Friday, April 29, 2016

Farewell to the Rome Sustainable Food Project

 As I sat in the garden waiting for the lunch shift to end today, I gathered my thoughts about the last few weeks, and knew it would be hard for me to say goodbye to the staff here.  The interns, and chefs, dishwashers, and wait staff have all been patient, and kind, with me in their faces with a camera and questions.  I feel like Nonna to the interns, and could not have wished for a better experience with a group of young people---they will all be stars no matter where they go when they leave here.  I think that the RSFP will be hard to top when they move on to other jobs.  Tonight there won't be a dinner service, because the staff and the Fellows are playing a soccer game. They are calling it Romans vs Barbarians!  I have considered not letting Dr. C. go, because I'm sure there will be some type of oral injury and he'll want to help. (think elbow or header to the face and you'll get the picture!)

L to R:  Chef Chris Behr, Leah, Jeremy, Michelle, Caspar, Tom, Clementine and McLane
Not in the photo is Chef Domenico Cortese, a gifted and talented chef who was more than patient with me as we exchanged ideas, and our love of food.  I worked my last night in the kitchen with him on Wednesday.  Wednesdays, at the Academy are vegetarian nights, and his main course was a baked risotto with artichokes, stuffed with artichoke puree and cheese, topped with a fonduta sauce, and fried artichokes.  Here are a few photos of that night, for some reason the photos of the spectacular panna cotta didn't come out, they are probably lost on the computer somewhere. 
Changing of the guard, lunch shift/evening shift exchanging information

Artichokes are dusted with a bit of semolina, then fried once, and then fried again--they are so crispy and delicious!  They were all calling my name. 

Beginning of the fonduta sauce--this one was a little "lighter" only cream and grated Pecorino

Domenico called this his antipasto di verdure; grilled romaine lettuce, fresh torpedo onions and fava beans tossed with wine viniagrette, garnished with toasted sliced almonds and sesame seeds. 

Twice fried

Building the plate, baked risotto with carnaroli, red rice, and farro

Building the plate, a bit of fonduta over the risotto

A bit of olive oil dressed arugula to round out the plate
My last night was perfect, working with Domenico, McLane and Clementine
 I am grateful to chef Chris Behr for allowing me into his kitchen, to the other chefs, and interns who so patiently answered my questions and didn't swat at me when I took their photos.  Grazie Mille, instead of goodbye, I will say, Ciao for now. 

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