I have had the most wonderful seafood meal in Catania at the “La Vecchia Quercia” in the Garden Hotel in San Giovanni la Punta.
I was a guest of Ristoworld an online not-for-profit organization dedicated to the restaurant and food production industry whose aim is to showcase Italian food internationally. Ristoworld has organised many congregations and competitions to promote culinary skills in the restaurant and hotel trade.
This is an organisation that was first formed in Sicily in 2008, by Andrea Finocchiaro a chef who is based in Catania. This group has grown significantly and there are now delegates and representatives from all regions of Italy and from other parts of the world. I am the Australian delegate.
Apart from Andrea and Fabio Trefuletti (secretary) I met other members of the group. The food was cooked by Costantino Laudani, head chef at La Vecchia Quercia (he is also the delegate of Sicily for Ristoworld). My charming waiter and sommelier was Allessio Valenti (vice president of Ristoworld).
Apparently Alessio is Catania’s best cocktail maker. Pity I am not into night life!
Unfortunately not all of the food was photographed. The antipasti were spectacular and there were so many of them…..marinaded fish, prawns, mussels, octopus……caponata with grated chocolate, cuscus.
This is the Pesce spada and cipollata:
We said no to fruit and dessert – we just could not have fitted it in.
A short time ago I became a member of an organisation called Ristoworld. This is an organisation that was first formed in Sicily, under the direction of Chef Andrea Finocchiaro who is based in Catania.
This is different to my other posts and I wish to explain why I am doing this.
Originally the group wanted to promote mainly Sicilian food&beverage – managers, sommelier, chefs and all staff involved in the trade as well as Sicilian produce. This group and its network have recently expanded. Andrea is still the President and he is working with Mario Principi, a group of advisers, representatives from all regions of Italy and from other parts of the world.
The initial concept of promotion Sicily has become the promotion of all things related to food&beverage of Italy – ‘all made in Italy’.
Recently I posted a message on their face book site (in Italian) about Mary Taylor Simeti. Mary is a leading Sicilian food writer living in Sicily who is coming to the Sydney International Food Festival– she is participating in a session is on October 9th.
Andrea has since asked me to publicize this photo on my site and I have agreed to do so – reciprocal thanks.
In summary, the photo is an idea of Andrea’s to demonstrate how culinary art and fashion can be linked (the sweetness of the chocolate with the beauty of the models). Michele Crimi, a Sicilian photographer of note is responsible for the photo; Lucia Russo, Angela Viola e Selene Eulalia Cabrabas are the models. It has been photographed in the scenic restaurant Falconiera di Acireale, located the beautiful coastal city of Acireale in the north-east of the province of Catania, Sicily. The decorated chocolate centerpiece has been produced in collaboration with the ancient and famous Pasticceria Michelangelo Spina di Misterbianco. Although this is not mentioned in the article I was given to work from, there is promotion for the beauty of Sicily (Acireale and this restaurant) and the craft of the people involved in making this photo possible including the pastry cook.