Bellissimo grazie! Our evening with Typically Italian was a great success. Thank you to all our valued guests who joined us at Sarratt Village Hall on Friday 18th November, along with our friends at Typically Holidays and Chorleywood Bookshop.
Sarratt Village Hall was laid out with round tables each set with plates, glasses, cutlery, water, olives and breadsticks; it looked great. Guests were seated around the tables and were waited on all evening. As guests arrived, each of their entrance tickets was entered for a free prize draw. On offer were three hampers of bona fide Italian food, each generously provided by Typically Holidays.
Initial technical issues was neatly resolved by Sheryl from Chorleywood Bookshop and our evening then flowed. Alan made introductions and gave guests an update on Ultimate Destinations. Daniele Broccoli, owner of Typically Holidays, introduced his business and followed on with a excellent presentation on Italy.
Italian Masterchef Massimo then took to the stage, showing guests how to prepare a simple starter bread using just sea salt and olive oil; the sea salt really added to the flavour. Massimo and Daniele continued a fascinating commentary on Italian foods whilst a selection of food and wines were passed round (Massimo uses all the foods and wines served during our evening at his hotel Al Vecchio Convento in the Italian town of Romagna).
Trays of Italian cured meats were presented and shared around, along with carefully selected Italian white wine. These were followed by trays of cheeses, including a parmesan that was so lovely you could easily eat it on its own; apparently it is turned every day. The cheeses were accompanied by Italian red wine which complimented their flavours.
Massimo moved on to show guests how to cook a simple pasta sauce, giving tips along the way. Did you know that Italians don’t make pasta sauce with onions and garlic? They use one or the other. Into the sauce went onions, a little red pepper, whole tomatoes (chopped up), tinned tomatoes, olives, capers, basil and plenty of olive oil, even in the pasta, which was combined with it. Everyone was thinking that there was too much oil in play but in truth, the sauce was lovely; the recipe is being sent to us by popular demand. With the help of Jumpy, Massimo’s assistant, pasta and sauce was cooked and served to everybody, along with more wine.
And there was more to come! Plates of Italian desserts, cakes and biscuits were offered round, accompanied with dessert wine. Three lucky winners took home the Italian food hampers and Massimo gave a surprise extra prize of two bottles of his special wines. Our thoroughly convivial and well-received evening, which offered a true taste of Italy, lasted well beyond 10pm. Great inspiration for a holiday in Italy!
Sincere thanks to Daniele and Mariam from Typically Holidays, Massimo and Jumpy from Al Vecchio Convento and Sheryl and Jo at Chorleywood Bookshop. And to Debbie and Raina at Ultimate Destinations for all their hard work behind the scenes; they finally headed home shortly before midnight.