Would you believe it if I told you that I'm doing a (one-legged) happy dance right now, dear readers?! Yes, indeed I am! I'm super-excited because Commendatore Antonio Carluccio, one of my culinary heroes, is visiting Canberra as the Patron of this year's Canberra & Capital Region Truffle Festival.
Long-time readers of Good Things will know that I've waxed lyrical about Antonio Carluccio on a few occasions. With the official title of Commendatore Antonio Carluccio, the Italian equivalent of a British knighthood, and having received an OBE from Britain in 2006 for his services to the catering industry, Antonio is a much loved and respected Italian cookery writer, chef, restaurateur and food expert. He is well loved in Australia for cookery books, as well as his SBS show Two Greedy Italians (with Gennaro Contaldo) and guest appearances on Masterchef Australia.
On Friday, 25 July, Canberrans have the opportunity to sit fireside and envelop themselves in stories from Antonio's personal life, during a six-course truffle degustation prepared by internationally renowned and trained chefs. The menu sounds sensationally good and includes a cappuccino of cauliflower, spring onion and truffle; 48 hour slow roast pork belly, seared scallop, butternut velouté with truffle oil; and white chocolate and truffle panna cotta, grilled pineapple cutlet and caramel brittle ice cream; among other seriously delicious offerings.
Visitors to Canberra’s biggest (and IMO) Australia's best farmers market, the Capital Region Farmers Market, will also have the chance to see Chef Carluccio on Saturday, 26 July, when he teams with ACT Government Minister, Andrew Barr, in a live cooking demonstration featuring market fresh produce and local truffles.
This is a free event for the public and a brilliant opportunity for Canberrans to get the chance to see Antonio showcase his cooking skills live, learn more about truffles and have their copies of his books signed by him.
'We are thrilled to welcome international celebrity chef, Antonio Carluccio, to our Market,' said Capital Region Farmers Market spokesperson, Tony Howard. 'Mr Carluccio will tour the Market, do a book signing and then take part in a cooking demonstration with Andrew Barr MLA from 8.30-10.30am.'
'Due to his popularity, we are anticipating a much larger number of customers than usual so we will be temporarily relocating our mobile kitchen, as a one-off, to the outside area behind the Mowbray Park Produce Truck. Make sure you rug up and get set to see Antonio in action,' said Tony.
As we’re now in truffle season, the Capital Region Farmers Market will also have several truffle producers on site. Shoppers can buy fresh truffles from Terra Preta Truffles and Turalla Truffles throughout July or until sold out.
In a nutshell, the Fireside Stories dinner with Antonio is at the Kamberra Winery on Friday, 25 July ($165 pp includes matching wines), bookings are essential. There are only a few seats left so do be quick. Click here for details.
On Saturday, 26 July from 8.30-10.30am, Antonio will be at the Capital Region Farmers Market for a market tour, cooking demonstration and book signing. This event is free and open to the public. There's more information about the Capital Region Farmers Market here . For information about The Canberra & Capital Region Truffle Festival visit the Festival's web site.
* Note: the image at the top of this post appears on Good Things with express permission of Mr Carluccio's agency and Hardie Grant publishers.
Tell me dear readers, are you a fan of Antonio Carluccio? Perhaps you have one or more of his cookbooks on your shelf?
Cooking and writing have been a lifelong passion.
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NB: I use Australian standard measuring cups and spoons in my recipes.