I handed in my menu project last Thursday and am so glad that it’s complete. All said and done, it took quite a bit of work between the cooking, photographing, research, writing, food costing and then laying it all out. I’ve posted all the recipes on my “Recipe” page with photos, but also wanted to list my menu here, with some background information on how I got to it.
Del Luogo, which means “local” in Italian, describes one very important aspect of my menu. I grew up in New England, in Massachusetts, and have always been drawn to cooking with the produce, meat, seafood and dairy from local New England farmers. I also grew up in a large Italian family and tend to draw from my Italian heritage in my cooking. This menu intertwines both of those very important threads in my life – using local ingredients with an Italian twist.
In researching ingredients for my menu, I wanted to be sure that I represented all New England states and that the majority, if not all of the ingredients used, could be found locally. Thus, included in the menu are Nantucket Bay scallops, Maine lobster and fiddleheads, Connecticut corn, Rhode Island tomatoes, Vermont honey and New Hampshire blueberries. I would also recommend purchasing the lamb in my third course from a New England purveyor, Adam’s Farm, in Athol Massachusetts.
I decided to keep (most of) the wine pairings local, as well. Two of the pairings come from Sakonnet Vineyards in Little Compton, RI, while one comes from one of mine and Jason’s favorite wineries, August Briggs, in the Calistoga part of Napa Valley, CA.
The menu, with wine pairings, is as follows:
First Course: Chilled New England Corn Chowder, Nantucket Bay Scallops, Maine Lobster
Wine Pairing: 2008 Sakonnet Vineyards Vidal Blanc
Third Course: Lamb Rib Chops with Mint Gremolata, Mascarpone and Wild Mushroom Risotto, Sautéed New England Fiddleheads
Wine Pairing: 2008 August Briggs ‘Dijon Clones’ Napa Valley Pinot Noir
Fourth Course: Fiore Sardo with Honeyed Fig Jam
Wish me luck – hopefully I do well grade-wise! I can share more information on the wine pairings and recipes if anyone is interested – just let me know.