Thursday, October 29, 2015

4 Hands Dinner with Chef Giulio Coppola and Chef Antonino Maresca, La Galleria Restaurant, Gragnano (Na)

Chef Antonino Maresca and Chef Giulio Coppola
I decided to accept Chef Giulio Coppola's invitation to attend a cena a quattro mani that he would be hosting at his restaurant in Gragnano.  Ok, chef, I'll  accept,  but under one condition.  I asked the chef if it would be possible for me to sit in the corner of the kitchen instead of at a table in the dining room,  I mean, the kitchen would be the best place to be to see and feel the excitement of the evening.  I really wanted to witness the sparks and chemistry between  Chef Coppola and his guest for the evening, top pastry Chef Antonino Maresca.
And so there I sat, and stood, and watched, and tasted, and quietly asked questions, and tasted again as the evening went from the aperitif to the final dessert.
Here's what went down....

Potato croquettes, fried puffed packages of ricotta and cigoli, rice sartu' with pumpkin squash, and cream of tompimabur and gorgonzola with dark chocolate shavings.
Chef Coppola

Amouse- bouche:
Potatoes, anchovies, and white truffles.
Chef Coppola

An amazing spread of breads: whole-wheat sourdough focaccia with tomatoes, thyme and spring onions; a 'rustic' baba' with salami and provolone del monaco cheese; a puffed pastry pizzetta with potatoes and onions, a savory cornetto with olives and anchovies, classic ciabatta bread, and chestnut honey bread sticks with olive salt.
Chef  Maresca

Rosso di Sicilia red shrimp with escarole, zolfino beans and cotechino sausage.
Chef  Coppola

First course:
Ravioli with turnips, cuttlefish, caviar, and fennel consomme.
Pasta al Pomo
Chef Coppola

Main course:
Steamed  cod with celery, annurca apples, and walnuts.
Chef Coppola

If it's bubbly I'll take otherwise  I'll desist...
a tarallo made with yellow tomatoes
Chef Coppola
Granita made with lighlty fermented strawberry grapes and muscat.
Chef Maresca

If you forget me...sfogliatella.
Cannoli sfogliatella style, ricotta, citrus jelly, puffed semolina, cinnamon ice cream, cherries and candied fruit.
Zeppole di San Giuseppe
Chef Maresca

Chef Maresca also prepared a delizia di limone, which I was unable to get a shot of, but I did get a shot of his amazing goodie bag of his caprese cake and pastieria.

The kitchen? I chose well.  The place to be, with other amici such as chefs Giacomo De Simone, Dominico Stile, and Vincenzo Piacento.  

Chefs Giacomo De Simone, Domenico Stile, and Vincenzo Stile

The place to be to hang out, see what it takes to put together a serata diversa like this one.  
The place to be to absorb all the action...and maybe, just maybe...snag another piece of focaccia....

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