four seasons carpaccio

 

 
Il Palagio, Four Seasons Hotel, Florence, Italy****
 
Eating at Chef Mollica's table s like opening a map of Italy and eating the best each region has to offer

This is part of a series of stories on food and wine from Italy by

 South Florida Gourmet editor Simone Zarmati Diament

 

  

 

four seasons chef  vito 

four seasons appetizer 

four seasons pasta lobsterdsc07664 

dsc07779 

dsc07782 

 dsc07784

  dsc07786dsc07788  

 
by Simone Zarmati Diament
Eating at Chef Mollica's table s like opening a map of Italy and eating the best each region has to offer
Listen to an interview with Chef Vito Mollica on Food and Wine Talk, broadcast from Florence, Italy
 
    dsc07645

Talk about ingredients to Vito Mollica the executive chef at the Four Seasons in Florence and learn about geography.  As he laments the loss of regional identity in the world and the turmoil of progress, the 39 year old who says he was lucky to catch some of the wonders of the old world  knows the provenance of each and every ingredient he uses and tells of the people who still care and of the producers who share his passion for excellence. Listen to an interview with Chef Vito Mollica on Food and Wine Talk, broadcast from Florence, Italy

 Executive Chef Vito Mollica, an advocate of the Slow Food movement who also happens to have opened the Four Seasons Hotel in Miami, extends the princely experience to Il Palagio, the Hotel’s main restaurant and breakfast room where he serves succulent Italian fare with ingredients he sources daily from regional and artisan producers who share his passion for quality

 Being at his table either at Il Palagio, the formal restaurant of the Four Seasons Hotel in Florence, or at the newly opened Al Fresco, the outdoor restaurant near the pool, set in the Renaissance gardens of what was Il Palazzo Della Gherardesca , is like opening a map of Italy and eating the best each region has to offer.

 Listen to an interview with Chef Vito Mollica on Food and Wine Talk, broadcast from Florence, Italy

 One of the hotel’s sommeliers, the French native Thomas Van Den Bossche – the other sommelier from Lombardy was off on the night I was there – paired each dish I ordered with a passion and knowledge of his field commensurate with the demands of Chef Vito.

 Dinner under ancient Tuscan-made chandeliers at an elegant table set over a black and white tile floor, is a fit setting for chef Vito ‘s food, which he describes as simple. “Only the ingredients are outstanding,” he says.

 We started off with amuses and a flute of Adami Bosco di Gica, a fresh tasting Prosecco di Valdobbiano, followed by a Rosso di Montalcino Cupano 2005 to pair with an appetizer of Prosciutto Cinta Senese that chef Vito sources from Paolo Parisi’s farm. Cinto Senese is a Tuscan pork, similar to the Spanish Pata Negra, which was in quasi extinction until Paolo Parisi bought a farm in Tuscany and started raising them organically and in a free-range manner.

 Next came a fish carpaccio from Ricciola – coming in this morning from the Terrenian Sea -stacked on what seemed steak tartare,  but instead was a bed of the most intensely tomato-tasting tomatoes, chopped with olives, capers and olive oil.

To accompany the next dishes Sommelier Thomas opted for a SuperTuscan, a superb Bordeaux blend-like Tolaini Tenuta Montebello Picconero Toscana 2006.

 Agnolotti with fish and truffles, very much like a brandade stuffing but more intense, was simple but marvelous. The homemade egg pasta had the right bite and the fish inside was soft and melted in the mouth with a light sauce of butter and sage spiked with a whiff of lemon.

 A Sicilian dish chef Vito is proud of is the Sciacciatella and Vongole (clams) topped with raw prawns and beans. “The slices of raw prawns cook in the heat of the pasta.  This is a hearty, peasant dish, with beans and little sauce, “  he explains. Simple perhaps,  but sublime. And so was the turbot in a saffron cream sauce – saffron from San Gimigniano.  

Desserts, a complex hazelnut nougat and a coconut macaroon with sorbet by Pastry chef Domenico di Clemente were paired with Fattoria Cabanon Oro 2004, a  Passito from the Oltrepó Pavese in Lombardy   and a Zibbibo BenRé from Donnafugata in Sicily, a passito from Pantelleria, an Italian island in the Strait of Sicily in the Mediterranean Sea.

Splendor and Fun in the grass at Al Fresco

dsc07778

 Chef Vito’s love for local and regional foods reached its apotheosis at the opening of Al Fresco, the poolside restaurant set in the Renaissance splendor of the manicured gardens. 

He had invited Marco, a famous focaccia-maker who came all the way from his bakery near Genova in Liguria to make the typical breads of the region.  While the different foccacia  and the freshly baked chick pea flour farinata were the stars of the evening, they vied for attention with the buffet tables laden with all the bounty of Tuscany and the typical dishes of the regions beloved to the chef.

. For additional information: www.fourseasons.com/florence 


 

Il Palagio, Four Seasons Hotel, Florence, Italy
Four Seasons Hotel Firenze,
Borgo Pinti 99, 50121, Florence, Italy
+39 055 2626 1 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting              +39 055 2626 1      
  www.fourseasons.com/florence

 

Add comment


Security code
Refresh

Food & Wine Talk Radio

 GELATO WORLD TOUR, RIMINI 2014, ITALY
 
Achile Sassoli, Director of Gelato World Tour
and Gelato Artisans:
James Coleridge, Vancouver, B.C., Canada
Abdelrahman Al Teneji, Sharjah, United Arab Emirates
Matthew Lee, Austin, Texas
Ahmed Abdullatif, Kingdom of Bahrain
Stefano Versace, Miami, Florida
 
 
__________________
  twitter facebook
     
 

Wine On Harvest Moon-Spirits, Spells & American Lore, Sat 10/24, with Veronica Litton,Crown Wine & Spirits, Chef Julia Ning, Station 5 Table and Bar  

 
 

Chef Scott Conant: Scarpetta

 
 

Mark Schatzker, author of The Dorito Effect, The Surprising New Truth About Food and Flavor

 
 

Elizabeth Minchilli, author of  Eating Rome: Living the Good Life in the Eternal City.  

 
 

Cindy Hutson,chef/owner, Ortanique and Zest, author of From the Tip of My Tongue

 
 

Lidia Batianich, celebrity chef, TV host, author and restaurateur 

 

 

 

Advertisement

 

 


 
Deering.Moon
 
 food-tours
 
 
ad michelle.jpeg
 
Miami's Community Newspapers
 
 

 

 
  


   

 
Home   Advertise   Subscribe   Privacy Policy   About Us   Contact Us   Copyrights

©The South Florida Gourmet
5410 Alhambra Circle, Coral Gables, FL 33146
Tel: 305-975-1425 

Web Site By: ExitosEmpresariales.com

 

RocketTheme Joomla Templates