A week in the life of cookery writer is as diverse as any. I started the week up at the Chef’s Room in Blaenavon hosting a cookery class with Franco Taruschio for the US gay press who were touring Wales – what a colourful and appreciative bunch they were.
Wednesday evening I was in London for the launch of Salumiamo – let’s eat and appreciate Italian cured meats – fronted by top chefs Giorgio Locatelli and Francesco Mazzei at Locatelli’s New Bridge Street restaurant Refettorio.
We sipped Prosecco and Lambrusco (not the awful stuff you buy in your corner shop but a rich ruby red wine from Emilia with just a touch of sparkle) and ate delicious finger food created by this duo of delightfully unassuming chefs prepared with the best cured meats Italy has to offer.
Salumini (tiny pure pork salamis from central and northern Italy) alla cacciatora – their name comes from the fact they are small enough to pack in the hunter’s (cacciatore’s) knapsack – aromatic, soft, chewy and delicious. Culatello (little back-side) from Parma – the upper leg, the tenderest part of the adult pig slowly cured through summer warmth and autumn fog ready to eat in the winter – melt in the mouth! Mortadella from Bologna - selected and finely ground pork cuts plus fat lardons flavoured with myrtle berries and gently cooked by indirect contact with steam with a silk-like texture! Lastly Bresaola from Valtellina (best cuts of beef first dry cured with salt and spices, then in wine, more spices and sugar and finally wrapped and hung for four to eight weeks. Cut paper thin this makes the ultimate antipasto!
Thursday morning I was back in Ross for our Italian week - making pasta in The Cook Shop and on Friday in the market square cooking Italian food to complement the visit of the colourful Italian market - Italia in Piazza. I made two pasta dishes, a broad bean salad enriched with some of the unusual cheeses on sale and made finger food with the many fine Italian cured meats the market had to offer.
Sandwiched between cookery demonstrations I signed books at Rossiters – Pasta dishes and Sunny days and easy living.