Thursday, April 12, 2007

Tamao Group...always having fun

Just today while I was checking on Monterubiaglio's website, my attention has been stunned by a link to the local music Group TAMAO.

Tamao is literally the italian way to say "TIME OUT".

This is a long story and goes back to the time when the local football team was playing soccer and the coach was screaming after the end of the match just in the middle of the field

"TAMAO, TAMAO".....maybe saying "time out" was too difficult.

So Alessandro, Enrica, Francesco, Massimo & Nicola had the great idea to call their groupTAMAO.

They are a young band continuously fed from musical feelings near above all the Pink Floyd. They reproduce various pieces of mythical bands but above all they are still searching new sounds. TAMAO Band made of the instrumental sensibility their philosophy.
Now I am would like to dedicate a special menu for them.....the TAMAO Menu....please don't get me wrong it will be an italian menu...not japanaise as the sound can let you think!

Anyway I wish the best to my fellowcountry boys and girls....

Sunday, April 8, 2007

Aliza Green

"When you meet Aliza Green you can really say that you have been kissed by the fortune"
These words were said by a friend of Aliza just in front of my Champagneria and now I know very well that he was right 100%.
JOHN TAGGART/For the Daily News/ Article about Aliza Green
SHE TRAVELED the world more before the age of 20 than most people do in a lifetime, reveling not in the landscapes, sites and tourist attractions, but the food.
By the time she was in her early 20s, her travels had molded her into a young chef light-years ahead of her time. She appreciated the value of fresh mache and baby spinach, she insisted on maintaining a herb garden outside her kitchen. She could name every cut of an animal, and she could perfectly replicate a dish after tasting it just once.
Her career has spanned nearly three decades and quietly influenced dozens of restaurants in this town, charting a culinary course of legendary firsts, from attention to organic ingredients and their importance to farm-to-table products to food styling and menu design.
She is Philadelphia's culinary pioneer, Aliza Green.
Velia's Cooking Style & Aliza Green
I knew Aliza during one of her trips on the Amalfi Coast: she came with an American Slow Food group at the Restaurant Il Ritrovo located in Montepertuso/Positano where I was giving a casual help as a pastry chef.
After lunch we had enough time to talk about our passion for cooking and I found out in Aliza an extraordinary and an eclectic personality.
So when I have organised my Us Cooking Tour I decided to use her books to teach people during cooking classes: Field Guide To Herbs and Spices (Quirk Books - January 2006)by Aliza Green and Field Guide To Meat: How To Identify, Select, and Prepare Virtually Every Meat, Poultry, and Game Cut (Quirk Books - March 2005)by Aliza Green.
She came back to Italy last October as she attended the Slow Food's Terra Madre summit getting in Orvieto few days earlier to visit me and the local bakery to study local baking recipes.
She gave the birth to my Champagneria Orvieto being here during the opening when I did not have time to dedicate to her and even to myself, running up and down and getting crazy for everything.
Aliza has been such patience during her "Orvietan Stay" and she brought us her latest book "Starting with ingredients" a James Beard Award-Winning Author, the quintessential recipes for the way we really cook.
The kind note on top the first page says " Velia & Gianluca auguri per un buon successo con la bella Champagneria! Keep on Cookin' Aliza Green"
Velia De Angelis and Gianluca Antoniella personally elect Aliza Green as their Champagneria's Godmother.......thank you Aliza for being such kind and helpful with us.
We are waiting your news and your new book about baking......
For more info on Aliza Green visit her website

Thursday, April 5, 2007

The Italian Wedding Event

The Italian Wedding Event is a company brought to life with the skills, passion, and determination to assist, organize, and materialize the perfect wedding. The identity and structure of this service has been created by Ms. Federica Nascimben, a native Italian. She was born in Treviso, a pleasant town few minutes from Venice. She received her college Master's Degree from the University of Venice in Foreign Languages and Cultural Events with a specialization in Tourism and Art. She then completed her extensive PhD diploma in Organizations and Events Management with honors. Before she entered the personal Wedding Planner profession, she has been working as Event Coordinator for some of the major American companies, such as for the Warner Bros. in Milan. Federica's success in wedding planning is attributed to her intense education through the very competitive Italian education system. Her contribution to the popularity of Italian weddings in due to many additional factors : firstly she has had many experiences abroad traveling extensively throughout Europe, England, and the United States. This has lead to her knowledge in international marketing, cultures, and foreign languages. Federica speaks fluent Italian, English, Spanish, and German. Her experience as wedding planner started in the Amalfi Coast where she lived for 3 years. Then her continuation of coordinating as a wedding planner came full circle through personal consulting and employment with American and English wedding planning agencies. She found restrictions in these agencies, though, due to their limited actual knowledge of Italy, it's people, and the locations. That is the reason why she decided to form her own wedding planning business- The Italian Wedding Events! It is her goal and desire to bring true Italian culture, locations, cuisine, and all the beauty and intrigue that Italy possesses to those interested in planning a glorious event in her native country. The Italian Wedding Event boosts the ability to serve the largest area of Italy and has the most dynamic list of locations and services. Federica is also a contemporary dancer and pilates instructor, this artistic background has contributed to bring elegance and creativity to her weddings!
Federica Nascimben (+39) 338 7365269

Veal escalope in balsamic vinegar sauce with rucola and shaves of parmesan cheese

Ingredients for 4 pax

4 veal escalopes of 120 gr (4 oz.) each
150 gr (5 oz.) of flour 00
8tbs extra virgin olive oil
20 gr (1/2 oz.) of butter
4 tbs of balsamic vinegar
1 little cup of water
1 bounch of fresh rocket/rucola
shaved parmesan cheese at your pleasure
salt q.b

Clean and wash the rucola preparing a large plate with rucola and shaved parmesan cheese all around: if you like you can add on the bottom also a mixed salad and cherry tomatoes at the side. Put the oil into a large frying pan and heat for few minutes: when the oil is boiling coat meat in the flour with flour and add escalopes in the oil.
Add salt: very careful because coating meat with flour requires always lot of oil so before they are absorving too much oil add the butter, water and balsamic vinegar. The balsamic vinegar sauce is getting thiker in few minutes while the water evaporates.Put your escalope on your rucola plate and the sauce on top of it.
Add extra parmesan cheese on top at your pleasure.

Sunday, April 1, 2007

My friend Angela Pane:

During my stay in Positano I had the great opportunity to become friend of Angela Pane.
She has been the clerk of a nice local clothing store along the main street of Positano.
We were cooperating for the same owner and family: I was working on the reception of the hotel and she was working in the store down below so we shared many moments especially for lunch time for the usual break or "siesta" before go back at work.
We are keeping in touch since I have left Positano: she has been always so sweet, generous, a real openhearted person, smiling with joy.
I knew by phone that she loved to paint and last year in May, I met Angela down the beach with her own painting collection: all spitting images of Positano and Amalfi Coast.
I believe in "Follow your Dreams and something will happen"
Now her website is ready....just go and visit her wonderful world!

Ravioli filled with Sweet Onions, smoked provola and ricotta cheese

Ingredients for 60/70 Ravioli

4 medium red sweet onions ( they must be caramelized in 5 tbs of oil, with salt and fresh parsley 150 gr (5 oz.) smoked provola cheese
750 gr (26 oz.) of ricotta cheese
50 gr (1.75 oz.) of parmesan cheese
1 egg
salt, nutmeg and fresh basil and parsley ( using your own taste to decide the right amount)
(put all these ingredients into a cutter or robot machine)

Fresh eggs pasta dough

Ingredients for 4/6 pax
8 whole eggs
1 kg (2.2 pounds) plain Flour 00

Mound flour on surface adding in the middle the eggs.
Work the eggs with a fork adding slowly slowly the flour around them.
With fingertips gradually work the flour and eggs to a form dough adding more flour if sticky.

Scrape dough from work surface and form into ball: on floured surface, knead dough until will be elastic and smooth.

I always used a traditional rolling pin to roll pasta dough by hands but if you can use also a machine rool.
A pasta machine gradually kneads the dough as it is rolled but you will obtain a flat pasta this is the reason why I prefer my beloved rolling pin.

Anyway divide dough in 4 or 5 pieces and sprinkle surface with flour to prevent they stick each other. Fold strip into third or quarters to form square: feed through the machine again.
Repeat folding and rolling seven to ten times until dought is smooth.

Feed dought through machine again and continue rolling, tightening rollers one notch at a time, and ending with narrowest setting. Dust with flour if dough becomes sticky.
Repeat the same with the remaining pieces. When the pasta dough has been rolled out as thinly as possible leave the pasta to dry on a work surface helped by semolino flour before cutting into the desired shapes.

You can use the same pasta for making ravioli but you cannot dry the pasta otherwise when it acquires a leathery look it's not possible anymore to close the ravioli.