April 17, 2012

Semi-demi Finale, Plus News!

Buona sera,

The initial tour for The Tuscan Sun Cookbook will come to a grand finale at Antonia’s, a neighborhood restaurant in Hillsborough NC this Thursday, 19 April,  at 6:30. We will be happy to see many friends who have begun to forget us because we’ve been busy or gone for so long!  Claudia is setting up long tables, and Bramasole Olive Oil will grace each one.

Here’s her favoloso menu for the evening:

Hors d’oeuvres


Roasted Olives, Salami and Prosciutto

Bruschetta: Roasted Tomato, Roasted Garlic, Pea and Shallots,

Red Pepper with Balsamic Vinegar, Cannellini Beans and Sage

Prosecco, Luna Argenta




Fried Zucchini Flowers

Fried Artichokes

Bresaola rolled with Robiola and Rughetta



Orecchiette with Shrimp

Pear Agnolotti with Gorgonzola and Walnuts

Risotto Primavera



Ed’s Pork Roast

Chicken with Artichokes, Sundried Tomatoes and ChickPeas

Grilled Vegetables



Domenica’s Rosemary Potatoes

Zucchini with Lemon Pesto

Dogajolo Rosso, Carpineto, Tuscany

Dogajolo Bianco, Carpineto, Tuscany



Torta della Nonna

Ricotta Tart

Ed’s Cantucci

Sangue di Giuda, Casteggio

Antonia’s Restaurant
101 N.Churton Street

The event sold out quickly but there are always last minute cancellations, no? Call Claudia if you’re interested. All the above photos are by Steven Rothfeld, taken for the book, except for the Torta della Nonna. (Can’t you tell who took that one!)  Steven was with us for the California part of the tour so he got to hear directly how gorgeous his photos are. All were taken in natural light, most in our gardens, at Bramasole, and at our mountain house. All the photography is natural–nothing sprayed or gelled or oiled. We ate every bite after the shots. What luck! To work with someone whose vision matches your own. I wanted the book to show the ease, spontaneity, and beauty of Tuscan food. He did too. We did all our own styling, with a visit from my friend Kim Sunée, who joined in the fun of cooking and styling.  What a pleasure all this was. And a lot of very hard work as well. Same with the tour. I loved meeting readers of the blog along the way! The trip was glorious and long and exhilarating and exhausting. Kiss the ground. We’re home!

In the first sentence, I said “initial” tour. We’ll be going back to Napa Valley, California for a few events still shaping up. But one is certain–a big, splashy, glamorous evening at Signorello Vineyards  signorellovineyards.com on 22 July–a vineyard feast! We’re pairing with The Festival del Sole festivaldelsole.org for a grand feast and a concert with violinist Joshua Bell. The dinner is also a Tweet Fest, developed by Chef Robin White. See her website for details, www.chefrobinwhite.com .  This concept involves parallel dinners happening around the world at the same time and everyone Tweeting about it as it progresses. So, groups of friends cook the same menu, drink the same wines, and form an invisible but palpable bond during the dinner.  It sounds new and fun. Tickets to the dinner at the vineyard and the concert with Joshua Bell are available now. There also will be a pizza party and book signing from 11-2 on 21 July. Check the Signorello website above for more details.  More on all this will be appearing here and on Robin’s website.

Finally, and so marvelous—Fodors, with American Express and Alitalia, are honoring the cookbook by sponsoring a trip for two to Tuscany during the olive oil harvest this fall. Look at their website for details and DO enter! www.fodors.com/sweepstakes/under-the-tuscan-sun See you at Bramasole?