Where to start with the week that has just been – a trio of raucous, brilliant and talented chefs; Sophie Braimbridge, Jeremy Lee and Rachel Roddy all gathered at Casagrande for a week of merriment, food, wine and yes, learning! Dish after dish rolled out – beautiful lemon, butter and thyme pappardelle under Sophie’s eager eye, outrageously delicious rabbit saltimbocca with regional Luganega sausage from Jeremy, as well as a deeply thirsty almond cake. Wicked, wobbly grappa pannacotta with cherry compote and soft almond biscuits was the influence from Rachel’s Roman kitchen with a little help from our lovely friend Carla Tomasi.
Much Campari and Fernet Branca was consumed as was the free flowing Jeio prosecco from Bisol. Showcased over long dinners were some beauties from the wine houses of Allegrini, Pieropan and Masi. A visit to Mazzorbo for a wine tasting of the pale straw Venissa wine followed by an al fresco lunch at Osteria Contemporanea brought more laughter to the table; what a pleasure to be joined by Russell Norman and Valeria Necchio. The weather was perfect and the boat ride as magical as ever.
I cannot go on further without mentioning our fabulous guests who participated in the week with full gusto, were never phased by the comings and goings of the myriad of chefs and foodies and were deeply involved in the heavy Canasta sessions which definitely bought the wickedness and competitiveness out in all. Simon Parkes made an entrance on Thursday night more laughter, more stories and more Fernet Branca… the merriment continued.