GAMBERO ROSSO IN TORINO
My husband had to go to an event in Torino organized by Gambero Rosso. They were featuring his wine and pairing them with typical Chinese dishes prepared by Italian chefs. Entry was twenty Euros and in turn, you received four Chinese dish tastings and access to an open wine bar. It was held in a fancy hotel in the centre of Torino so my husband and I dressed accordingly.
There was to be a presentation of each dish as it was served and also a presentation of the wineries participating. Each dish was then placed on the buffet tables where people could help themselves.
It seemed like an elegant idea bringing together Asian cooking and Italian chefs in a fancy setting. Unfortunately, it didn’t turn out like that. There was a mixed bag of people. Some were dressed nicely and some were in jeans and sneakers. Most were there just to get the best bang for their buck. Eighty percent of the crowd didn’t stop talking when the chef was trying to explain what they were about to serve. When it came time for my husband to talk about his winery, about five people out of one-hundred and twenty stopped to listen to what he had to say. I felt so bad for him and was so annoyed.
FROM BAD TO WORSE
The buffet table was the best display of starving animal behaviour. Everyone forgot their manners and turned into jungle animals, pushing and shoving. Food was all over the place. Instead of “tasting” the dishes, people loaded their tiny plates leaving nothing behind for the rest. At a certain point, the organizer had to raise her voice on the microphone reminding these grown adults that they needed to be mindful of others and not take more than their fair share.
I tried to take pictures at the event but with the mass of people shoving it was getting dangerous for me at eight months pregnant. I finally saw a full serving plate and rushed over to take a picture of it. However, an older, heavy-set man tried to beat me to the table and in doing so, pushed the table towards me, pinning me in between the table and wall (I was eight months pregnant). He then put half the serving plate of food on his little plate and wobbled away. I was disgusted.
Not surprisingly, my husband and I barely tasted anything. Being pregnant, I didn’t drink the wine either, although I trust it was excellent (wink). From what we did taste and see, it didn’t seem to be Chinese food that was worth pushing and shoving for. Actually, I was pretty sure one of those breaded fish nuggets were from that frozen food company, “Quattro Salti in Padella.”
Needless to say, it was a complete disappointment from a humanitarian perspective.
FINDING A PLACE TO EAT IN TORINO
After the event we decided to stay in Torino and find a nice restaurant nearby. We decided on Ristorante Solferino which can be found in the Michelin guide. The price ranges from thirty to seventy Euros a head and features some typical Piedmont dishes.
It was a wonderful way to end our evening. The waiters were attentive and kind, the ambience was warm and inviting and the food was tasty and filling. We didn’t have the standard appetizer, first course, second course and dessert because it was quite late. My husband had a beef tartare (hand minced raw meat). I had a not-so-Piemontese-dish of seafood ravioli in a lobster bisque sauce. We finished our meal with a classic panna cotta and a ricotta, hazelnut cheesecake. Here are some appetizing photos of our light dinner at Ristorante Solferino in downtown Torino.