Miles apart, Italy and India bond in a deep appreciation of food and culture.
ITC Hotels in collaboration with Fratelli wines, celebrates this with a wine-paired feast crafted by renowned Italian Chef Francesco Costagli.
I first heard of this gastronomic genius, acknowledged as one of the best chefs in the world, in the first edition of The International Who's Who of Chefs, published in 2004. Resting on the culinary laurels he has earned over a span of twenty five years, this champion of the slow food movement in the regions of Siena and San Gimignano also goes by the name of the ‘zero kilometre chef’, for his zeal to cook with local produce grown in and around Castellina, where he lives. Visiting chef at the Restaurant Bratislava in Czech Republic, he has taught lessons at the esteemed California Culinary Academy at Le Cordon Bleu, San Francisco.
A level one sommelier, Chef Francesco works closely with many Chianti wineries and heads the kitchen at the Michelin starred Ristorante Albergaccio.
This is clearly a man who understands the art of pairing with a great deal of depth.
For the longest time, I had been looking forward to meeting Chef Costagli. Having met him now, I find myself fervently anticipating the dinner this magician will conjure at select ITC Hotels over the next few days, where many of his signature dishes are paired with fine Fratelli wines.
Chef Francesco’s inspired creations include pappa al pomodoro – a traditional Florentine soup made with white bread, cooked with olive oil, fresh tomatoes and a hint of garlic served with Fratelli rosé or chenin blanc. Ravioli filled with duck served on a base of spring onion and potato sauce with bitter walnuts is paired with merlot, and for vegetarians there’s ravioli filled with asparagus served on a base of saffron velvet to go with the sauvignon blanc. Piatto del nostro orto – fresh tomatoes with goat cheese and basil sauce topped with crusted bread alongside a potato and mushroom cake with puréed beans, is paired with Fratelli sette.
One can always amble to the wine tasting section for some advice from expert sommeliers in case you’re unsure about your wine.
If you’re looking to partake of this wine-paired feast, head over The Pavilion,
ITC Maurya, in New Delhi on the 16th of February, Saturday; Chandravanshi Pavilion, ITC Rajputana, Jaipur on Sunday 17th February. If you’re in Mumbai, head to Hornby’s Pavilion, ITC Grand Central on Saturday 23rd February and in Bengaluru, to Cubbon Pavilion, ITC Gardenia on 24th February, Sunday.
What’s more, this feast comes to you as part of your favourite buffet line up, and, at the same price!