TORONTO — The Local at Centennial College played host to The Authentic Italian Table last night. Organized by the Italian Chamber of Commerce of Ontario (ICCO) and supported by the Italian Ministry of Economic Development, the event was the first of four dinners featuring authentic regional dishes created by Italian chef Ugo Mura and prominent local chefs Roberto Fracchioni, Matthew DeMille, Michael Wilson and Ross Midgley.
Each chef created one course of the five-course dinner, drawing inspiration from their trip to Liguria, Piedmont and Valle d’Aosta in March. The goal of the trip was to experience Italian food and traditions practiced in those regions in order to help Canadians better understand Italian cuisine.
“Our aim is to help Canadians identify authentic Italian products, as well as experience the very best expressions of how to use them,” said Corrado Paina, executive director of the ICCO. “True Italian taste is about awakening you palate to the heritage flavours of Italy.”
Chef DeMille introduced the first dish, Cheese Fonduta, which he made with Fontina cheese from Toronto-based Cheese Boutique and served with braised artichoke, asparagus and hazelnut pangrattato. It was followed by chef Fracchioni’s potato gnocchi made “the real Italian way” with only potato and flour. The gnocchi were served in a sugo bianco with nettles and fried sage leaves. The third course, presented by chef Midgley, was Ligurian fish stew with Taggiasche olives, lemon, tomato and herbs. This dish will appear on the menu of the sold-out Authentic Italian Table event at his restaurant, Ravine, in St. David’s Ont., on April 27. Grilled striploin with mushroom-potato letto, asparagus and truffle bone-marrow jus, compliments of chef Wilson, was the “meat and potatoes” of the evening. The meal was capped off with chef Mura’s Zabaglione served with coffee sauce and bitter-cocoa water.
A carefully curated wine list accompanied the meal, selected by chef Mura. Many of the ingredients used at the event were brought directly from Italy.
The remaining Authentic Italian Table events include:
• Ravine Restaurant with chef Ross Midgley, April 27 and May 10
• Luma Restaurant with chef Michael Wilson, May 2
Tickets are $100 + HST for a five-course dinner with wine.