April 16, 2013
Alice hosted a luncheon yesterday.
A 4-legged critter with eyelashes long as dreams, Alice set quite a charming table in the middle of her grassy field, under twirling olive trees.
Her human, Antonio, threw steaks on the grill. Not just any old steaks, but those of Massimiliano Castro, named best butcher in Sicily. We devoured them like a pack of wild animals while Alice, a vegetarian, kept right on chomping her grass. Once in a while her boyfriend would bray from across the valley, and Alice would holler right back. He haw he haw he haw! It’s spring, and love is in the air.
For dessert, Antonio made cuccia, the traditional dessert eaten in Siracusa for Santa Lucia feast day–a heart-stopping concoction of grain, ricotta, honey, orange rind, and orange flower water. Head chef at his Donnalucata restaurant, Consiglio di Sicilia, Antonio plans to add the dessert to his menu. Reason enough to get on a plane and fly here all the way from Kansas.
Among the guests joining Alice was Sicilian-born, Melbourne-based Marisa Raniolo Wilkins, author of the fabulous Sicilian Seafood Cooking. A gorgeous book created with love for all things Sicilian. Complimenti, Marisa!
Thank you, Alice, for a wonderful afternoon in your field. You’re welcome at my table anytime.
If you are interested in having a similar lunch with Alice, either with cooking classes or a culinary tour (incuding a salami tasting with Massimiliano), drop me a line and I’ll put you in touch with Antonio and his wife Roberta.