"This is not molecular cuisine..."

Tue 08 Jun 2010 @ 16:04
Author Georgia Levy

" ...this is traditional cooking!" declared Massimo Bottura of Modena's Osteria Francescana, no.6 on the San Pellegrino list of the world's 50 best restaurants. Yesterday morning he could be found at Vinopolis in Borough Market, matching his food with the wines of Cecchi, a Tuscan family of winemakers who were launching their Coevo 2006.

Coevo is their signature wine, which they modestly call an 'IGT' (Indicazione Geographica Tipica) but which could less modestly be called a 'Super Tuscan'. It is made from a blend of grapes, (50% sangiovese, 10% cabernet sauvignon, 20% merlot and 20% petit verdot) from the regions of Maremma and Chianti. We were given 6 other wines to taste for comparison – 3 from Maremma and 3 from Chianti – in order to see how they got to the final point: Coevo. Indeed, you could taste the blend of the regions: the austerity of the Chianti was balanced by the rounded Maremma grapes.

Massimo entered with his first course, which he called 'Ricordo di un panino all mortadella' (above, left), which can be translated as 'remembering mortadella sandwiches', a dish inspired by his childhood memories of his mother's mortadella sandwiches. It was made out of pork that had been steamed in a wood oven, distilled into a foam and squirted from a soda syphon.

We also experienced a rich dish of leeks and black truffle ("an expression of terroirs, like wine", according to Massimo); a ravioli of cotechino (spicy sausage) and lentils; a deconstructed bollito misto (above, middle) with veal cheek, cauliflower puree and chorophyll sauce (for freshness apparently); and finally a foie-gras lollipop (above, right), a humorous hybrid of a child's treat and an adult's delicacy.

A wonderful experience - and all before lunchtime!



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