On Saturday October 5th, the Small Chick and I were invited to attend the fourth edition of Identità New York featuring Chefs Sara Jenkins and Mauro Uliassi. Identità Golose is a culinary organization from Milan that highlights contemporary Italian cuisine. The international chefs’ congress took place at La Scuola Grande in Eataly; the largest artisanal Italian food and wine market with locations in Turin, Italy and the Flatiron District here in Manhattan.
Upon entering La Scuola, the Italian word for “the school”, we were given a choice between Berlucchi Brut and Berlucchi Rosé. I chose the Cuvee ’61 Brut Franciacorta DOCG. The Brut was a sparkling floral and fruity wine with subtle greenish highlights. The Small Chick chose the Cuvee ’61 Rosé which was a sparkling wine with a soft, abundant mousse, described as complex, fragrant, and lively. We were given two additional wines: the Fontanafredda Briccotondo Dolcetto Langhe DOC 2010 and the Marchiopolo, Ribolla Gialla Collio DOC 2011. We tasted the famous Italian beer, Birra Moretti La Rossa which is a double malt beer with a distinctive amber color.
Mauro Uliassi was the first to cook. Uliassi is charismatic, the perfect Italian chef who clearly prepares dishes with passion and enthusiasm. He wooed the audience as he explained his background as a chef. Uliassi and his sister Catia have a Two Michele Star restaurant called Uliassi which opened in 1990. He also taught for ten years at the Hotel Management and Catering School Panzini in Senigallia, Italy. For the seminar, he prepared a crudo dish of red shrimp with yellow tomato and yellow plum Béarnaise sauce. The shrimp was incredibly fresh, and the dish was wonderfully simple, showing that you do not need to have complicated ingredients or a distracting plate presentation to make a bold statement. The Béarnaise sauce and fresh seafood spoke for itself.
Sara Jenkins cooked after Uliassi. She made pasta al pomodoro, better known as pasta with tomato sauce here in the United States. Jenkins explained that it was important to understand this dish.
“If you don’t understand pasta al pomodoro,” she smiled, “you can’t even begin to understand Italian cooking.”
At this moment, the entire audience at La Scuola clapped for Jenkins. As an American, my favorite element of Jenkins’s dish was the fact she made her pasta al dente. The traditional American palate does not tend to enjoy the harder pasta, whereas the traditional Italian palate prefers the pasta to be al dente to emphasize the texture of the pasta. The Italians cook their pasta al dente to allow for more appreciation of the actual noodle, and to not to drown the pasta in sauce and have wilted noodles.
Even if you are unable to attend a seminar or class at La Scuola Grande in Eataly, I highly recommend visiting the marketplace, winery, and various restaurants at Eataly in the Flatiron District across from Madison Square Park. There are seven full-service eateries including a café that serves Lavazza coffee and gelato. The marketplace offers a prodigious selection of artisanal cheeses, cured meats, handmade pastas, baked goods, books, and housewares.
Previous Review of La Birreria http://smallchickbigdeals.com/2013/09/26/scbdfavorite-eat-a-lot-at-eataly/
Identità Golose Main Website www.identitagolose.it
Eataly Main Website www.eataly.com