Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Torino, The Paris of Italy

 Turin is flat out gorgeous!  Dr. C. and I spent 2 days, and it wasn't nearly enough.  Since it is 1 hour from the mountains, France and the Mediterranean, it is a culture wonderland, with amazing architecture, museums and food.  It is also a walking city---there are many pedestrian walkways that weave throughout the city, as well as arcades to protect you from the sun, and weather in the winter.
Everywhere we went, there were beautiful palazzi, and the ones with their gates open were wonderlands

This is a modern art installation, the art is made from liter plastic bottles

How cool is this?

Every place we went I continued to be amazed by such beauty in a large city

Since Lucia, our guide knew of my food obsession, we stopped into this little shop---it's take away Italian style

before we went in, she saw one of her colleagues; she is so well thought of here, people would wade through the crowds to say hello to her, kind of like being with the Pope 

Tiny angolotti 

A must see stop is Guido Gobino, the amazing chocolatier

The chocolate is amazing!

This week in Turin was the Slow Food International Salon del Gusto, this was the first time it has been held all around the city.  Thursday they were gearing up for it, with the most action happening Friday, Saturday and Sunday

The Slow Food Mascot

There are lots of places to eat here in Turin, and we loved seeing so many people enjoying the weather outside

Beautiful mall

Did you know the ice cream bar was invented here?  Who knew?

Ristorante Del Cambio, this is where the rich and famous dine and have dined for over 150 years

Next door is a smaller casual restaurant with a coffee shop

Beautiful walkways are everywhere here

The library; they take this seriously!

We ate lunch here, they were setting up for an event.  This is a palazzo from the 1800's

Throughout this palazzo there were gorgeous dining rooms

This was an event for Salon del Gusto

This is all the honey from Italy on display

throughout the city are beautiful belle arte coffee shops, with comfortable seats and ambiance

Lavazza coffee started here

another beautiful coffee shop

belly up to this bar

this was a gorgeous 'mall' where we ended the day

Marconi discovered the radio here in Turin, and there are many other famous people who made this their home.  We enjoyed every part of this city that we saw, but 2 days was not nearly enough, and we will be back.
On a side note, I'm pretty much of an introvert, and so the crowds of Salon del Gusto were a bit much for me, we did make a good effort to see the displays, and enjoy them.
Our first morning at breakfast I realized that the woman who was being swamped well wishers, and  kisses was Alice Waters.  We left the hotel to go out sightseeing.  She and her entourage were a few steps either ahead or behind us for most of our tour of Salon del Gusto.  Then we went to lunch, and of course she had to copy us and eat at Del Cambio!  It was interesting to see the International food world luminaries in this city---not a food network star in sight.  And so we returned to Spello knowing that the North will be calling again next year.  Ciao for now.

Cooking Class with Matteo Morra

 Dr. C. and I had the chance to have a cooking class at a beautiful restaurant in Barolo Country arranged by our tour guide, Lucia DeMaria.  Matteo Morra is a young, gifted chef, having studied with Michelin starred chefs, and coming back home to cook the food of his beloved region.  Passion defines his work, and instead of deconstructing the food, he's all about the flavor of the foods of this region.  We had the best time working in his tiny kitchen at this beautiful restaurant.
The restaurant just celebrated its first year anniversary.  One thing we noticed is that there is a lot of space between the tables, giving you an ambiance that is lacking in many other places.

Dr. C. and Matteo mastering the Battuto Fassone, basically veal tartare

Dr. C. sharpening his knife skills

Matteo mixing the ingredients, flaky salt, olive oil, that's it



Between each course, we got to sit down,eat and sip adult beverages

Champagne --- Italian Style

On one side of the dining room is this wine barrel; I wanted to take it home, but our car was just too small!

Back in the kitchen, Matteo's mom is making meringue cookies

There is veal being braised in Barolo for 14 to 16 hours

Matteo, the sous chef dealing with Mama's meringues (which were delicious!)
Next up is fresh pasta, the local specialty called Tajarin made with 30 egg yolks

Dr. C. working the pasta machine (he's an ace!)

Look at that pasta, man wasn't born Italian, but he's got it!

Bellissima pasta

Tossed with butter and rosemary, and covered in shaved black truffle
Now it's time to eat our hand made pasta
Next up, eggs with truffles

butter and shaved truffles

eggs added

plated with more truffles
Our last course was veal that had been braised for 16 hours (no we didn't have to wait!) in a beautiful reduction sauce made over the course of several days (that's his French chef influence)

meanwhile Mama is making the staff lunch

True confession time now, I lost some of the photos when transferring them to my laptop and those are all the photos I have of the morning.  Matteo made us the typical dessert of this region Bonet, and we sampled mama's meringues and they were amazing---I'm not a fan of macrons or meringues, but I was nibbling on them for the rest of the time while drinking my favorite dessert wine, Moscato di Asti.  These are some other photos of Matteo and his restaurant.


Matteo Morra (R), Sous Chef Matteo (L)

When you get to the Barolo region, make reservations, Matteo is a gift chef, and what the Italians call molto gentile.  We had the best day with he and his staff in this beautiful restaurant.  It could not have been better.  Grazie Matteo, ci vediamo presto!