Food for Thought
The Luxury of a Perfect Gourmet Meal in the Comfort of Your own Home
Classical Panzanella Salad by Giuseppe Piruzza
That was the word that we all agreed on to describe that night of luxury …
Five of my friends and I spent an unbelievable evening filled with mouth-watering dishes and wondrous company in the comfortable home of personal chef, Giuseppe Piruzza.
I would have hosted the dinner party in my home, but my house barely had enough room for my Darling and I. Lately, all our hobby equipment have taken up all the space …
Luckily, Giuseppe Piruzza made a special exception and opened up his home to us so we could spoil our friends.
We all arrived on location at 6:30 PM and were greeted by Giuseppe with a big plateful of fresh appetizers, Prosecco, and chilled sparkling water. We started with cheese and cured meats on a variety of crackers and flatbread, mixed with fresh grapes, strawberries, olives, and eggplant.
Photo by Yeats Wong
We were a bit overwhelmed by the large selection, but Giuseppe shared his expertise in food pairing and helped us create combinations that delighted our palettes. We were extremely grateful!
I, especially, was most grateful for the large selection available to make delicious pairings. Usually, I am quite limited by my intolerance to gluten and lactose and have to nimble away on a small selection of gluten and lactose free bites.
That was not the case at this dinner party! I ate my fill of the fresh fruits, vegetables, and meats – I thought that I wouldn’t have any room for dinner!
I also thoroughly enjoy a couple of glasses of Prosecco without having to tolerate a breakout in hives. Mmmm … Prosecco …
To our surprise, we nearly cleaned up the first course of antipasti and took a short break to catch up on each other’s lives and to learn a bit about our chef.
Did you know?
Giuseppe Piruzza was not naturally gifted with a talented chef’s palette. In fact, when he was a child, he refused to eat many types of food, including cheeses. “I would have to sit on the other side of the room just to avoid the smell,” says Giuseppe.
He did not expand on his culinary tastes until he attended chef school, where he was encouraged to explore food pairing to mix, enhance, mute different flavours, and perfect the melody of flavours.
After our stomachs settled a bit, Giuseppe presented us with the next antipasti course: Tuna Spoons!
I absolutely loved these spoons! I think I ate half a dozen of these yummies. At first, I found the texture as a whole a bit off – it was like eating soft melted ice cream with soft, big chucks of fruit or cookie. I tend to like my cream-like textures smooth only – chunks of stuff throw me off, unless they’re crispy.
The mayonnaise sauce, however, was spiced up with wasabi, so the dish had a mini spicy kick that mixed well with the tuna. Unfortunately, some of my friends didn’t feel the same way – the spicy kick was just a bit too strong for them, which left more tuna spoons for me – no complaints there!
Right after the Tuna spoons, Giuseppe served us tuna wrapped in a cute waffle cone topped with fresh sprouts and a sweet orange chutney.
I didn’t get a chance to ask Giuseppe if these cones where gluten-free – I was a bit too busy munching away on the first course of antipasti and gobbling up the tuna spoons that I didn’t mind that I missed out on this one dish.
Well … I actually ate two of these cones … I have a gluten intolerance, not a allergy, so I was hoping that there was very little gluten in these cones and that my insides wouldn’t be bothered by it too much. I was right! I had no stomach issues at all.
Be warned, your gluten intolerance may be more sensitive than mine. Be sure to ask Giuseppe if the dish has any ingredients that may harm your insides.
That was one of the best things about our personal chef experience – Giuseppe’s knowledge about the preparation, cooking, and presentation of each course. We just love exploring the reasons why Giuseppe mixed and match each ingredient to create specific textures and flavours. This whole experience helped grow our appreciation for food.
Dinner time started at 8:30 PM – a later start for us than usual, but after devouring so many appetizers, we were grateful for the rest between the appetizer courses and dinner.
First up was a classical panzanella salad – it was a work of art! The fresh greens were wrapped in a cucumber ring, mixed with teardrop tomatoes and topped with black truffle salt, olive oil, and a Cavedoni balsamic reduction – so fancy and an instant favourite!
The dinner party guests thoroughly enjoyed how fresh and crispy the salad was. The touch of dressing enhanced the flavors and didn’t overwhelm the palette. We didn’t have a single complaint.
To cleanse our palette before the next dinner course, Giuseppe served us a citrus sorbet with a shot or so of Limoncello (I had two shots …). Some of us had the sorbet without the alcohol and this dish still remained a dinner favourite.
The sorbet was just sweet enough to love and it perfected cooled off and refreshed my palette with a soft lemony flavor.
It felt odd to have a dessert like dish in the middle of a meal, but it surprisingly matched the dinner flow quite well.
Next, we readied ourselves for the Filetto Di Manzo – a juicy beef tenderloin wrapped with prosciutto and served with a side of pasta. Each was cooked to our own different preferences – rare, medium rare, and one was well done.
We honestly thought that we wouldn’t be able to finished all the food. The meat course was served at 10 PM and somehow all the guests finished up by 11 PM and were ready for dessert!
The gluten-free dessert was a coffee cake topped with raspberries and chocolate, whereas the gluten filled dessert was a three-layered Tiramisu, filled with Protofino rum soaked biscotti, Lavazza espresso, mascarpone cream, and Perugina Baci chocolate shavings.
The tiramisu looked so delicious that I refused to take a picture of it – out of jealousy … There was a lot of “Mmmmmmm ….” noises, so I distracted myself with an espresso, more Limoncello, and a delectable lemony biscotti (yes, I did sneak in some gluten!). The biscotti is definitely a “must try” dish!
Without a doubt, that was the best meal that we’ve had this year, and I am pretty positive that I may not eat anything that decadent again this year … unless, of course, we have another dinner party with Giuseppe!
Planning a classy dinner party and want to serve your guests with food that will make them feel like kings and queens? Be sure to give Giuseppe a call! You will not regret it!
Note: The above five course meal was a variation of the “Night in Tuscany” dinner.