Oct 13, 2011

Shopping with the chef


Last week we launched the second episode of the video-interview series "Cibando presents" in which I get to spend quality time in some of Rome's best restaurant kitchens, to study and learn what happens backstage.
This month's installment features a whole day spent with Angelo Troiani, Executive Chef of renown Rome dining institution Il Convivio Troiani.

We met at his fishmonger's shop, and learned where the catch of the day and wonderful seafood served on the Convivio's menu is sourced, as well as an impromptu snack of fresh Tsarskaya oysters. I had never eaten oysters at 10 am before, let alone in summer. But this variety is cultivated in cold Brittany sea waters, and their pulpy marine flesh is exceptionally well-balanced with a sweet aftertaste, and totally milk-free.

Then we proceeded to meet Angelo's trusted purveyors at the Roma Farmer's Market, and learned about wonderful local varieties of tomatoes, beans, broccoli, and other produce from Azienda Agricola Paolo Giobbi, plus interesting conversations with producers of locally pressed olive oil, amazing artisan salumi and cheeses.

Heavy with bulging canvas shoppers and stacked crates, we headed to the restaurant kitchen where we met the team and witnessed the early stages of the day's work. Bread being made, a meeting during which the day's menu is designed, tasks and chores are assigned. As we observed the phases of many signature dishes, seeing them come to life in the able and caring hands of the chef and his brigade of young assistants, we drooled with delight.

We parted as the last crates were being delivered, and the first reservation calls for the dinner service were ringing the phone off the hook.

Watch the interview ➔

10 comments:

  1. Thanks for posting this. The photography is fantastic, bravo. I just wish I could of understood Italian, 'cos the chef looked like he had a lot of interesting things to say. But wow! I could watch him all day long :-)
    Kiwi in Crete

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  2. If only I knew what you were saying. Lol. The plated foods are very interesting. Little works of art.
    Was that olive oil he was adding with an eye dropper?
    So different than what I think of when talking about Italian cooking and the liberal use of olive oil on top of foods.

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  3. eating oysters at 10 a.m.? watch out Anthony Bourdain!

    this is wonderful lola - the interview was delightful (even though i didn't understand a word of it ;-) and you are the most relaxed, natural host - che bella!

    but i must ask: what was that white block the sous chef was cutting up onto ice (ca. 18 mins in to the interview?) I assume some sort of fish!

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  4. Byzance~
    Dear Kiwi in Crete, I know what you mean, the man has charm! And boy can he cook...

    LoriE~
    Yes, that is olive oil with the eye dropper. Haute cuisine is more like sculpture and art, while home cooking is more of the family-style coking you're used to :)

    Amanda~
    That, my friend is foie gras. The discussion was about how he feels compelled to ethically remove it from the menu... And yet he never does. He also tells that the Italian word of liver is fegato, from ficatum in Latin. Which comes from figs which is what Romans fed their geese (for their prized fat liver).
    I share the same qualms about how the geese are horribly gorged... But I love foie gras! Eek.

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  5. There are times when the things that you don't see right before your eyes bring greater interests!

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  6. This looks so interesting! wow - olive oil with an eye dropper. Amazing..

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  7. I just loved this. I blew it up to whole page size and the quality was great, you were great, he was great and I wanted to be there!

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  8. Find a Restaurant Job~
    Uhm...sure!

    Karen~
    It's a little different than your customary Italian cooking iconography, eh? ;)

    Judith~
    Aw, thank you!! It was great, and I can't wait to host the next one!
    Thank you for your comments!

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  9. Eleanor ~ You are a natural and so comfortable as a host. Adorable. And Angelo is an angelo! Che Bello!

    Looking forward to the proxima filma.

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  10. Deborah~
    Aw, thank you! We filmed the third episode two weeks ago, and it will probably air at the beginning of December. Be prepared to enter another very interesting kitchen, and meet an equally charming chef ;)

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