Every time I think the best Italian meal I’ve ever had is behind me, the Italian Chamber of Commerce of Ontario and True Italian Taste create another opportunity to bring the best flavours of Italy to Toronto. Over the last two weeks, all the Italian Chambers of Commerce in North America have been happily celebrating The Authentic Italian Table, a travelling food festival dedicated to bringing back the country’s acclaimed cuisine in its purest form. This event was designed to connect and educate food lovers and connoisseurs about the unique qualities and characteristics of authentic Italian food, including DOP, IGP, DOC products and other protected designations of origin. Toronto is one of nine North American participating cities along with Miami, Los Angeles, Chicago, Houston, New York, Vancouver, Montreal and Mexico City.
On May 2, 2018, I attended the second-last of four Authentic Italian Table meals here in the city, led by Luma Restaurant’s District Chef Michael Wilson and supported by Chef Roberto Fracchioni and the students of Centennial College. Like me, Chef Wilson also had the opportunity to participate in an educational tour to Northern Italy, learning about the specific foods and beverages of the Region. Unlike me, Chef Wilson was capable of turning his adventures into a first-class restaurant experience for all of us to enjoy back home. His culinary journey took him through Liguria, Piedmont and Valle d’Aosta, and ended with a stunning five-course dinner that I won’t soon forget.
Here’s the evening’s meal in photos.
Antipasti: Salumi platter (prosciutto di parma and culatetto) // grissini and bread with honey butter // Giardiniera and Russian Salad // served with a 2016 Mosole Extra Dry Prosecco Millesimato DOC. Seared Yellowfin Tuna with compressed apple and fennel, and topped with trout roe // paired with 2016 Scarbolo Friulano (white and powdery with apple and strawberry).
Primi: Saffron Gnocchi with white ragù of pork, chicken, guinea hen and rabbit, sage, white wine and Parmigiano-Reggiano // paired with 2016 Prà Morandina Valpolicella 2016 DOC (light red, mild spices).
Secondi: Grilled Striploin with Mushroom and Potato Pavé, asparagus, with a truffled bone marrow jus // paired with 2015 Seccal Valpolicella Classico Superiore DOC, Single Vineyard Ripasso (full-bodied red with cigar box and cherry).
Dolce: Bonet alla Piemontese // paired with Paolo Lazzaroni & Figli’s Amaretto Lazzaroni, 1851 (the smoothest and velverty almond liqueur).
To find out more about the projects of True Italian Taste and the Italian Chamber of Commerce of Ontario, read my posts about cooking at ALMA, or our time in Cremona, Italy, and my interview with ICCO’s director, Corrado Paina. The last Toronto event of this year’s Authentic Italian Table tour will be held at Ravine Winery, and you can get more information here.Please note: I was a guest of the Italian Chamber of Commerce of Ontario for the meal featured above, but I was not monetarily compensated for this post and all opinions are my own.