Hungry in the Middle of the Night

What would you do if you were hungry and woke up in a luxury hotel, in a foreign city, in the middle of the night? That’s the question the ad men at San Pellegrino pose in their TV You Tube featuring Italian actor Pierfranceso Favino called Live in Italian – Practice the Art of Fine Food. Evidentially other people have been intrigued by this fantasy question as well. In one month 487,170 views were posted.

Favino says he once lived the same experience as the You Tube video while working on a movie in a small town in Southern Italy. There was only one restaurant in town and after some time catering to the hungry actors the owner just gave them the key and told them to let themselves in. Presumably to cook their own meal!

Cooking_GroupWhat restaurant would you like to have carte blanche to cook in to live like an Italian? I once cooked in the kitchen of my friend Rita’s hotel ristorante in Castell’Arquato, an Italian town located in the Val d’Arda near Piacenza. We made pasta and petto di tacchino, turkey breast stuffed with prosciutto di Parma and Parmigiano Reggiano cheese. It wasn’t the middle of the night and I did have help from a wonderful chef but it came very close to  Favino’s  fantasy experience.

Appreciated by Popes and Kings

The Italian wines from the hills of Piacenza have been appreciated by popes and kings and those who would be including Napoleon, Michelangelo and me. Colli Piacentini Gutternio is made from two of my cousin Roberto’s favorite grapes, Barbera (70%) and Bonarda (30%). It has a brilliant ruby red color with shades of purple red and an aroma of dried cherries and spice.  It is a vino rosso that can pair well with white meat (petto di pollo – chicken breast), light pasta dishes and cheese and is perfect for all seasons. Because it is little known outside of Italy and often overshadowed by the wines of Tuscany, this wine may not be as familiar as a Chianti, Brunello or Super Tuscan but well worth your consideration.

Colli Piacenti Mont’Arquato Duca di Ferro (Iron Duke) Gutturnio Riserva is A Taste of Cositutti in Italy Wine Selection from Castello Gropparello. I had this wine at an afternoon meal in the castle’s medievale taverna with cheese and laurel made in the castle kitchens and tortellini, pork and a chocolate semifreddo for dessert. 

*gutturnio comes from the Latin word “gutturnium”,a Roman silver goblet used to serve wine in ancient times.