Dinner at the home of Ezio & Raffaella
Turin, Piedmont, Italy (7/2/2016)

On my first night in Italy, my wonderful friends put on the most amazing dinner in their home. Ezio is the distinguished professor who really got me hooked on Nebbiolo long ago. His wife Raffaella is a retired teacher and a wonderful chef.

The other guests were their friends Gianfranco and his wife Jolanda. I met Gianfranco once before at a visit to the Gaja Winery. In that visit, we briefly met Angelo Gaja's younger daughter Rossana, who was about 7 years old then. The same week as this dinner, Gianfranco and Jolanda attended Rossana's wedding.

Prior to the dinner, Ezio and I went food shopping at the original Eataly.

For each image, I have posted a compressed (and possibly cropped) version. Click on it to see the original, much larger image.

Amazing! Gianfranco brought me a gift. And he apologized
that he couldn't find a bottle from my birth year.

I drank this amazing gift with my NYC Nebbiolo group the following month.
More about the wonderful connections of this bottle can be found here.

The table is set:

So is the side table:

Their beautiful living room is set too:

Exquisite Parmigiano-Reggiano "cookies" and Parmigiano-Reggiano with 25-year Traditional Balsamic Vinegar.

Then at the table: Zucchini in Carpione (sautéed zucchini marinaded in olive oil, onions, wine vinegar, and sage).

Still the class clown, the FWG can't resist using the napkin ring as an engagement ring.

Château d'Yquem & Foie Gras
Foie Gras Entier and String Bean Salad.
I asked Ezio, "What was in the string bean salad besides the string beans?"
His reply: "Basel, chives, parsley, boiled potatoes, and 60+ years of cooking experience."

Raffaella chats with Gianfranco and Jolanda.

Culatello di Zibello. This stuff is amazing, and Ezio approves!

Great Nebbiolo
Loosely Scrambled Eggs and Peas with Black Truffles shaved on top.

Chinato Gelato.
Then Fresh Strawberries and Zabaione with the remaining Yquem.


What a magnificent evening of food, wine, and friends. One of the things that made this dinner so special was, not just the famously great that lived up to their fame (e.g. Yquem and foie gras, Giacosa and Conterno with black truffle), but also the unexpected. The incredible zucchini, the exquisite Parmigiano-Reggiano "cookies", the string bean salad that stood its ground beside the foie gras, and the delicious German Silvaner that was perfect with the culatello. Not only was each delicious, but also so full of the thought and caring that went into planning this special dinner. Thank you Ezio and Raffaella!

Tasting notes posted from CellarTracker.



All original content © Ken Vastola