This article is the seventh in a series that you can read all about here.
Meet David. He’s a marketing superhero by day, who enjoys baking, hiking, and all things cultural. By night, he has a penchant for making tequila-fuelled poor life choices. Forever alone, David lives with his two feline terrorists, Astro & Cosmo – a true crazy cat lady in the making.
Anyone who knows me will attest to the fact that food is a very important part of my life (which is why one of my goals before I hit 30 is to lose 20 kilos…but that’s another story altogether). When the going gets tough, the tough get baking – at least that’s my approach to general life stressors.
Unfortunately, I’ve lately taken to a diet of instant noodles and rice in an effort to save money (on a heavily related note: did you know that doors, one of the most fundamental, yet basic aspects of a home, go for as much as €700?!).
So it was a lovely turn of events when I was invited to a gourmet dinner prepared by a Michelin Star chef at Palazzo Parisio last week.
My tastebuds were tantalised by the decadent delicacies prepared by Chef Michelino Gioia, Head Chef at Il Pellicano in Sardinia. Granted, I couldn’t pronounce half the things I was eating, but it was an outstanding event, the memories of which I’ll treasure fondly as I stick to a diet of cabbage soup come January. Here’s what went down (my gullet).
Fair warning: my amateur photography skills do not do justice to the marvellous creations presented.
To start: Scampi with stracciatella di bufala, liquid shiso and lime essence
What a wonderful way to kick off the evening – the dish was absolutely divine.
The flavours had me making noises usually frowned upon in public; but I doubt anyone noticed, with all diners in their own personal throes of ecstasy.
Up next: Sardinian fregola with calamari, artichoke hearts and hints of coffee
I love a seafood diet – I see food, then I eat it.
Terrible, overused puns aside, mention the words “calamari” and “artichoke hearts” and you’ve won me over. The only downside to this dish was that I was still reeling from the delight that was the previous one, so I most likely didn’t savour the taste as much as I should have.
Kicking it up a notch: Seared scallops topped with a crunchy pork cracker, with apple & mashed potato
I’ll admit, I was sceptical about this, having never tried scallops before.
What I can honestly say is that this dish ruined shellfish for me for life. The meat was cooked to perfection and paired beautifully with the saltiness of the pork cracker and the sweetness of the apples.
The coup de grâce: Cardamom-infused saddle of lamb with Tuscan goat cheese & grapes
I don’t get to eat lamb very often – barring drunken 3am pit-stops to a kebab shop after a night out – so this dish exceeded all expectations. The lamb was so tender, it practically melted in my mouth, and it paired beautifully with the goat’s cheese; and the subtle spices of the cooked grapes conjured fond memories of warm mulled wine.
To top it off: Caramel pear, filled with hazelnut and chocolate
Imagine the crisp sweetness of a stewed pear, coupled with the nutty undertones of a chocolate/hazelnut base. It speaks volumes by itself.
The whole evening was an absolute delight, matching a gastronomic eleganza with the superb service afforded by Luna at Palazzo Parisio. Easily one of the highlights of 2019. The evening comes as the second in a series of events, each with their own Michelin star chef, with the next one scheduled for October 24th and another coming up in November.
If you’re a fellow foodie looking for an outstanding evening of decadence and indulgence – it’s worth every cent!