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!!!

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Pizza Night - Casa Vitiello, Tuoro (Ce)

I sent a message to my friend Domenico last week - Let's go out for a pizza. Let's go to Ciccio's (Casa Vitiello).

Date set for a chilly Thursday evening in Tuoro, Caserta.  I found myself  at the counter chatting
with Ciccio (Francesco Vitiello)  and watching as he and his team put together a wide variety of pizzas, many that I hadn't tried before.  Vitiello sent out several pizzas for us to try that evening, but I
got particularly excited about pizza number three.

The pizza dough contained turmeric giving it not only a yellowish color, but  also light orange/ginger aromas.

Vitiello topped the pizza with blue cheese, fior di latte, and stewed black pancetta bacon.

A sprinkling of ground pepper on top...