Saturday, March 3, 2012

on tasting & remembering

I was charged with writing the menu for last week's Farewell Feast (compliments to chefs Non Solo Eddy & the Curious Dane, featuring Lindsay on pastry.) Having received a vague description of the tasting menu, this is what I came up with - an almost-rhyming collection of ambiguous allusions to our year in food & travels.

On a hot summer day, it was all we could say

To start, your mouth we’ll divert

With a taste of dessert

- – -

But Italy is more than ice cream

From north to south and in between

Four stages, four starches: wheat, potato, corn, & rice

One knudel would suffice,

But to more pasta, who would think twice?

- – -

Then we travel abroad, beyond the Stivale

Might we interest you in something different,

Perhaps a palle?

(Carved tableside, there’s no need to hide!)

- – -

A cheese so rare, even Cristiano and Mirco did it elude

Is it rendered or fresh aromas of the Alpage that it exudes?

- – -

If food is memory, as surely it has been

To end, a sweet homage to all the places we’ve seen

From the Alps to Greek monasteries, Tuscan villages to Calabrian seas,

We returned to Bra after the vines of the Douro,

Here’s to many more of these moments in our tomorrow.


The actual menu went something like this:

Cipolle di Tropea corn-dog amuse-bouche

"Gelato" of carne cruda, Chirine's hummus, baccalau

Knüdel, braised beef

Paccheri, 'nduja

Risotto al nebbiolo

Greek lamb "offcuts"

Bitto e birra

Campari gelée, fennel granita

Semolina cake, yoghurt gelato, pistachio tuile

Gianduia soufflé, hazelnut tuile

Bravissimi, ragazzi.

We wrote personal limericks for each of our colleagues as party favours.

Who could this be?

With a hobbit she wants to hitch

Raw meat dinners she'll never ditch

Her heels leave a mark

And her roots are dark

Tell her and she'll say, "oh that's rich."

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