Saturday, November 18, 2017

Michelin Star Chef from Italy comes to Toronto for Cent Italia


Event:  CENTItalia Dinner
Location:  Nella Cucina on Bathurst
Chef:  Cristina Bowerman
Hosted by:  Italian Chamber of Commerce & Centennial College
Date:  November 16, 2017

My friend Natalie invited me to join her for what she called "some Italian event in the Annex".  All she told was that it was a dinner and since I had a long and busy day and knew I wasn't going to want to cook when I went home and love Italian food I said I would join her.  We met at a coffee shop in the Annex and the she told me it was at Nella Cucina and I wondered if it was a hands on thing because that space was usually used for interactive cooking demos but she said no it was sit down dinner.  And indeed it was a sit down dinner but it was with an Italian Michelin Star Chef who just that day announced that she received her 2nd Michelin Star.  Her name is Cristina Bowerman and she is the only female Michelin star chef in Italy.  Glass Hosteria is located in Rome, Italy where food is probably the number one reason for tourist to visit there besides the art and architecture. You know that most people dream of eating Italian food in Italy including me but we were lucky to have her cooking for us at Nella Cucina in Toronto for one of CentItlaia's various events brought to Toronto by the Italian Chamber of Commerce and Centennial College.  This was the only event I was able to attend out of a few during the week but probably the one that I would have wanted to attend the most anyway.  So you never know how events are going to be but I am glad I was able to attend this one because the food was amazing and so many different flavour combinations made it really interesting.  Check out the dishes we had:

 Jerusalem Artichokes and potato cream, creamed bacala and bread chips

The best part of this was the Artichoke cream.

Risotto with butter, anchovies, candied ginger, lemon and caper powder and demi glace.

This risotto was made with Italian Canaroli rice which is slightly larger than Arborio and the perfect rice for Risotto but a lot harder to find in Toronto.  The taste of this risotto was the best I have ever had and a surprising mix of flavours.  We all inhaled this little bowl of rice. 

Scallops, dashi pistachio, mushroom and kumquat and bonito flakes.

This dish has the most perfectly cooked scallops which were cross hatched to absorb the butter and the combination of the other ingredients on the plate were a mix of Italian with Asian touches.  

Ricotta cheese soup, candied fruit and zeppole.

We couldn't get enough of this dessert.  They made a lot of the Zeppole's which are light as air Italian donuts and because there were so many we ended up eating 3 each because they are so light you just want to keep eating them.

 Petits four chocolates

And we wrapped up our delicious Michelin Star meal with some fine chocolates but honestly we just wanted to eat more zeppoles.  

I hope that one day I can visit Italy and have Cristina's food in her element.

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