There’s nothing quite like authentic Italian cuisine, and when you get the opportunity to taste food made with Grana Padano cheese by chef Francesco Mazzei it’s an opportunity you wouldn’t want to miss.
Location: Radici, 30 Almeida Street, London, N1 1AD
Radici Tasting Menu and Review
If you are a Master Chef or Saturday Kitchen fan, you’ve probably heard of Chef Francesco Mazzei. He is a world-renowned chef with a significant repertoire of cuisines and experiences. As an Italian, he is best known for his Italian cooking, which is showcased in his restaurant Radici located at 30 Almeida Street, London.
I had the pleasure of visiting Radici to try a tasting menu and receive a master class. This post is my honest review of the gastronomic experience.
The Grana Padano Experience
For the development of this five-course tasting menu, chef Francesco collaborated with Grana Padano “inspired by the Grana Padano production area, the Po Valley in Northern Italy”.
Grana Padano is one of the few foods that is protected by where it is produced (officially called Protected Designation of Origin). In other words, other cheeses not produced in the area cannot be called Grana Padano. This is because the Gana Padano cheese cannot be separated from the culture, climate, and people that produce it.
I tasted three different types of Grana Pandano – of all different ages, 10 months, 18 months and 32 months old Grana Padano Riserva and they all tasted fantastic! Truly, though, and not to sound like a snob, if you have any respect for cheese, it’s time to disregard the powdered parmesan you commonly find on shelves and make the switch! Click below to visit Grana Padanos official website.
The Master Class Experience
The chefs demonstrated how to make Strangolapreti, and we were given the opportunity to shape them. We made our own pasta shapes with polenta and pre-made flour dough. We used the dough to make tagliatelle, ribbons, ravioli, and linguini. It was a wonderful way to understand the effort that goes into artfully shaping pasta to different ends.
1. Gnocco Fritto with Copa and Grana Padano: Gnocco contains only a few ingredients, including flour, lard, leavening, and salt, but the taste and texture are complex. This delicious dish is from the Emilia Romagna region of Italy. It reminded of prawn crackers
2. Strangolapreti with Grana Padano: Strangolapreti means “strangle the priest”, and it tasted much better than the name suggests. In fact, after doing some research, it got its name because it was often prepared for clergymen in the 16th century, and it was said that priests would eat it until they choked.
The dish is from the Trentino region of Italy. It is a type of gnocchi made with stale bread instead of potatoes, but the texture is still similar to pasta. It is a very satisfying dish and the Grana Padano gives it an exquisite touch.
4. Tajarin with Grana Padano: This pasta dish, originating from the Piedmont region, was delicious. It includes lemon zest which gives it a lovely fresh light taste.
6. Risotto alla Milanese: This very warming dish from the Lombardy region is perfect for the winter. The risotto, of course, uses a rice base, but what makes this one different is a Saffron and bone marrow addition for a taste unlike any other.
7. Baccala Mantecato my favorite dish of the day from the Veneto region. It is a salt cod fillet with polenta, and, for this tasting menu, it was served with red peppers.
8. Dessert was a boozy polenta cake doused in limoncello served with ice cream…the perfect way to end the evening.
I accompanied all of these dishes with the house white wine.
Radici Tasting Menu and Review-Overall Impression
It was, without a doubt, a fabulous evening. The staff were simply lovely, friendly and helpful. The restaurant itself had a very homey feel, echoing Chef Francesco’s idea of “momma’s cooking with a chef’s hands”. The chef’s love for food is evident in each dish. Each dish told a different, personal, and personalizable story. There is something for everyone to enjoy at the Radici!
Visit the link for more: https://www.radici.uk/