Saturday, November 29, 2014

Albino Rocca Winery at Barbaresco

After spending the first 2 days in Piedmont focusing on food - with white truffle fair on Saturday and Salone del Gusto on Sunday, we went off to explore the wines, another famous product in the region, for the next few days. Our first stop was the commune of Barbaresco, located in the Langhe region between the towns of Asti and Alba, and 15 minutes away from our villa.

Friday, November 28, 2014

Chi Fan for Charity Dinner

"To the people, eating is heaven" (民以食爲天)says an old Chinese proverb. So it's a genius idea really to utilize our favorite pasttime - eating - for something good, and this is what Chi Fan for Charity event is about.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

On the hills of Trezzo Tinella

Over the week in Piedmont, we stayed in a lovely house on the hills at Trezzo Tinella, a small commune not far away from Neive and Barbaresco in Langhe. It's not the first time we chose not to stay in a regular hotel but went for a short-term rental option - we did that 2 years ago in Tuscany, and with websites like AirBnB getting more popular and into mainstream it's easier now to find more information about such accommodations.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

When Food Meets Fashion in Milan

La Rinascente, the upscale department store next to Milan's Piazza Duomo, was running a marketing campaign of "When Food Meets Fashion" at the time of our visit, with live cooking demonstration and tasting booths set up amongst racks of latest fashion, and free-flowing champagne served while customers having a menicure at the cosmetic desks; even the store front window - made famous as the now legendary Giorgio Armani who once worked as a window-dresser here - was lined with giant Moet & Chandon bottles as part of the campaign.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Piedmontese Dinner at Home

It's stressful enough to have friends coming over for dinner, let alone friends who really *know* food and won't miss a heartbeat telling people what they like/dislike. I came back from Piedmont eager to share some of the goodies we acquired during our holiday, so I asked a few friends - who shall remain nameless - to come over to our place at the first Saturday evening since we returned. That's the beginning of a stressful (yet fun) weekend.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Chef's Tasting Menu at Vasco

We made our reservation a month ago to try out Vasco, one of the many new restaurants opened recently at PMQ, in a Saturday evening. The restaurant shared the duplex premise with Isono Eatery and Bar, a more casual tapas bar under the same management just one floor below. We did try Isono a couple months back soon after its opening and weren't 100% impressed. But Vasco is positioned to be the finer version, plus I did hear some good words about the food here from various people, so I suppose it's worth a try.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Open-Air Market in Milan

Scrolling in the local markets has always been our favorite thing to do whilst travelling to a foreign country. You can't find a better spot to feel the pulse and dynamics of the town then taking a look at where locals shop for food and other daily necessities, plus I am always curious of what kind of food they buy and eat.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Risotto with White Truffles

Originally I was planning to make some pasta going with the piece of white truffles we got at the Fair in Alba, but the house didn't come with a pasta machine (plus I got a little lazy once we settled in), so instead, I bought some rice in the market and made a risotto instead one evening.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Edible Jewelry - Tosca x Damiani Dinner

With the holiday mood from our Piedmont travel still pretty much hanging in my mind, I headed up to Tosca at Ritz Carlton Hong Kong for a tasting of their special dinner menu, created in collaboration with Damiani, an Italian jeweler celebrating its 90th Anniversary this year.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Visiting Massolino

I was curious to find out more about the difference between wineries of different areas and sizes and styles within the Piedmont/Langhe wine regions, so after spending our first day near the village of Barolo visiting two of the wineries there, we headed down Serralunga Valley on the east side and paid a visit to the legendary Massolino winery in the afternoon on our last day of the trip.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

White Truffles Orgy in Alba - L'Osteria dell'Arco

We know we ought to thank our gracious villa host when we saw people being turned away at this popular spot in Alba because they didn't have a reservation for lunch. It's she who reminded us way back that we needed to make booking early to avoid disappointment, and we did.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Salone del Gusto 2014

If it's not for a friend who reminded me, I wasn't even aware that this year's Salone del Gusto, the "Olympics of food festivals" held only every 2 years in Turin, was at the same time we were in Piedmont.

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Lunch in a Castle - Ristorante al Castello di Grinzane

It's hard to find a grander venue to eat than Ristorante al Castello di Grinzane, located inside a castle thought to be built in the 13th Century, up on the hill at Grinzane Cavour in the Barolo region, where we had lunch on a bright sunny day on the last day of our trip.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

White Truffles Dinner at Umami Concepts

We brought back a medium-sized white truffles (about 100g) from Alba and a few days after we came back to Hong Kong, organized a small gathering with the AG meetup group at Umami Concepts, a private kitchen studio on Bonham Road and a brainchild of the Canadian chef Nolan Ledarney.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

When new meets old - Le Ciau del Tornavento

We were somewhat surprised when we found ourselves standing in front of a packed dining room at Ristorante Le Ciau del Tanavento in the commune of Treiso on a Friday evening. After all, Treiso is a small, remote town near Barbaresco and Neive which according to Wikipedia, has only 800 residents, while there must have been over 100 people drinking and eating, not counting numerous front and back staff cooking and serving at the place as we arrived just before 8pm. 

Monday, November 3, 2014

Journey to Piedmont: The Land of Truffles and Wines

We have encountered the following conversation countless times in the past few months:

"So, heard you guys are heading to Italy soon. Where about are you going?"
"Oh, Piedmont" we replied.

Usually that would lead to an awkward silence. Even when we tried to explain that Piedmont is an area in Northern Italy close to Milan, many were still a bit confused at where exactly we were heading to, and why.