Magdalena Spirydowicz made the astute observation last night that for new food writers, the focus is on the food, but that the more time you spend covering the industry, the more you end up writing about the chefs.
That was an appropriate topic for conversation as we were eating at Gusto, one of her clients, with her husband and photographer Michael Tulipan and Gina Pace, who until recently mostly wrote about crime. But now she writes about food, too. And other things.
We spoke a fair amount about the celebrity chef phenomenon, a topic that I think I’ve beaten to death on this blog, so let’s go right to what I ate and drank:
Fried Parmigiano balls with prosciutto
Zucchini blossoms stuffed with cheese and basil
Carciofi alla Giudea (fried artichokes, “Jewish style,” a traditional Roman dish whose name always cracks me up).
Focaccia with robiolina, tomatoes, arugula and Parmigiano
Fava bean salad with escarole, Pecorino-Romano, mint and basil
Grilled octopus with celery and black olives
2006 Villa Sparina Gavi di Gavi
Meatballs with pine nuts and raisins
Saffron orecchiette with pork ragù and crisp prosciutto
Pan-seared scallops with braised dandelion, lardo and reduced grape must (saba)
Bucatini with sardines, pine nuts and raisins
Risotto with peas, fava beans and pancetta
2005 Antano Montefalco Rosso
Roasted peaches with mascarpone and Amaretto (almonds being a cousin of the peach, the Amaretto really brought out the peach’s flavor)
Tartufo with pistachios, vanilla and chocolate ice cream
Assorted cannoli and biscotti