Gusto Italiano Flavours of Italy Culinary Workshop: Gabriele Piegaia of Burlamacco Ristorante (Recipes included)


In conjunction with the month-long gourmet programme Gusto Italianoa series of dinners and culinary classes featuring outstanding local culinary stars and renowned Italian restaurants across the island – the Flavours of Italy Culinary Workshops held at ToTT offer gourmands an opportunity to interact and learn from their favourite Italian chefs.

Read about my Gusto Italiano dinner experience at Il Lido here:

I recently attended the Flavours of Italy Culinary Workshop featuring Gabriele Piegaia of Burlamacco Ristorante.

Some background info on Chef Gabriele: He started out at Michelin-star kitchens in Italy, namely Ristorante Antica Zecca and Ristorante Antica Osteria del Bai, before arriving in Singapore in 2001. His previous appointments were at Senso Ristorante, Hotel Michael and as Executive Chef at Alkaff Mansion Restaurant before Gabriele decided to strike out on his own. The Tuscan-born chef now shares his native tradition and food as Executive Chef and Co-Owner of Burlamacco Ristorante.

Here are two recipes to share: Continue reading

Gusto Italiano: “Gifts of the Forest with the wines of Fontodi” at Il Lido


From 1 September till 3 October 2013, the spotlight is on Italian gastronomy. Gusto Italiano is a new gourmet programme that showcases the food, culinary talents and produce of Italy in new and exciting ways, bringing you a series of dinners and culinary classes that will feature outstanding local culinary stars and renowned Italian restaurants across the island.

Interested parties may take a look at the event calendar and book through here: Tickets are selling fast!

Truffle Arancini – Canapé from Il Lido

I recently attended the “Gifts of the Forest with the wines of Fontodi” dinner at Il Lido, which was one of the most palatial dining experiences I’ve had in awhile.

Chef Beppe de Vito of Il Lido celebrates the cuisine of his home region Puglia during this exquisite dinner, showcasing a range of ingredients that have been foraged from the forest and flown in specially for this occasion. The highly regarded wines of Fontodi offers the perfect complement to each well-crafted course. Continue reading

Prego – an Italian Trattoria at Fairmont Singapore


Prego manifests itself as an Italian Trattoria, in every possible aspect of the restaurant –from the service style and communal dining to its rustic décor dominated by wood and marble.

It’s new menu, launched in July 2013, stars Chef Antonio Facchinetti’s creative take on traditional Italian fare, which combines age-old culinary methods and techniques with fine seasonal ingredients.

An assortment of breads, baked in-house, is served to the table with accompanying dips, beginning to whet our appetites before our meal commences.

Continue reading

Basilico presents “An Italian Journey” and “Winesday Night Live” with Live Pasta-making Demonstration on Wednesdays


Italian cuisine is more than just pizza and pasta. Basilico, Regent Singapore’s flagship Italian restaurant, presents a gastronomic array that’s as varied as the many regions of Italy.

Showcasing a different region each month, their well received wine dinners and Basilissimo (Best of Basilico) dinner draw inspiration hugely from the regions’ rich culture and produce.

The culinary team works hand-in-hand with an esteemed wine estate from the showcased region each month, creating exemplary pairings of food and wine in an intimate Wine Dinner affair.

“Winesday Night Live” happens every Wednesday, where you will enjoy 50 percent off selected regional wines. Look forward to the “live” station where their chef will demonstrate the art of pasta making.

This rustic pasta-cutting tool ensures that the width of the pasta is consistent.

Three-course Dinner with Antipasti Buffet, Dessert Buffet and your choice of Mains at $78++ per person, $108++ with 2 glasses of wine pairing and $128++ with 3 glasses of wine pairing. 6.30pm to 10pm.

The popular three-course Basilissimo dinner has recently launched the “Italian Journey”, which begins with a spectrum of antipasti, featuring premium cold cuts, cheeses, marinated seafood and seasonal vegetables.

Cold cuts include Mortadella, Coppa, Prosciutto di Parma, Prosciutto Cotto and Salame Pugliese. Continue reading

Perfect Italiano Masterclass with Chef Lino Sauro


Baked rice, mac ‘n’ cheese, lasagna, potato gratin, risotto, cheese bread, grilled cheese sandwich and cheese soufflé are just some of the many things you can do with the versatile range of Perfect Italiano cheeses.

There are three types of Perfect Italiano cheese available in Singapore: Perfect Italiano Mozzarella Cheese, Perfect Italiano Parmesan Cheese and Perfect Italiano Pizza Plus Cheese.

Perfect Italiano Mozzarella Cheese is stretchy (really stretchy) in nature, with a mild flavour. It is low in fat (35% less fat than regular mozzarella). Perfect for pizza toppings and ideal for lasagna. It is suitable for vegetarians too.

Perfect Italiano Parmesan Cheese is aged for up to 18 months to guarantee a rich and bold flavour. It is ideal for pastas, salads, risottos and soups. I usually buy it in the traditional block form to grate over pastas whenever needed. You can also sprinkle some over potato wedges with some freshly ground pepper and herbs and bake till crisp. That sounds like comfort food to me!

Perfect Italiano Pizza Plus Cheese is a unique blend of three cheeses –Mozzarella (for stretch), Cheddar (for bold flavour) and Parmesan (for bite). It is ideal for pizza toppings, sauces and hot snacks.

These simple and easy to use Perfect Italiano cooking cheeses can easily be adapted in your everyday cooking.

Couple weeks ago, I attended a Perfect Italiano Masterclass with Italian Chef Lino Sauro at Palate Sensastions. Here are three inventive dishes that Chef Lino has come up with, using Perfect Italiano cheeses –wonton with cheese fondue, cheesy maki sushi roll and deep fried potato with oozy gooey cheese within. Continue reading

TortaPistocchi Chocolate Week at Hilton Singapore; A Cioccolato Dining Experience at il Cielo


This March, famous chocolate producer of Florence, Chef Claudio Pistocchi, collaborates with Hilton Singapore for a chocolaty Easter and a Cioccolato Dining Experience at il Cielo.

The Hilton Singapore pastry team and il Cielo restaurant chef Omar Bernardi will be presenting an array of chocolaty sweet treats and savouries. This first-ever collaboration will pique the interest of ardent fans of chocolates and gourmands who anticipate with gusto. Continue reading

OTTO Locanda


OTTO Locanda brings fine Italian cuisine in a relaxed setting, at the charming Maxwell Chambers just minutes away from the Red Dot Traffic Building, where its fine-dining counterpart OTTO Ristorante resides –both walking distances away from the Tanjong Pagar MRT station.

The partners behind OTTO Ristorante share a life-long passion for great Italian food, offering dining that is close to the hearts of Italians.

OTTO Locanda exudes a rustic charm similar to that of a traditional Italian trattoria. Walls are adorned with the owner’s personal postcard collection, while copper lamps illuminate the dining room with warmth and cosiness. Shelves are filled with vintage Italian memorabilia, which will open vaults of memories and feelings of nostalgia close to the Italians’ hearts.

Under the culinary direction of OTTO Ristorante’s head chef Michele Pavanello, Chef Marco Violana helms the kitchen at OTTO Locanda, bringing his impressive Italian culinary expertise to the table. Expect hearty Italian recipes coupled with high quality ingredients and precise execution. Continue reading

Chocolate Masterclass with a Michelin Touch at Regent Singapore


Things are getting sweetened up at Regent Hotel, with Executive Pastry Chef Domenico Di Clemente from Michelin-starred Il Palagio at Four Seasons Hotel Firenze presenting sweet creations at Dolcetto by Basilico from 16 January 2013.

I had the privilege of attending Chef Domenico’s first-ever chocolate showcase in Singapore. The Chocolate Masterclass was held at Basilico Restaurant’s well-equipped private cooking studio, where cooking demos and classes are held upon request or booking.

We learnt how to make one of Chef Domenico’s signature creations, the Warm Chocolate Tart with Coffee Zabaglione. Continue reading

Casa Verde’s Valentine’s Day Menu


Aptly named, Casa Verde means ‘green house’ in Italian; it is an Italian bistro nestled in the Singapore Botanic Gardens, surrounded by verdant foliage.

The bustling patio-style terrace-café, frequented by nature and pet-lovers in the day, matures into a romantic full-service restaurant by night.

For Valentine’s Day this year, the Les Amis Group has come up with a ‘Naughty Meets Nice’ theme, employing sensuous ingredients from the list of aphrodisiacs, to be featured in seven seductive menus across the restaurants under their belt.

Here’s what Casa Verde at Singapore Botanic Gardens has to offer: Valentine’s Day Choice of 3-Course Set Dinner ($70nett per person)

Insalata Fichi e Proscuitto

Mesclun salad tossed in fig vincotto with fresh figs, parma ham and bufala crumble

In this 3-Course Set Dinner, there are two options for each course.

For starters, you can choose between the Insalata Fichi e Proscuitto (pictured above) and the Zuppa di Pomodoro (oven roasted cherry vine tomato soup with sautéed chunky crabmeat, finished with a touch of cream and pesto emulsion).
Continue reading

Catch Episode 9 of The Big Break on the Asian Food Channel –Italiano challenge


Have you been following The Big Break religiously on the Asian Food Channel (AFC)? I look forward to watching it every week!

The Big Break is an original reality television series produced by the Asian Food CHannel (AFC), in partnership with Resorts World Sentosa (RWS), offering the chance of a lifetime to 12 underprivileged youths from six countries across Asia to fulfil their culinary dreams.

More information here:

I enjoy every episode so much I almost wish the series would not come to an end so soon, but on the other hand, contradictorily, I can’t wait to find out who triumphs in the grand finale!

In the upcoming 9th episode, contestants’ multi-tasking skills are put to the test in the Ultimate Italiano Challenge.

Making pizza from scratch can be relatively easy when you’re following a reliable recipe, step by step, with no time constraint. However, during this challenge, contestants must knead, assemble and bake their own pizzas within the stipulated time. With time proving a major obstacle, will all the pizzas make it to the judging table in time?

Find out tonight (9 January 2013) at 10pm!

The show is an inspiration to budding cooks. After this episode, if you have drawn motivation and have ideas floating endlessly in your head, here is a basic pizza recipe from the AFC Studio to get you started.
Continue reading

DBS Supperclub with Chef Valtulina Valentino


I had the privilege of attending an exclusive after-hours Underground Supperclub event by DBS Indulge at Ristorante Da Valentino, all thanks to AFC’s invitation.

Chef Valtulina Valentino, owner and executive chef of Ristorante Da Valentino, is a true-blue Italian who embraces the traditions of Italian cuisine, adding a pinch of personal touch to each dish.

The menu is specially created for this DBS/POSB Credit and Debit Cardmembers-exclusive Supperclub event.

Bormio (name of a town in northern Italy) salad of apple, marinated onion, olives, nuts and ricotta
Continue reading

Trattoria Nonna Lina


Craig Road welcomes the arrival of Trattoria Nonna Lina –an Italian restaurant named after owner/chef Simone Vespasiani’s beloved grandmother Lina. The menu pays homage to Italian classics, highlighting their family’s best-kept recipes.

Continue reading

Dolcetto by Basilico at Regent Singapore


Dolcetto by Basilico; this gleaming store on the first level of Regent Singapore is embellished with stitched Italian leather detailing, and boasts polished and richly-veined Carrera marble. Dangling above the counters are European blown-glass pendants; surrounding you is an endless array of all-things-Italian –it is possible to feel transported to Italy, from the moment you enter, to the minute you fill the orange leather shopping baskets with your favourite Italian goodies.

This could potentially be Singapore’s own ‘Little Italy’.

Dolcetto is Basilico’s casual counterpart – a gourmet pasticceria – offering Italian coffee, sweet treats, freshly baked goods and specially imported merchandises.

Continue reading

Ristorante PepeNero –Simply Italian


PepeNero means black pepper in Italian.

Ristorante PepeNero is a quaint little restaurant housed in one of the conservative shophouses along Telok Ayer, on Stanley Street to be exact.

As opposed to its appellation, black pepper does not take centre stage at this Italian restaurant. I reassure you, you won’t get a choke-inducing profusion of black pepper that overwhelms each and every dish.

Continue reading