Here is a secret: we are great cooks! You don’t believe us? Then ask Federico Gallo, the young Italian, Michelin-starred chef who leads the gang of the Locanda del Pilone, who oversaw us challenging one another, to the last pinch of flour, to prepare plin and tagliolini that might not have had the perfect shape, but that were definitely super tasty. This was how we kept ourselves busy during our spring trip — you know that, we occasionally all leave together for a holiday… The kind of beautiful thing you can do when your coworkers are also your friends! So, our little outing took us to the Langhe area of Piedmont, one of Italy’s most famous wine-producing areas. This is where Barolo gets produced: Barolo is a very peculiar wine and we got the chance to know it thanks to the Boroli winemakers, who welcomed us, sharing the lowdown about all sorts of local secrets, letting us taste all their best bottles, and the most interesting gastronomic specialties.
And, let us say that: we were attentive and eager students, because we did not let a single drop of wine or a single grain of rice go to waste… Although it was difficult, we have to admit that! Imagine that on the first day we had two tastings at the Cantine Brunella, where the Boroli family produces its fantastic wines: first, we had a Barolo tasting (we tried four different kinds of Barolo wine from four different areas, and we learned that even if you move by just a few meters, the taste of wine will change radically!) The second tasting was Krug champagne, which we enjoyed with very peculiar pairings, to be specific, with four tastes that don’t really work with its bubbles… and that was how we learned that champagne must always be enjoyed with delicate-tasting food.
After a day of theory, it was time to practice: we started right in the morning, going truffle hunting with little Dora, a dog who helped us find three specimens of amazingly scented black truffles, which we obviously enjoyed for lunch. And finally, the moment had come for the cooking competition. It was time for our Masterchef-style challenge, guided by the chef of the Locanda del Pilone, who had treated our taste buds the night before with his Piedmont specialties, revisited in a contemporary interpretation — we swear: it’s not a coincidence that this restaurant has a Michelin star… It’s really amazing! We were split into three brigades, and proceeded to knead and stuff plin, the typical dumplings of Piedmont — and making tagliolini. Curious to know who won? Look at our video, on 1.21: you’ll see the winners taking a selfie ;-)!