Monday, February 27, 2017

Tra Terra e Mare, Chef Marco Laudato, Ristorante Amare (Sa)

One of Chef Marco Laudato’s daily duties is to head out to his favorite pescheria and check out what’s new.  He then heads back to Ristorante Amare’s  kitchen where he creates mouthwatering, eye-catching dishes. Dishes like this one, which express his love of melding products tra terra e mare/ between land and sea.

Il pesce è un merluzzo dell'Alaska. Lo chiamano carbonaro nero per la sua pelle nera e vive a 200 metri di pronfondità. Questo pesce ha una carne bianca e tenera. In questo caso lo abbiamo prima cotto a bassa temperatura e poi glassato man mano in padella con una riduzione di soia, birra e zenzero così dà conferirgli più sapidità e una leggera affumicatura.  Abbiamo abbinato a diverse consistenze di zucca napoletana. Mi piace fondere grandi prodotti dal mare con verdure e vegetali del nostro territorio così da impreziosire entrambe.

Chef Marco Laudato

This fish dish is an Alaskan cod also known as black carbonaro for its black skin. It lives 200 meters under the sea and characterized by having white and tender meat.  We first cooked it at a low temperature and then glazed it in a pan with a soy, beer and ginger reduction to amplify its flavor and give it a lightly smoked taste.  We then paired it with different textures of Neapolitan pumpkin. I like to mix great products from the sea with vegetables from our territory so as to enrich both.


So here we have it…

Laudato’s Black cod with Caramote Prawns, Pumpkin, and Escarole.

Tra Terra e Mare...

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Spring is Just around the Corner, Chef Lino Scarallo, Palazzo Petrucci (Na), Adopt a Chef

I had the afternoon off, so I decided to pay a visit to Michelin starred Chef Lino Scarallo at Palazzo Petrucci (Na). It had been awhile since I had visited the chef, so I was curious to what he'd been up to (and, I must admit, hoping to get a look at his Spring 2017 menu in progress).  An exciting opportunity, thanks to the CHIC program, Adotta Uno Chef/Adopt a Chef.

I've always been fascinated by the chef's take on classic Neapolitan dishes.  Plates that he grew up with.  Dishes that he loves to pay tribute to by not only conserving their traditional roots, but adding his touches, his inspiration.

Like his pasta, potatoes and flying squid.

I remember the first time I tried pasta and potatoes.  It was more than 20 years ago, at my mother-in-law's home one Sunday afternoon.  I remember thinking what a strange combination - pasta, potatoes.  I thought that it would be too heavy, too starchy, too much.  But over time, this Neapolitan piatto povero, using humble staple ingredients has become one of my favorite pasta dishes. The pasta is cooked in a scrumptious potato sauce.  There are many variations to this classic dish, like adding  flying squid for example.

Chef Scarallo cut the potatoes in the shape of sliced squid making the dish nit only appealing to the eye, but to the palate as well.

Scarallo had another dish in progress that he wanted to have me try. For this piatto, Scarallo took another ingredient from the cucina povera archives.  Centopelle, trippa, or as we know it; tripe.  Imagine the alleys of Napoli with tripe stands-one of the original Neapolitan street foods.

Scarallo took this centopelle and paired it with lobster, a cauliflower cous cous, and radishes.  This one is definitely different, Scarallo shared.

He's still taking a look, trying out new things.  New pairings. New styles.
That is one of the qualities that makes a good chef a great one.

And one of the reasons that I am happy to have adopted him.

Friday, February 24, 2017

Amazing Appetizers, Chef Marco Laudato, Ristorante Amare (Sa)

I took a trip to the Salerno seaside to visit Chef Marco Laudato at his Ristorante Amare. An exciting opportunity to see Laudato in action as head chef after many years in some of the top kitchens up and down the coast (including three years as sous chef  at Palazzo Avino's  Michelin starred Rosselini's restaurant).

Chef Marco Laudato
So let's take a look at Laudato's appetizers, all served with the soothing accompaniment of soft  winter waves.

Lobster served with a mixed salad and white truffles.

Then... foie gras and tuna.

Here Laudato wanted to combine two classic ingredients and fuse two cooking styles. Off to France for the foie gras, then to Japan for their tataki cooking techniques combine with a Nipponic marinade for the tuna.

Laudato continued with another unusual cast of characters for this appetizer.

Sweetbread combined with scampi, winter greens, and puffed rice.


Thursday, February 23, 2017

Amazing Appetizers, Chef Domenico Iavarone, Jose' Restaurant (Na)

I'm always curious about the inspiration behind a dish.  Like this appetizer by Michelin starred Chef Domenico Iavarone that I had the chance to try last Valentine's Day.  Chef Iavarone, about to open up a new restaurant, Jose' Restaurant, was in Naples last week.  Instead of a box of chocolates, Iavarone shared his love for the Sorrento Peninsula to over 100 appreciative dinner guests. 

Chef Domenico Iavarone
Love featuring flavors of the sea starring fresh shrimp stuffed with savoury fior di latte cheese from Agerola.

The chef added other touches from the coast such as lovely lemons from Sorrento presented in gel droplets.

Fresh apple and caviar completed the dish.

So Iavarone shared a little love last Valentines Day.  


Monday, February 20, 2017

Two Fantastic Firsts, Chef Angelo Carannante, Caracol, (Na)

The setting?  Caracol - Campi Flegrei's little secret that hugs on tightly to the cliffs of Capo Miseno.  After a steep, panoramic,  breathtaking jeep ride from the parking lot, a stroll on the fantastic terrace overlooking the sea, and an amazing round of aperitifs and appetizers, I wondered to myself, Can it get any better?

The response was sure and swift.   Chef Angelo Carannante, maybe inspired by the spectacular scene from his window at the pass, blending in with his years of experience in several  1 and 2 Michelin starred restaurants.

Chef Angelo Carannante


I was ready for the chef's round of pasta dishes.

Candele pasta al genovese with fresh raw tuna, lemon, and cocoa.


Ravioli acqua pazza/crazy water.  The ravioli is filled with the catch of the day such as scorpion fish, coccio/sea robin, and sea bass.


Saturday, February 18, 2017

Three Fantastic Firsts, Chef Gioacchino Attianese, Casa Rispoli (Sa)

A recent visit to Cava Dei Tirreni (Sa)  gave me an opportunity to check out  Gioacchino Attianese in his new role as head chef at Casa Rispoli.  It also gave me a chance to try some pasta dishes - three to be exact! Take a look.

Tagliolini Cacio e Pepe with fresh raw shrimp.

 Then, a tasty play on  sweet and savory...

 Eliche pasta, pumpkin and Caserta black pork sausage and conciato romano cheese.

And last, but definitely not least, a fuori menu, a dish that is not on the chef's menu.

 Risotto napaletano, which is not rice, actually, but rice shaped pasta.  The chef added fennel, ginger and placed an anchovy and anchovy beads on top.


Monday, February 13, 2017

#bocciaecastello - A Cool, Tasty, Fun Photo Contest

Pasquale Raicaldo and Ivano Veccia

As you may have seen, I visited Ischia a few weeks ago - you may have read about it here...and here.  That visit sparked quite a bit of attention; a newspaper article and a couple of articles published online focusing on my American  experience on the Isola Verde.
It also sparked an exciting Instagram photo contest thanks to a post on amicone's Ivano Veccia's Facebook wall. Veccia ( practically a rock star on the island thanks to his pizza and jam-packed evenings where he is one of the hottest djs around ) noticed that  many of his friends were posting pics while they were enjoying a panello, a sandwich, on a bench in front of the spectacular medieval Castle Aragonase.

photo by Lisa Divina

A few chats later, a contest  was born complete with its own hashtag #bocciaecastello.
So, Ischitani and tourists alike have until the end of the month to share their sandwich moments on the spectacular location of Ischia Ponte and post it using the hashtag #bocciaecastello.  The photographs will be judged by myself, Ivano Veccia and Crescenzo Scotti.  The winner will receive a grande sandwich fit for four friends complete with beer, and tickets to the amazing Castello Aragonase!
So what are you waiting for??
Let's head out to Ischia!!!
Boun appetito!!!