Wine & Food Society

Archives: April 2019 Wine & Food Society News


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Article By:  Publisher & Journalist Margaux Cintrano

Margaux:   Where were you born and raised ?

Maurizio:  I was born in Arona,  on  Lago Maggiore in the Piedmont Region ..

Margaux:  Who is Maurizio Pelli ?

Maurizio:  I am a former  businessman who has been  retired in Dubai since 1999,  and a frequent traveler to my home land, Italy for business  and pleasure, I am presently a penning author, private chef and Italian Cuisine consultant for passion and pleasure.

Margaux:  The Book:   Fettucccine Alfredo, Spaghetti Bolognaise & Caesar Salad, The Triumph of the World´s  False Italian Cuisine:  Tell us, what or who inspired you to pen such an amazing book?

Maurizio:   After travelling  around the world for many decades,  as a businessman,  I was put into a position where I had to eat in the “supposed to be” Italian restaurants abroad. 99% of those restaurants are not Italian at all,  and maybe they are Italian sounding to attract customers, however,  surely not, what we consider authentic traditional  Italian dishes and specialties. For this reason I wrote this book, dedicated to foreigners who like our cuisine but don’t know what  is really  authentic Italian cuisine and to  defend my viewpoints from the aggression of   forgers, falsifiers, and those mystifed by our wonderful cuisine,  alimentary products and specialties. The book in paperback is in English only and not in Italian. The English paperback and all the E-Book versions and Kindle are in  English and Italian and are available on:  Amazon. Furthermore, The English paperback and all the E-Book versions  including Kindle are also available  in Italian and English on my website at a special discount:  www.the  .. Note, my new book to be published shortly, shall be on sale in the same manner.

Margaux:  With the goals to promote the true authentic classic Italian regional cuisines, you are an advisot to the Italian Cuisine World  Summit in Dubai.  Please tell us more about this ?

Maurizio:   After winning the award for my book during the “Italian Cuisine World Summit” in 2013, I have become an active part of both the Summit and the “Italian Cuisine in the World Forum” and  from 2014,  I have been collaborating with these international organisations. Since 2017,  I am amongst  the founding members of the ICWF “Italian Cuisine World Foundation”  in  which we have asked Unesco for intangible heritage for  Italian cuisine abroad during The Expo 2015 in Milan.  This has been  the must quintessential  starting point of the Italian cuisine promoting globally.

Margaux:   Tell us about your new book almost ready to be published ..

Maurizio:  Unfortunately my  new book is suffering a  delay, and I hope it shall  be on the market soon! It Is totally different from my 1st  book-   It’s about my ‘Dubai’s Deluxe Dinner Party’ as a Private chef in Dubai. The craziness, demanding and extravagant dinners of the elite cosmopolitan Dubai´s affluent and  rich residents and expats. A behind-the-scenes vision of the hidden Dubai gastronomic  oriented and passionate culinary dining  custumers and their gourmand palates.

Margaux:   What would you recommend to a young man or young woman who wanted to pursue a career in the culinary arts ?

Maurizio:   To be ready to demonstrate their  personalities and learnt skills to date. To be authentic and not to follow fads or  the fashion of the moment,  and never ever copy somebody already famous but create your own style.

Margaux:  It has been stated worldwide, that “we eat with our eyes” .. What are your viewpoints on the art of plating ?  Do you have a style ?  Which are your color preferences ? Which tools do you use ?   What do you deem as necessary in a successfully presented plate ?

Maurizio: This, for me  is a controversial viewpoint especially regarding Italian dishes. Our specialties have evolved from  centuries ago  and they have reached the beauty naturally  without forced makeup. This does not mean that they can not be visually or  more attractive as long as they do not overwhelm the soul of the dish.  Especially regarding the italian regional cuisine, as  it is not possible to add something that is not territorially compatible. The plating already has changed in last few years,  and the portions are smaller and more easy to plate with style. The favourite colours of our dishes are always,  the ones of our  national flag: red, white and green! I employ  the same tools like any other chef:  Forks, rings and sac a poche! Every plate is different, and successfully food designed  plates to me are the ones which reach their beauty naturally by themselves,  like a beautiful woman !


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Article By:  Publisher & Journalist Margaux Cintrano

Photo Copyright:   Restaurant El Celler de Can Roca

The Executive Chef of El Celler de Can Roca, Joan Roca belongs to the generation of entreprennurial and visionary high end Chefs, that have gradually been turning the Iberian Peninsula, and specifically his birthplace,  Girona one hour north of Barcelona, into a global epicurean shrine.

London  Restaurant Magazine had awarded first place to El Celler de Can Roca, a Three Michelin Starred Restaurant for the World´s Best Restaurant in April 2013 for the first time.

Chef Joan directs and manages the restaurant along with his two brothers,  Master Sommelier Josep Roca and Executive Pastry Chef Jordi Roca and  together, they have aimed to  create an extraordinary epicurean experience for each and every diner.

The triology of  Rocas, have long sought out unique culinary techniques and each with their own passion for exploring the links between aromas, perfumes, and flavors, almost as if they were sorcerers  brewing ingredients for a spell.

One example of this, is how Chef Joan has revitalised ancient ingredients such as edible metallic foil papers of gold, silver and copper, which are said to lower cholesterol and date back to The Persian Empire, in the 6th century.

A visit to EL CELLER DE CAN ROCA, which is set in a stone manor townhouse nestled amongst lush micro climate herbal and historical gardens, requires a willingness to suspend the antiquated notion that eating is a fundamental of life, something we do in order to survive.  There is little about a lunch or dinner at EL CELLER DE CAN ROCA that can be compared to any notion that we eat to live.


Margaux:   While lots of restaurants can turn out a good meal or two, few can match the Roca Brothers and their colossal portfolio of of sublime finesse and wines.  What has led to your success today.

J.R.    Firstly, our relocation in 2010, has definitely marked our turning point and furthermore, the merging of gastronomic traditions with Catalan and Mediterranean cuisines coupled with state of the art advanced technology.

Margaux:   Please tell our readers, about your mentors?

J.R.   Firstly, I worked with the late Chef Santi Santamaria in  1988. Then in 1989, I worked with Ferràn Adrià at the former El Bulli in Las Rosas, Girona. In 1992, I was doing another apprenticeship under the coaching of Three Michelin Star Chef,  Georges Blanc in Vonnas, France. These internships were the keys to my inaugurating a new beginning as a Chef.

Margaux:  Could you tell us about a preferred method of preparation that you employ?

J.R.   The Sous Vide, a process in French which denotes, “under vacuum”. It involves vacuum packing a food product in a plastic like baggie and cooking the food at a lower temperature  than normal at an extended time and then, quickly cooling the food. The advantages are that the Chef or Home Gourmet receives less shrinkage of the raw materials and the product is moister, and higher volumes of food can be prepared much quicker.  The method was originally used during The Persian Empire without the plastic however, enclosed and wrapped in textiles.

Margaux:  I am aware that you had travelled several times to Japan.

J.R.  Firstly, the Kai Seiki gastronomic route in Kyoto, has strongly influenced our art of plating. KAI means breast and SEIKI translates to pebbles or stones.  Historical Kyoto has maintained its ancient gastronomic traditions which were started by Medieval Buddhist Monks who would carry servings of food in their pockets for long journies or be served platters of assorted types of rice, sashimi, marine pickles and Udon Noodles.

This has become Japan´s renovated evolutionary Tapas movement in the 21st century. To Clarify,  ROCA in Spanish means STONE. Thus, when possible, the implementing of three stones, for the 3 Roca Brothers is utilised in plating up our dishes.  Furthermore, we utilise a savory ingredient, a sweet, a semi sweet, a bitter, a sour and an aromatic in uncountable courses and starters.  In France and at El Bulli, we had learnt to sprinkle, drizzle, to create foams of all textures and to handle the garnishing and dressing as if the porcelain were a canvas painting.

Margaux:   Surrealism or the Provençal School  of  painting inspirations ?

J.R.   Another great inspiration has always been the French Impressionists, Miró,  Dali, Picasso and the Asian Schools of Painting, very much so.

Margaux:  Gastronomic focused travel.

J.R.   Since, we have travelled to Japan and China several times, and to Peru, Columbia and  Mexico, in 2014,  we are planning the rest of the Americas & Caribbean and The Nordic Countries between 2019 and 2020.



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By:  Publisher Margaux Cintrano

Photo Copyright:   Restaurant Aponiente, El Puerto de Santa Maria, Cádiz.

Riding the crest of the waves with a totally evolutionary vanguard cuisine offering an experience, he entitles “calm gastronomy” is one of a kind Chef Ángel León.

At his Puerto de Santa Maria Restaurant Aponiente, Chef Ángel has conjured up an epicurism with the enchantment of the world under the sea. He has proven himself a master investigator of Plankton, marine lettuces and algaes, which he filters in his own concoctions and gastronomic gadgets.  Additionally, he is an expert in fish, shellfish and seafoods and their preparation.  Furthermore, he invented Clarimax for clarifying liquid ingredients to create transparent consommés and utilises olive pits in place of carbon for braising, grilling an barbecuing on open flame.

Chef León´s  pure Andalucian hedonism has brought him uncountable awards at Madrid Fusion and on  Canal Cocina T.V. His father, a medical doctor and researcher coupled with his medical doctor mother have instilled in him the investigative nature he possesses.

Back in 2010, his research project at the University of Cádiz derived in the development of the state of the art Clarimax, a kitchen machine constructed by JP SELECTA, in  Barcelona.  Whether coaching, cooking, or fishing,  Chef Ángel is detailed oriented and a perfectionist. His inspiration, inventiveness and “the product” culinary philosophy has enabled him to dazzle diners with his dramatically provocative presentations at your table. His extraordinary vanguard culinary methodology, unique fresh sustainable or bio ingredients and his enrapturing touches from his home land all provide the most incredible dining experience one can ever have in Cádiz,  Andalusia ..


Margaux:   Culinary Philosophy ?

A.L.     The product and no chemicals.  I specialise in the natural.

Margaux:   Who had been or were your mentors ?

A.L.   The late Chef Joël  Robuchon at the Three Michelin Star Restaurant L´ Atelier, Paris, where I worked for seven years and for three years,  at La Casa de Templo, in Toledo where I was learning about the historic roots of Spanish Culture including the Sefardic Epicurism  and the Moorish Arabic Cuisines.

Margaux:   The Sea ?

A.L.   I have always had an obsession with the sea and I enjoy fishing with my dad, cleaning, slicing and preparing fish, shellfish and seafoods of all types.

Margaux:  Do you fish for your Restaurant Aponiente ?

A.L.  Yes I do, however, I am also very community minded and I coach crews on ships and small fishing vessels who are working for 15 Euros hourly.  I have taken 30 day fishing excursions bringing in 50 tons of wild fresh fish. I have also wanted to mention, that  have sourced fish in Cádiz for 4 Euros a kilo, and in The Madrid Capital, these species could sell for 20 to 40 Euros a kilo.

Margaux:  I believe you would do quite well in politics !  What exactly are you doing with Plankton ?

A.L.   Firstly, Plankton groves or plantations. I filter 17.000 litres of water.  The Omega 3 content is the most numerous of all edible species and / or plant life.  Plankton is the cellular origin of all.

Margaux:   Do you have any research investigation projects scheduled for 2019 – 2020 ?

A.L.  I have been in the process of a joint venture, in which we are collaborating on a baby foodline with a Japanese Manufacturer.

Margaux:  And your dream trip ?

A.L.  To lose myself in the Alaskan Arctic Coast on a boat.

Margaux:  Tell us about one of your books.

A.L.  My first book,  MAR CONTRA CORRIENTE,  which signifies THE SEA AGAINST THE CURRENT, was not a run of the mill recipe book.  This is a book that came from passion and fully living up to the challenges of the title.

Margaux:  Tell us about your 1st recipe ..

A.L.  My first recipe prepared at home was a caramel custard dessert. My mother was livid with me about the tremendous mess I made in her kitchen.  I was sort of a “Dennis the Menace”  !

Margaux:  Last but not least, music in the kitchen while working ?

Ángel:  Yes, instrumental Jazz and instrumental Flamenco. “I am also a believer in the stillness, is the power” ..


Bulgarian WINE – a JOURNEY in THE TIME

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This story is prepared by Mr. George Ganchev – Hedonique, Founder of Wine & Food Society
only for „Beyond Taste, Oltre Il Gusto” – Magazine.

Looking at the map of Europe, Bulgaria is at the same latitude as Spain, southern France and Italy. Here in the land of the Thracians from the deepest antiquity, the four mountains define a huge variety of terror and wines.

The Thrace
/300 and 400 BC./
The Thracian wine was praised even in ancient literature. Herodotus wrote in his treatise “The Histories of Herodotus” that Cleomenes lost his senses drinking “wine unmixed with water”. In “The Iliad” Homer writes of “a cup of wine as sweet as honey” – Book 18. What we know of their taste from back then can be drawn from Homer who wrote “as often as they drank that honey-sweet red wine he would fill one cup and pour it into twenty measures of water, and a smell would rise from the mixing-bowl marvelously sweet” (The Odyssey, Book 9). We can only assume that ancient red wine was thicker, sweeter and more fragrant. What is sure, though, is that the ancient Thracians, the The Legend of Mavrud
The legend tells of an young man from the remote past, when khan Tervel /700 – 721 AD/ – St. Trivelius, the savior of Europe, ruled the Bulgarian lands. The lad had recently been recruited in the army. When his mother saw him fighting for the first time, she gave him a canteen with a special liquid. She told him that whenever the courage eluded him, the young man should drink from the canteen in order to regain his braveness.
In the campaign against the Arab horde during the siege of Constantinople on the 15th of August, 718, the young man was inspired and imbued with courage. Several times he saved the khan from sure death. He was fearless. At the end of the battle, the khan searched the young man and found him lying wounded amongst several dead bodies. The khan then asked him:
– „Young man, this is the first time you have entered a battle, your comrades fled because of fear, you remained bold. How did you gather such courage?”
– „ My mother gave me a canteen, filled with a miraculous liquid. She told me to drink from it whenever I’m scared. So I did.”
The khan took a sip from the canteen and immediately fell warmness going through his body. His mind cleared, his strength recovered. The khan smiled and asked the lad:
– „What is your name?”
– „My name is Mavrud! – replied the young man.
– „From this day forward let this miraculous liquid be named after you – Mavrud, so that the future generations remember your courage!” – said khan Tervel.
Middle Ages
The quality of the Bulgarian wines was described in the centuries that followed. A legend tells that during the Fourth Crusade /1202 – 1204/, knights entered the city of Asenovgrad. But the Mavrud that they found there made them kind and they spared the inhabitants.
Other documents were alsow found, that describe the abundance of wine in the region. During the Middle Ages the monasteries played an important role in the development of wine-making. Monks were among the avid admirers of the liquid. Evidence in the Bachkovo Monastery indicates that monks drank between 4 and 8 cups of wine a day, which is an average of more than a liter. The barrels, in which held the wine, were stored underground in stone-walled cellars, where they were kept at low temperatures.
After the Independence 1878
When Europe celebrates Valentine’s Day – on the 14th of February, in Bulgaria we celebrate Saint Trifon Zarezan – the heavenly patron of the wine. This is the first holiday associated with spring. The name Zarezan comes from the fact that the vines are ritually cutted then. Blessing vineyard, drinking wine, eating and dancing a lot …
It 1938 that vineyards returned to the prephilox. A French specialist was invited to assess Bulgarian grape varieties and soil types. These are the first attempts to plant French grapes such as Gamay Noir, Sauvignon Blanc and others.
The period of socialism 1944 -1989
In 1978 an entity called “The Central Tasting Committee” was created. Wine had to pass strict requirements and was categorized based on quality control. Although around 90% of the wine, which was of low to medium quality, was still exported to the USSR, the creation of the Committee helped Bulgaria in broadening its markets to England, Germany and Japan, where Bulgarian high-quality wine was praised for its affordable prices.
Bulgarian wine industry is export orientated. The foreign trade accounts for 64% of the production. During the period 1986-1990, Bulgaria was the 5th largest exporter of wine with average annual export of 1804 thousand hectoliters (Bulgarian National Bank).
Today, after ten years of full membership in the European Union, Bulgaria ranks 15-th in the world ranking of wine-producing countries. Over 200 producers of modern wines from many local and world varieties are waiting for you. Wine & Food Society – Bulgaria is honored to be your host of this wine tour. Cheers!