4 Oct 2008

Rib Eye for Detail

'Cooking is like love. It should be entered into with abandon or not at all...'
[Harriet van Horne, Critic]
I HAD a wine splashed dinner with Enrica Rocca, the spirited 'Cooking Contessa'. She runs cookery schools from Notting Hill and Venice. I was one of her students in January. I remember at the start of the class how her face turned ivory when I wickedly announced that I had vegetarian tendencies (a patent lie). We collected provisions from Portobello Road Market in a wheeled wicker basket. Meals on wheels...
Our purchases included veal neck and halal chicken hearts (we urgently sautéed the latter). You can read my account of the day - 'From Halal to Hedonism' HERE.
We work together now, and fingers crossed, I hope to make a pilgrimage to her Venetian culinary academy. Until that time, here is in every sense a taster of the sapid delights set amidst the terracotta topped island...

For dinner, after startlingly succulent Tripe alla Parmigiano, I sliced my own rib eye which was grilled then served with ebony Riso di Venere. Enrica's Mexican friend, Aaron then produced this Advocaat like representative. Rompope is a queasy potion of egg yolks, vanilla and milk: emulsified, sluggish, wine strength. We partnered this odd post prandial with dulce de leche injected between Communion like wafers.
Enrica's friends are as diverse as grape varieties. We were joined by the head of one of the largest airline caterers...