I have always longed for that day when I sit in Italy, with many people gathered together to enjoy food and wine. I have hoped for this feeling all my life and then, on Tuesday my wish came true! Well I wasn’t actually in Italy but I certainly could have been.
I was invited to a very special lunch thanks to Snowgoose, Giovanni Pilu and Franchi Bros, and it was everything I have ever dreamt about being in Italy. There was just one minor technicality, I was not in Italy, I was in Paddington, Sydney. After a welcoming drink, it was time to have lunch. We were guided outside into the courtyard, where we sat nestled closely together under grapevines sharing food and wine! Ahhh…my imagination kicked in and I was now in Italy.
So what was this lunch about? It was for media and bloggers to celebrate and share something very special for Australian foodies, gastronomes and gourmets.
Coming together for the first collaboration of its kind, premium hamper company Snowgoose and hatted chef of 10 consecutive years, Giovanni Pilu, have joined forces to offer an exclusive and unique hamper experience this Christmas - guaranteed to get even the most avid of foodies salivating. I am testament that this collaboration is going places. Although I live in Surry Hills with all the ‘urbanisms’ that are part of this city life, I am lucky to escape to the country where my family lives, and one of my favourite things to do up there is shop around the farmer's market with my daughter.
Now at least I can still experience that country feeling with a selection of Pilu's finest ingredients combined with Snowgoose’s delectable orchard–fresh premium produce - zucchini flowers, grape tomatoes, garlic, chillis and signature cherries.
Snowgoose hampers are beautifully presented and are a gift that you would send to someone who is special. That someone could be family, friend or a client. I was gifted a hamper of cherries and Pilu olive oil as well as “A Sicilian Cookbook” and I felt that I was given something very special. The cherries were plump and juicy and the olive oil is superb. I have since put the cherries in the fridge (ok there are only a few left) and have placed the gorgeous Snowgoose box on my kitchen bench with my Pilu olive oil on top. Makes quite a statement if I do say so myself!
Pilu Salami, Pecorino and Carta di Musica
Malloreddus, vongole, zucchini flowers and bottarga
Snowgoose cherries, poached in mirto with yoghurt gelato
The antipasto was wicked! I say this because I could not stop eating it and that’s not good for Deb’s waist! However, since I was enjoying my Italian long table lunch I don’t care!
The Malloreddus dish was very tasty. I loved the portion size as well, perfect for me and I actually ate everything on my plate which is very rare for me. The zucchini flowers really impressed me; they were so tiny, the size of my little finger and crunched…really crunched with freshness and with the baby clams made for the perfect lunch. This dish was so tasty I’m actually wishing I had it in front of me right now as I’m writing this post. The recipe is available in Giovanni’s cookbook; A Sardinian Cookbook
Dessert! I can’t really convey the taste of this dish. In fact, mine melted a little because I was busy taking photos for Instagram about the lunch. I could hear the others on my table talking excitedly about this dish, and when I had my first mouthful I instantly understood why. #Fabulous!
Pilu restaurant use produce with the finest tasting seasonal fruit and vegetables handpicked from Snowgoose orchards and under the expert guidance of renowned farmer John Antico AM. John was sitting at my table and gave me an on-the-spot education on fresh produce.
Giovanni Pilu said. “It’s an extremely unique experience with Pilu products traditionally only available in my restaurant now being delivered to your door. When Snowgoose approached me I saw this as a wonderful opportunity to bring this best in quality produce to home cooking. I hope there will be many Australians cooking a delicious Sardinian family meal this Christmas".
Deb’s Verdict? If you want to give a gift of love or appreciation then Snowgoose is perfect. For fabulous food cooked with care and love then Giovanni Pilu’s restaurant in Freshwater is a must.