Giorgio Locatelli creates sweet flavours for the Italian Gardens
We were so thrilled when one of the world’s best-loved Italian Chefs, Giorgio Locatelli, agreed to create two sweet canapés to help us mark the launch of the recently restored Italian Gardens in Kensington Gardens, made possible by a $1.25million gift from Tiffany & Co Foundation USA.
We were even more excited when we were offered the chance to witness Giorgio demonstrating these special canapés at his Michelin starred restaurant, Locanda Locatelli. Joining us there were top caterers Last Supper, who will recreate the canapés at the reception on 26 April 2012.
On the day we were welcomed by Head Pastry Chef, Ivan, who led us behind the scenes of this amazing restaurant. The first thing that struck us was the size of the kitchen. It seemed very compact, especially as there are around a dozen chefs working at any one time. Everyone was hard at work prepping for the lunchtime service and didn’t seem in the least bit fazed by the intruders!
Giorgio arrived and we quickly realised he was a fellow Park lover! He explained how much he enjoys walking to work through Regent’s Park every day. He also has fond memories of teaching his children to ride bikes and flying kites on Primrose Hill. As there aren’t really any parks in Milan near where he grew up, he told us he appreciates having them even more in London.
Then came the food… we were wowed as he demonstrated the intricacies of creating such divine canapés. He explained that he chose them as they were inspired by springtime, seasonal ingredients and the idea of re-birth – all to celebrate the revival of the Italian Gardens.
First up was a rich Italian cake with ricotta and Orange blossom water. This typical Napolitan dessert uses new wheat which is first cut in April, so the dish is not made before Easter and reflects the idea of re-birth. Instead of flour, the wheat is boiled and gives this sticky, intensely sweet cake its bite.
Lemon Thyme Bavarese
Next was a refreshing lemon thyme and white chocolate mousse, on an almond sponge base. Giorgio told us that lemon thyme is the first herb to flower, so April is the perfect time to make the most of its delicate flavour. The creamy texture of the mousse contrasts with the light sponge and the vibrant colours of edible flowers and glazed currants.
It was amazing to spend time at Locanda Locatelli and to collaborate with Giorgio. His delightful Italian fancies will help make Tiffany – Across the Water a truly memorable evening, in keeping with the beautiful surroundings of the newly restored Italian Gardens.
Giorgio takes time out from his demo in the kitchen at Locanda Locatelli, to tell us about his love of the Parks and his sweet canapé creations. Watch him in action below!
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