Sunday, December 8, 2013
While some Maine chefs stick around all winter, others prefer to take off during the colder, slower months for other parts of the world.
It’s a way they can rejuvenate themselves and challenge their palates by discovering new ingredients and tasting cuisine prepared by other chefs who have something to teach them.
If we’re lucky, they return to Maine with lots of new ideas to try out on the guests at their restaurants.
This winter, the culinary and management teams at Five-0 Shore Road made a month-long trip to Italy, where executive chef James Walter spent time with Michelin-starred chef Richard Titi of Il Falconiere, a Relais and Chateau property in Tuscany owned by Riccardo and Silvia Baracchi.
Here's the two chefs, with Titi on the left and Walter on the right:
During their visit, they were treated to a tour of the wine tasting rooms at Il Falconiere. Here’s a look at Five-O owner Donato Tramuto (center) and Five-O executive chef James Walter (right) with Riccardo Baracchi:
The Maine contingent was then treated to a dinner with the Baracchi family at their sister restaurant at Locanda del Molino, just outside of Cortona. (The resort and its vineyard were featured in the movie “Under the Tuscan Sun.”)
Here’s Donald Tramuto, owner of Five-0, with chef Richard Titi, chef James Walter and Sylvia Baracchi, enjoying their evening at Locanda del Molino:
The Mainers were also lucky enough to have a private dinner in the villa at the Felsina Winery in the Chianti region of Tuscany. Each wine at the dinner was selected by the owner and winemaker.
Chef Walter will be replicating several courses from both dinners at a wine dinner at Five-0 Shore Road on Thursday. The evening begins at 6:30 and costs $69, including gratuity.
Here’s the menu:
-From the Florence market-
Risotto rolled with a ragu filling, breaded and lightly fried
Papa al Pomodoro
-From our lunch at Felsina Winery-
Tomato and bread soup with Felsina Extra Virgin Olive Oil
-From our Dinner with the Baracchi Family and Friends-
Baby spinach dumplings in a stewed tomato sauce
Pici alla Nana
From a Dinner in Florence
Braised duck in a red wine sauce with thick hand rolled noodles
Baccala con Bietole
-From our dinner at Locanda del Molino
Local Cod roasted with Swiss chard, chanterelle mushrooms, and spring onion
-From a Dinner in Rome-
Breezy hill farm pork shoulder Slow roasted with juniper and new potato
Zeppolette, torta alla mele, Limoncello Sorbetto
-Collaboration of sweets-
Fried pastry with ricotta and golden raisins, apple pie with almond streusel topping, house made sorbetto with lemon liqueur
The dinner will end with an original limoncello recipe from the Amalfie Coast. It’s a family recipe that was acquired by Gary Pucciarelli, general manager of the restaurant.
For more information or to make reservations for the dinner, go to five-oshoreroad.com or call 646-5001.
Meredith Goad has harvested oysters on the Chesapeake Bay, eaten reindeer in Finland and sipped hot chai in the Himalayas. She writes the weekly Soup to Nuts column and enjoys a good cocktail.
Susan Axelrod's food writing career began in the kitchen; she owned a restaurant and catering business before turning to journalism more than a decade ago. To relax, she bakes, gardens and hikes with her husband and their two dogs. A newcomer to Portland, she is an online content producer for the Press Herald.
Susan can be contacted at 791-6310 or saxelrod [at] pressherald.com.
On Twitter: @susansaxelrod