Ottimo with its emphasis on showcasing traditional Italian cuisine, brings to us the food from the region of Apulia or Puglia till the 18th of June. Popularly known as the ‘heel of Italy’s boot’ this sun blessed region enjoys all the benefits of hugging the Mediterranean coastline. The produce is fresh and the rustic dishes are kissed by the sea. You have just a week to enjoy these signature dishes that Chef Greco Vittoria has lovingly crafted.
The monsoons are fast approaching in Bengaluru, but it is still summer in Italy and for a short period of time we can escape the reality in Alba. The Italian Summer menu, on till the 6th of June, will transport you to the sunny Italian countryside with light and refreshing flavors to tingle your tastebuds. Chef Maroune Rahali has crafted a delectable spread with fantastic summer produce that makes this festival a definite addition to plans this week.
I might have suddenly gone all Jamie Oliver and tried to find recipes that can be made under 15 mins. The slow food movement guys can have their leisurely life, but if I have to lovingly watch over a stew for 24 hrs, I think I might bust a blood vessel. In my defense I do Yoga and Meditation to ‘slow’ down, but all areas of my life are filled with a frenzy of activity. Tiramisu under 15 mins sounds like a bad clickbait title but I’ve tested this multiple times and it’s definitely for real. I’ve obviously not counted the time it sits languishing in the fridge before you serve it, but you need to cut me some slack for that!
The story starts in my house a couple of weeks ago where I had an animated discussion with my German friends on ‘The King of Vegetables’. Their love for Asparagus was evident as they reminisced about harvesting the succulent stem in their vegetable patches back home. In Spring, Asparagus is eaten almost daily, reverently, greedily until they’ve combed through the last standing elegant feathered head. Most of Europe shares this fascination with Asparagus, so much so, that King Louis the XIV officially crowned it ‘The King of Vegetables’. Chef Vittorio has the same adulation and has been instrumental in influencing Chef Sasha to craft an Asparagus Menu for Spring. The resultant degustation is a journey across Italian landscapes made unique by impressive wine pairings.
When I hear the word Caponata, the first thing that pops into my head is a Godfather-esque movie that has its origins in some remote fishing village in Sicily. For all my romanticism with gangster style movies, this Caponata is actually quite harmless. Dark, Complex, Delicious and even originating from Sicily…but definitely harmless.
Ottimo is known for its excellent Italian cuisine, plated ever so brilliantly by Master Chef Vittorio Grecco. The Pan-Italian restaurant has awed Bangalore residents with its renditions of quintessential Italian favorites with a focus on the freshest ingredients. So when the Chef decides to have a food festival called “The Art of Time Travel” – you pay attention! A spectacular four course menu with a twist – one portion prepared in the Classic way and one portion plated in a Contemporary way. The festival which is on till the 2nd of June has Chef Vittorio channel his creativity and playfulness in every dish that hits the table. The future of Italian cuisine might just be taking baby steps in Bangalore 😉 When you are presented with such an alluring menu, it’s hard to be objective with your choices. It’s a blessing that there were four of us and we were not squeamish when it comes to sharing! The end result is we ended up eating just enough, but pretty much trying most of the festival …
Busy lives have a direct correlation to the number of times a packet of Maggi is ripped open for dinner. Unfortunately as I’ve grown older and more conscientious of what goes into my system, the packet of Maggi doesn’t fit into the scheme of things (often at least: P). But a hungry tummy needs to be fed, and though going out for dinner or ordering in seems the most logical option – we can now add one more avenue into the mix. Recipe Kits with a complete set of ingredients and minimal prep and cooking time to rustle up World cuisine at home! Chef’s Basket sent me two of their recipe kits and I put it to the test last week.
I have a couple of favourite places that I keep revisiting in Bangalore. The years have only added to their charm and increased my love for them. When friends and family ask for recommendations, these names always pop up first in my head and I don’t have any qualms about literally pimping them to all and sundry. Toscano has been on that list ever since they opened in 2005 and I’m thrilled that they are rightly rated as the “Best Italian Restaurant in Bangalore” *Times Food Guide 2014*.