Risotto dishes, chefs prepared dozens of authentic Florentine foods using handpicked local ingredients.
Shark is the New Salami?
The most memorable Fuori di Taste event was held by Benheart, an Italian leather goods store located in downtown Florence, with avant-garde street food restaurant Shark Bottega del Pesce.
The owners behind Shark Bottega claim to have created a new artisanal food trend with their line of apple-smoked cured shark meat from the Mediterranean Sea.
The Fuori di Taste aperitivo event featured all-natural Shark salami products paired with Bergère champagne.
Modern day afternoon snacks: Tartine et Chocolat
Chocolate tartines served at the Grand Hotel Minerva was the sweatest good bye to Pitti Taste. Hotel Minerva presented a series of globally inspired confectionery specialties, from Italian fruit tartellettes to French éclairs served with tea by La Via del Té.
Other sweet and savory items included Milk chocolate served with pears and praline, single-bites of beets and caprino cheese flavored with sesame and dill served with smokey lapsing tea. And Italy’s sweet and crunchy Baba dessert dish soaked in fennel and licorice tea served brilliantly with a side of Zabaglione gelato.