Tasting My Italian Dream @ Oro Rosso Luncheon

640-AdjSE--CrpF8596Our second course, Burrata with Cherry Tomato, created by chef Eugenio Maiale. ‘Wow~’, this elegant dish, not only did it bring the Italian flag – green; white and red – to our table; the Italian semi-dried tomatoes were so full of flavour that I couldn’t get over how tasty they were! Together with the fresh creamy burrata, the flavours were dancing in my mouth!

The special guest from Italy, Annibale Pancrazio, an industry expert and the owner of Pancrazio Spa, shared his knowledge with us about the distinctive features of this important Italian industry and talked on the Italian tinned tomato production’s positive impact on the rest of the world.

Then came the third course, Pecorino Tortellini, Tomato Broth and Bottarga – by chef Giovanni Pilu.
“Now it is nearly the end of the (tomato) season…”. Chef Pilu said in his brief introduction. “And it is when tomatoes are at their best!” And so was the pasta, it was at its best when freshly made!
Meanwhile, as each dish arrived, food blogger Vincenzo; Kent and I were busy photographing the ‘plates of art’ in front of us, so we could soon share them online!
‘Welcome to the world of social media!’ I said to Michael, half joking half apologising. Michael didn’t seem to mind at all.

Chef Gabriele Taddeucci, head-chef of Osteria Balla Manfredi, made us Steamed Mulloway with Spicy Lucariello Tomato. The star of our fourth dish, the fish, was cooked perfectly – tender and moist. The spicy canned yellow tomato sauce was well balanced with sweetness.
But what came to me as a surprise, was our final dish – a tomato dessert!!

Chef Danny Russo created Tomato Cannoli with Saffron Crema e Fiordilatte Gelato as our dessert. I had never seen or tasted anything like it! Have you?
The tomato cannoli with saffron cream were not overly sweet but delicious; most sweetness came from the gelato and I did enjoy the crunchiness brought by the olive crumbs.
To me, this dish had the ‘wow factor’ and it had left me craving for more. Chef Russo’s imaginative effort paid off with a sensational end to our 5-course menu. It’s definitely one of those dishes I’d remember for a long time!

As the Italian Trade Commissioner Antonietta Baccanari said early on:
“Preserved tomatoes form the base of many of the worlds most well-loved and popular dishes and this event will be a creative showcase of how the tomatoes can be used in cooking.”
Yes indeed. Not only did I have the chance to experience Sydney’s top Italian chefs demonstrating how to make sensational dishes using preserved tomatoes; I also enjoyed and tasted my Italian culinary dream!

Thank you again Italian Trade Agency – Sydney for your kind invite.

Main picture, from the left to right: Loredana from ITA; Italian chefs: Danny Russo; Gabriele Taddeucci; Giovanni Pilu; Eugenio Maiale; Francesco Spataro and I.
Photo credit: Kent Johnson

For more images and stories of the Oro Rosso Luncheon, simply check out Kent’s Street Fashion Sydney blog!



  1. Tomatoes for dessert? Looking at the photo, it suddenly seems like a great idea and that dinner of yours made me realize what versatile vegetables, tomatoes are.

    • Yes they are versatile! I remember many years ago hearing people I knew arguing about is the tomato a vegetable? Or fruit? I also remember seeing my father mixing tomato cubes and raw sugar as a quick sweet fix.

  2. The tomato dessert is something I didn’t know that existed- but now I want it.
    Would you mind checking out my new Youtube channel Viv! Would appreciate it 🙂

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