Thursday Life shares highlights from a recent Sunday Italian brunch held at Fanatic Kitchen Studio Trinidad featuring Buzo Osterio's Executive Chef Cristian Grini.
THE Fanatic Kitchen Studio (FKS) Table Talk Food Awards T&T (TFATT) "Food Personality of the Year" nominees) were at their innovative best recently when they teamed up with the folks at TriniChow.Com (the definitive guides to all things food in Trinidad and Tobago) to present the first in a series of Sunday Brunch sessions.
The purpose of the Brunch sessions, as explained by FKS owner Donna Wyke-Reese, is to give some of T&T's most celebrated chefs an opportunity to present unique brunch specialties. In some respects as well, the brunch also challenges the chefs to step out of their "comfort" zones.
The series kicked off with an Italian Sunday Brunch presented by Cristian Grini, executive chef of the Table Talk Food Awards — Restaurant of the Year Buzo Osteria Italiana.
Guests were treated to Zonin Prosecco Bellinis, hand-made yogurt, salted popcorn, fresh berries and custard cream croissants.
Guests mingled with each other as well as Chef Grini and his A-team from Buzo (Chefs Nicholas and Zazon) as well as Chef Ridge from Fanatic Kitchen Studio.
Three large tables were set for the 26 guests.
In lieu of traditional tablecloths — Chef Grini and his team lined the tables with a collage of newspaper clippings. Each place setting was adorned with a delicate pot of fresh garden herbs such as basil and rosemary.
Ahead of taking their seats, guests were encouarged by Wyke-Reese to not just sit with people they knew but to be sociable and meet new friends.
That being said, places were taken next to Patrick Johnstone of Publicis Caribbean Limited, attorney-at-law Kerianne Byer, Danielle Chow of BP and Wesley Crichton of PC Systems Limited. Of course, no food event could be complete without a TTFATT judge :) - and who better than the affable Rhys Campbell of Carisma Marketing to join in.
Our first meal item (not listed on the menu) featured Italian specialities such as green and red olives, mozzarella cheese, sun-dried tomatoes and a personal favourite, the prosciutto ham.
Now to the main event!
Ten (yes, 10) course items were listed on our menus.
Each menu item was served at a good pace — allowing diners to enjoy their respective meals without feeling rushed.
Every single dish was absolutely delightful...the Polenta, Tagliolini and Pork Tenderloin were crowd favourites.
The TTFATT "Best Service" team from Buzo led by Shannon and Amado ensured that guests were comfortable and that wine glasses and water goblets were frequently topped up.
The Italian wine menu, provided by Vintage Imports, consisted of Altadonna Sangiovese Toscana and Altadonna Pinot Grigio. Vintage Imports also provided the Zonin Prosecco.
Five hours later full and contented tummies began contemplating the unfortunate reality that Brunch was almost at a close.
But sighs were quickly replaced by smiles, when the brunch goody bags were distributed. Each guest received a goody bag with items provided by Lotus Wares, Del Mano Food, Gina's Chocolate Truffles and Buzo Osteria Italiana.
And as if there couldn't be any more treats in store, Fanatic Kitchen had a special prize of a complimentary Sunday Brunch ticket to one lucky patron. Patrons were asked to check under their tables for the winning envelope. No surprise, the winner was TTFATT's very own Rhys Campbell!
It can be safely said that the first in the series of Sunday Brunch sessions at FKS was a tremendous success. Everyone is buzzing for the next instalment which will be held on Sunday, September 22nd.
To participate in this extraordinary event, keep your eyes open for updates from Fanatic Kitchen Studio and TriniChow.Com.
We certainly cannot wait!
• Iniziamo a Mangiare
• Old-fashioned style grandma's soup with crispy Parma Prosciutto and fried chickpeas;
• Leek & red onion frittata, salmon mousse, baby spinach and creme fraiche;
• Polenta with melted Gorgonzola and drizzled with white truffle honey.
• Housemade Tagliolini with spicy Prosecco sausage, fennel seeds and Pachino cherry tomatoes;
• Tiger shrimp, beetroot and a lemon zest barley risotto;
• Pork tenderloin with caramelised onion gravy and pecan glazed sweet potato.
• E' ora del dolcetto...tutto in tavola
• Fresh fruit tart with Chantilly cream; Strawberry Pannacotta; Classic Tiramisu;
— Gracia Whyte, T&T Food Awards judge