Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Andiamotrips Auld Lang Syne - My Top Eno-gastronomic Adventures in 2013 -Part 1

I've spent the past week looking at  photos, tasting notes, and videos that I made over the past year for the blog.  I must admit quite a few of my adventures brought back special memories of good times in the vineyards and restaurants of Campania. Here's part one of  a look back at 2013  After all...should auld aquaintices be forgot?

Let's begin in the vineyards. Let's begin in Irpinia.
Back in April I shared my visit to Villa Diamante in Montefredane.  A winery known for the Fiano di Avellino and we tasted several exciting examples of their going far back as 1998.

When Ida Budetta invited me to visit her winery, Az. Agricola San Giovanni in Punta Tresino last summer I was more than thrilled.  Until I got lost.  I remember, though, finally arriving and getting the opportunity and privilege to spend a few hours in her piece of paradise overlooking the sea.

Then there was a visit t Vico Equense.  An area where until a few months ago was familiar to me for their restaurants and beach.  I never imagined a winery tucked up in the hills.  Azienda Abbazia di Crapolla.  Winemaker Arturo Erbaggio showed me around the property which included Campania's only pinot nero vineyard.

I spent quite a large part of 2013 exploring some of the top restaurants and kitchens in the region. But there were a couple of days when several dozen chic chefs all got together in one place. Chef junkie overload during the two events scheduled by CHIC Charming Italian Chefs during the presentation of their 2013 guide
One  trip in particular took me to  the Iaccarino  family farm located in Punta Campnella. The view was spectacular as well as the artichokes that were picked and served later that afternoon at lunch at their restaurant.
Chef Ernesto Iaccarino
It was a cold rainy February afternoon when I drove to Telese (Bn) to visit chef Giuseppe Iannotti and his restaurant/bistrot and vineyard known as Kresios.
Chef Giuseppe Iannotti
The weather wasn't so hot when I went to visit chef Mirko Balzano who had some fantastic dishes for me to try.  
Chef Mirko Balzano
Summer took me by surprise when I ventured into the Sorrentine Peninsula for a couple of cool lunches.  The first stop was to visit Chef Alfonso Caputo at Taverna del Capitano in Nerano.  A kitchen  that welcomed me be back on several occasions.
Chef Alfonso Caputo
Then, it was off to Massa Lubrense to Relais Blu.  I enjoyed a fantastic lunch prepared by Chef Roberto Allocca.  A breathtaking panorama paired perfectly with my meal that day.
Chef Roberto Allocca
A trip to Benevento to visit Chef Angelo D'Amico at Le Macine during truffle season will be hard to forget. Not to mention the freshly baked dinner rolls paired with cold pressed olive oil that was produced the evening before.
Chef Angelo D'Amico
 Of course I had to squeeze in a few pizzerias this year.  Besides my usuals (Pepe, Ciro Salvo, Fratelli Salvo and Enzo Coccia) I found one not far from home.  Pizza maker Salvatore Santucci who runs a real family business, where even his young sons,
Salvatore Santucci
And speaking of pizza, a mega pizza marathon rounds out part 1 of my trip down memory lane.  Pepe in Grani and Franco Pepe hosted Gabriele Bonci for a 12 hour pizza making/eating extravaganza.  Of course I was there!
Franco Pepe, Gabriele Bonci, and Stefano Pepe
Auguri e Buon Anno!