On Friday night we enjoyed great company, good local wine and fabulous food at the La Fiera, Fiera Cena di Gala. It was the perfect way to celebrate the end of our chestnut harvest.
The food was delicious…that depth of flavour that lingers in your mouth…it’s the reason you eat out, to enjoy great food made from fresh seasonal ingredients that has been prepared with skill, care and passion.
Stefano Manfredi and Cameron Cansdell from Manfredi at Bells (Bells at Killcare), just north of Sydney prepared the feast. Every dish contained chestnuts ….. the food was amazing.
Stefano is from Northern Italy he moved to Australia in the 1960’s at the age of 6. He told us great stories about his childhood in Australia….how his mother struggled to find ingredients that she always used in Italy….one example; she had to buy extra virgin olive oil from the chemist in 50ml bottles….so of course she bought 20 at a time!
Thanks to all immigrants our food in Australia is so diverse today…but we still have a lot to learn…the Italians focus on seasonal produce, use, preserve and enjoy what is abundant and fresh and in season…they don’t waste anything and make their backyards and balconies productive.
Entree was a generous serving of oxtail and cabbage roll with chestnuts, grated horseradish and cream of cannellini.
Those tasty little chestnuts are hiding inside the cabbage roll.
For main we enjoyed roast rabbit with bread and sage stuffing, braised lentils, chestnuts and cauliflower gratinata. I have never had such tender rabbit. Stefano explained that it was farmed rabbit…he said ‘the white fluffy ones’….hmmm don’t think I needed to know that…but gosh it was good!
You can clearly see one of the chestnuts this time…happily perched on top of the rabbit.
Finally for dessert, warm rice pudding with candied chestnuts, anise anglaise and persimmon.
This dessert was amazing….nothing like my childhood memories of rice pudding…which was white rice with milk, sugar and sultanas….hmmmm…need I say more!
The chestnuts are happily swimming in the anise anglasie. After dinner Cameron told us that the candied chestnuts were our De Coppi Marone chestnuts from last year…he had preserved them in a syrup and kept them in the fridge!