Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Capri Palace Wine Dinners

Friday, May 18, 2012
Winery: Feudi di San Gregorio – Irpinia, Campania. 
Chef: Paolo Barrale del Ristorante Marennà, Sorbo Serpico, Avellino -One Michelin Star

Friday, June 15, 2012
Winery: Borgogno - Barolo, Piemonte. 
Chef: Ugo Alciati del Ristorante Guido, Pollenzo, Alba. 

Friday, July 13, 2012 
Winery: Pommery – Reims, Francia. 
Chef: Annie Feolde del Ristorante Enoteca Pinchiorri, Firenze. - Three Michelin Stars

Friday, September 14, 2012 
Winery: Tasca d’Almerita – Sclafani Bagni, Palermo. 
Chef: Riccardo Di Giacinto del Ristorante “All’Oro” di Roma – One Michelin Star

Friday, October 5, 2012 
Winery: Terredora, Montefalcione, Avellino. 

Chef Andrea Migliaccio @ The Capri Palace!

Capri!  My first visit of the season to Capri always takes my breath away! 

And Friday night was no different. The occasion,- a very special invitation to Capri Palace Hotel & Spa for the inauguration of their wine dinner series at the 5 star deluxe property in Anacapri. 

Executive Chef Andrea Migliaccio at the 2 Michelin Star Ristorante L’ Olivo welcomed Chef Paolo Barrale of the Ristorante Marenna, for the L’Olivo DiVino-Grandi etichette e chef a confronto a La Dolce Vite, the summer series of wine dinners at the Capri Palace & Spa.
The evening started at 7:30pm in the property’s wine cellar, La Dolce Vite, with Antonio Capaldo president of Feudi di San Gregorio. He explained the story of the property, the wines being showcased, then corks popped and spumanti white and brut rose DUBL were passed. Mignon stuzzichini, small bites of shrimp on a skewer laid over fresh pea salad, raw scallops served in tables spoons topped with sea urchins and crunchy sea salt along with filo dough tubes stuffed with eggplant were served accompanying the first tasting of wine.

The menu intertwined the two Chef’s interpretations on classics with a twist. The first course, a fresh spring salad, was prepared by Chef Migliaccio. Palamita marinata e lingua di vitello salmistrata, fave, piselli cipollotti, pancetta e caviale,-local marinated fish laid on a salad of fresh fava beans, peas and onion bed layered with thinly sliced pieces of veal served on an elongated transparent plate was served with Feudi di San Gregorio’s Companaro 2010.

Chef Barrale’s risotto followed blending riso, manteca, colatura di alici e the affumicato, a white risotto with fish oil and smoked black tea powder, served with Sirica 2008.

The main course included, Braciola di bufala con involtino di scarola e calzoncini fritti, thinly sliced buffalo rolled with escarole and pine nuts served with an Italian dumpling, prepared by Chef Migliaccio paired with Taurasi Riserva Piano di Montevergine 2004

A pre dessert included a semi-frozen rose fruit juice with a layer of ice that held up one strawberry that was topped with cream.

Chef Barrale prepared caffe e nocciola a semifreddo or half frozen ice cream stuffed in an meringue tube shell paired with a Privilegio 2012, a sweet rose colored dessert wine.

A delicate dessert tray ended the dinner filled with mignon cannoli, chocolate truffles, macarons, brioche. And lastly an elegant carozza, carriage of exotic plants, including mint, sage, basil was hand cut by the tea maker and each guest was able to select their own herbs. The guests dined on until after midnight in great company!

A special thanks to Chef Andrea Migliaccio and Marita Rivas of the Capri Palace Hotel & Spa! Grazie Mille for an extraordinary evening!

When you are in Anacapri, treat yourself to an unbelievable experience,

The Capri Palace & Spa,

Ciao Lauren
Cooking Vacations

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

We Make Our Own OO!

OO is an abbreviated name for Olive Oil, and in Italy it is a serious business.  Italians use only extra virgin paying close attention to taste, harvest date, producer, and exact location. 

At Cooking Vacations, we grow, press and bottle our own with veteran olive oil maker and taster Salvatore. We produce a high quality extra-virgin olive oil in Campania. The oils are blends of the more common cultivars (varieties) of this region, like Leccino, Coratina, and Frantoio. We include the harvest date and added information on the label to guarantee the best production possible!

Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
The olives used to make our extra virgin olive oil are healthy and picked just at the right time, making the oil clean, golden yellow-green in color, and crisp to taste. Our oils compliment any salad, pasta, risotto, fish and meat too.

Lemon Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
Amalfi Coast lemons, sfusato, are gently infused in our extra virgin olive oil giving it just a hint of lemon.  The light tasty oil is great on summer salads, lemon pasta and risotto, fish and bruschetta.

A Guide to Olive Oil
With so many options on the store shelf, it can be difficult telling which extra virgin olive oil is best. Here are few tips to keep in mind when its time to restock on your liquid gold. 
  •  Look for the when, who, where of your oil:  When it was made (harvest date), who made it (producer name), and where it was made it.  A quality producer will include this on the label.
  • Be sure the label reads, “extra virgin” and not “pure”, “light” oil, or even just “olive oil”- these have gone through chemical adulterations that remove the olives natural flavors and health benefits.
  • Olive oil is best if consumed within one year of processing. It can quickly become rancid if not stored properly. Keep your oil in a dark, cool environment and with the cap well sealed.  Direct sunlight, heat, and oxygen can contribute to off-flavors. 
  • Don’t be lured by the dark green color of some oils. Different olive cultivars contribute to various hues and are not an indication of quality.

  •  Some olive oils are more peppery and pungent while others a more mild and grassy. It just depends on your preference! Try to find a specialty store where you can taste the range of styles for yourself. 
  •   Look for oils that have a “best by” date or better a “harvest date.” The “best by” date is two years from when the oil was bottled not harvested. Unfortunately many oils are stored for years before bottling. Many supermarket olive oils are blends of fresh and older oils that have been chemically altered to remove off aromas. 

Visit our Marketplace page where you can purchase our oils online or come help Salvatore with the harvest in October with our Salvatore Olive Oil Harvest Program!

Source: For more information on the world of olive oil pick up Tom Mueller’s book, Extra Virginity. For more tips visit his site,