A Taste of Sicily – a celebration of cuisine and destination with an “Eat Local” theme – October 15th, 2017.
To celebrate the cuisine of one of the most beautiful regions of Italy, Slow Food Brisbane joined forces with the Dante Alighieri Society of Brisbane.
The Slow Food motto is Good, Clean and Fair and we are dedicated to the preservation of biodiversity and eating responsibly. The Dante Alighieri Society’s mission to is to spread Italian culture and language throughout the world and they have been helping to do this in Brisbane for over fifty years.
Our joint lunch was held at the Royal Hotel Nundah, which has become a centre of Italian culture in Brisbane. They use Italian staff and have sponsored Italian chefs to create an authentic Italian dining experience. So much so that they were recently awarded the certificate of Ospitalità Italiana.
As our guests arrived they were welcomed with a glass of Belstar prosecco supplied by Filippo D’Arrò of Italiquore, who imports quality Italian wines. Prosecco is not Sicilian, but it is the perfect aperitivo to stimulate conversation and digestion. Belstar is a wonderful example of the prosecco from the Valdobbiadene.
Our primo piatto was Maccheroni alla Norma and chef Francesco Gini came out from the kitchen to tell us of the history of the dish and also to talk about how he had prepared it. He had perfectly balanced the ingredients and the acidity of the tomatoes was offset by the fresh ricotta. Francesco told us that some people use ricotta salata but his “nonna always used fresh ricotta.
After our first course we were entertained by Matteo Carri from Back Track Travel who told us about his recent trip to Sicily where he researched Slow Food “Presidia” products like Trapani salt and Capers from Salina and he made us envious with photos from Slow Food restaurants.
The secondo piatto was Kingfish Mediterranea. The Kingfish was oven baked and served with a sauce of tomatoes capers and black olives. The sauce was delicious, and Francesco had supplied bread so we could “fare scarpetta” and scoop up any remaining.
While we were relaxing over the last of the kingfish Ian McBride talked about the National Park of the Madonie Mountains outside of Palermo and some of the disappearing products that Slow Food in Sicily was trying to save.
The afternoon was rounded off appropriately with a delicious sorbetto di limone, made with a special recipe using some of the same prosecco which started the day. It was a great day for a slow lunch with good friends.