The Italian job

When one thinks of the Italian cuisine in the country, a very Indianised version of it comes to mind. And filled with chopped capsicums, carrots and other vegetables, the pasta has become the champion for the popular cuisine. Sheraton Bangalore at Brigade Gateway, however, is attempting to change this view by hosting ‘Festa Della Sensa’.

 Visiting the hotel for the event is Italian chef Giuseppe Lioce from The Westin Pune Koregaon Park. He will recreate the best of Italy with traditional flavours from the Mediterranean country. According to the chef, it’s difficult to find authentic Italian food here as it’s usually changed to suit the Indian palate.

“There are some dishes that haven’t been altered in any way. We have imported most of the ingredients for this purpose,” he says. Dishes like the ‘Tonnarelli Cacio e Pepe’, which is made from homemade Tonnarelli pasta, is  cooked in rich pecorino and black pepper sauce.

With a passion for creating fresh, colourful dishes, the chef even has some vegan dishes. He has used ingredients such as Pecorino cheese, Italian artichokes, black pepper, wine, beer, olive oil, sea bass, lamb, scallops and more.

For starters, there are dishes like ‘Carpaccio di Carciofi’, which is thinly sliced fresh artichoke with lavender dressing, shaved parmesan and balsamic reduction and finished with green pea leaves, and ‘Capesante Mare e Monti’, which is grilled scallops, served on a bed of pumpkin puree, crispy Parma ham, sautéed Portobello mushrooms, and finished with truffle honey. The chef has prepared soups like ‘Zuppa di Fagioli’, which is Italian creamy beans soup with chilli, parmesan cheese and served with focaccia Pugliese.

Pastas like ‘Paccheri Mare e Terra’, which is Paccheri pasta served with pistachio pesto, calamari and prawns in white wine sauce and ‘Orecchiette alla Barese’, which is Orecchiette pasta served with garlic, chili, broccoli and pecorino cheese are available. And risottos like ‘Risotto Montagna’, which is Carnaroli risotto cooked with mushrooms, red wine, and finished with gorgonzola cheese are also on the menu. There are also main course dishes like ‘Branzino Livornese’, which is baked sea bass, tomato sauce with olives, anchovies, capers, served with fried polenta and spinach.

The chef says that he will be serving dishes from different parts of Italy. “Some dishes are just like the ones that Italians make at home, when they are with family.” Dishes from Rome and Livorno, along with South Italy, are available for taste. For dessert, he finishes off with specials like ‘Pasticciotto’, a warm Italian short bread filled of Italian custard, Nutella and vanilla ice cream and ‘Millefoglie’, a warm puff pastry served with Italian custard, blueberries and vanilla ice cream.

One can also involve themselves in a grape crushing session, called ‘Grape Stomping’, on May 17. And Italian food lovers can be a part of the ‘Sheraton Culinary Academy’ session with Chef Giuseppe Lioce on May 21.

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