#GoCooking with Chef Mark Farrugia of La Piazza Allegra

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On May 27, 2014 Bacchus paired creations by Chef Mark Farrugia of La Piazza Allegra in Hamilton, Ontario at Go Cooking (Hamilton Spectator)

Sweet Pea Stuffed Ravioli tossed with Italian Ham in herbed Cream Sauce with 2011 Angel’s Gate Archangel sparkling Sauvignon Blanc, VQA Beamsville Bench, Niagara

2011 Angel's Gate Archangel Sparkling Sauvignon Blanc

2011 Angel’s Gate Archangel Sparkling Sauvignon Blanc

Angel’s Gate is the largest grower on the bench and owns almost 200 acres under vine.  The main property was once owned by The Congregation of Christian Sisters, hence the name Angel’s Gate and Mission style winery building.  They boast a huge portfolio of over forty wines, and only 9 wines are available in LCBO stores.  Situated on Mountainview Road it is very much worth the visit.  A little lunch on the patio overlooking the lake June to September is also a must!

Winemaker Philip Dowell picked only certain bunches of the grapes early in the season to capture the piercing acidity required to create a great Traditional Method of Sparkling white.  The remainder were left to ripen further – we’ll talk about those grates with the entrée… The bubbles and pleasant acidity cut the richness of the cream sauce and saltiness of the ham while the aromatic fruitiness was accented by the fresh sweet peas.  Another perfect pairing!

Chef Mark Farrugia's Sweet Pea stuffed Ravioli

Chef Mark Farrugia’s Sweet Pea stuffed Ravioli

 Sourced directly at Angel’s Gate Winery at $21.95 per 750 ml bottle.  Angel’s Gate Sparkling Chardonnay is available at the LCBO.

Portobello Mushroom stuffed with Roma Tomato, Chicken, Spinach and Asiago Cheese with 2011 Angel’s Gate Mountainview Sauvignon Blanc, VQA Beamsville Bench, Niagara

2011 Angel's Gate Mountainview Sauvignon Blanc

2011 Angel’s Gate Mountainview Sauvignon Blanc

This wine and the previous sparkling had been laying in our cellar awaiting the right menu and I was so pleased when it turned out to be Chef mark’s delicacies that made it all come together.  The Sauvignon Blanc grapes that were not harvested for the previous sparkling but left to ripen caught a very special disease called “botrytis”.  This pierced the skins of the grapes and caused them to raisinate, which concentrates the sugar and acid.  once vinified this brings the wine from bone dry up to medium dry and intensifies the flavour significantly.  I loved enjoying the two completely different wines from the same vintage and vineyard in one meal!

The stuffed mushrooms were resplendent with earthy aromatics, subtle sweetness and grassy aromatics.  The wine mirrored these qualities and also was accentuated by the creaminess of the asiago cheese.  The Sauvignon Blanc was quite full bodied due to the botrytis effect with perfect acid complimenting the creaminess on the palate.  This wine is a steal at $19.95!  I would recommend everybody go to the winery and buy some – unless I beat you all to it!  Only limited quantities remain!

Chef Mark Farrugia's Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms

Chef Mark Farrugia’s Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms

 Available only at Angel’s Gate Winery at $19.95 per 750 ml bottle.

Tiramisu inside a Fried Fritter with 2013 Bartenura Moscato, Italy

2013 Bartenura Moscato, Italy

2013 Bartenura Moscato, Italy

Moscato is such a nice dessert wine as it’s not overly sweet and has a light refreshing sparkle with a honeyed grape flavour.  Bartenura is located in Lombardy, NE Italy west of Venice in the Provincia di Pavia LGT.  Here we are just north of Parma, Reggiano and Salamino, three great food regions of international acclaim.

Just when I was thinking Tiramisu is getting a little boring, Chef Mark Farrugia blew me away with this twist on a classic.  He freezes the Tiramisu and enrobes it in a traditional fritter batter.  Once fried the batter is golden and crisp and the Tiramisu attains a perfect soft texture and temperature.  The rich, creamy sensation is lightened by the effervescence and the honeyed flavours of the wine are a perfect match with the crisp better as will as the Tiramisu inside.  This Tiramisu does not use coffee flavours thaat might overpower the Moscato – so again, a perfect match!

Chef Mark Farrugia's Tiramisu inside a Fried Fritter

Chef Mark Farrugia’s Tiramisu inside a Fried Fritter

Sourced from the LCBO (LCBO # 231779) at $16.15 for a 750 ml bottle

The rest of our photos from this event!

Chef Mark Farrugia and Owner Tony Farrugia

Chef Mark Farrugia and Owner Tony Farrugia

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