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Thursday, May 28, 2009

Eat, Drink, Live Italian food festa, Martin Place



Eat, Drink and Live Italian.

This is the theme of the two-day food festival currently on at Martin Place as part of the Sydney Italian Festival. Unfortunately an open-air trattoria doesn't have quite the same appeal when it's cold and drizzling although that didn't stop curious city workers stopping in for a look and a quick feed.


Orecchiette on the stove


Mass plating

The tented mobile kitchen is a military operation of mass meal production. Barilla-printed blue cardboard trays are rapidly filled with serves of pasta and weighted down with a Sanpellegrino bottle. Organisers have done well to organise a gigantic canopy to protect the outdoor table set-up from intermittent rain.


Barilla lunch tray with choice of Sanpellegrino drink $10
(includes Gelatissimo bambino cone)

The blue cardboard trays look decidedly like aeroplane meal trays, especially with the plastic wrapped fork and serviette tucked into the canal in the middle. Even the roving MC refers to the diners toward the front as "those in first class".

Two types of pasta are included and whilst I'd expected to prefer the orecchiette, I'm surprised by the salmon lasagna which has soft pasta sheets, cubes of salmon and a cream pesto sauce that isn't overly salty. The citrus-style chinotto is light and fresh, only a touch bitter with less of the somewhat aniseed flavour one normally finds in chinotto.


Barilla Orecchiette with veal and porcini mushroom ragu'
and oven-baked ricotta


Barilla Lasagna with fresh salmon and roasted vegetables
with Barilla Pesto Genovese

Whilst you're eating your lunch, you can also watch the live cooking demonstrations, projected onto a giant screen for easy viewing. And when you're done, head over to the Gelatissimo ice cream cart to get your card stamped for a bambino ice cream - it's the perfect size of a weekday lunch dessert!


Gelatissimo bambino cones



The Eat, Drink, Live Italian food festa is on at Martin Place (between Pitt St and Castlereagh St) as part of the Sydney Italian Festival.

The festival has its final day today, Thursday 28 May 2009, and will run from 11am-3pm.

All profits raised will be donated to the Children's Food Education Foundation.



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posted by Helen (Grab Your Fork) on 5/28/2009 02:05:00 am


10 Comments:

  • At 5/28/2009 3:19 am, Blogger Bethie said…

    Those bambino cones look really interesting, so does the rest of the food too.

     
  • At 5/28/2009 12:20 pm, Anonymous Katie said…

    Those bambino cones are so adorable! I didn't realise just how small they are until the photo of one being held up - I reckon I could eat a fair few of those in one sitting! :P

     
  • At 5/28/2009 12:48 pm, Anonymous Shanks said…

    Love the Mini-Me bambino cones!!

     
  • At 5/28/2009 2:41 pm, Anonymous Arwen from Hoglet K said…

    You're brave going out in the rain for it. The icecream cones are cute!

     
  • At 5/28/2009 3:15 pm, Anonymous divemummy said…

    Never realised chinotto was aniseed-flavoured - explains why hubby thinks it tastes like envelope gum.

     
  • At 5/28/2009 6:22 pm, Blogger FFichiban said…

    OOhh wish I could've checked it out ^^! GJ braving the weather and wish we got that kinda food on airplanes!

     
  • At 5/28/2009 7:57 pm, Blogger Gourmet Chick said…

    The salmon pasta does not look that appetising so good to hear that it actually tasted quite good!

     
  • At 5/29/2009 1:39 am, Blogger Helen (AugustusGloop) said…

    Hi Bethie - The bambino cones are super cute. Plus their small size means you get a great topping to ice cream ratio too :)

    Hi Katie - I'm glad I took a photo of me holding one then. It's easy to forget that a sense of scale often gets lost in photos!

    Hi Shanks - They're great aren't they? Perfect size for a mini treat!

    Hi Arwen - The weather was much better today. I didn't get a chance to get it out but expect crowds were well up on Wednesday!

    Hi divemummy - Your comment prompted me to google it - I didn't realise Chinotto is a bitter citrus fruit that is used in bitters and Campari. And its name is from its suspected origin: China. My new fact for the day!

    Hi FFichiban - It was a much nicer day today (Thursday). Airplane is always a bit hit and miss isn't it, although given the logistics of storage, speed and quantity I think it's probably one of the toughest catering jobs to do!

    Hi Gourmet Chick - I was quite worried about the sound of a salmon lasagna, I must confess. I did like the softness of the pasta sheets. Like satin!

     
  • At 5/31/2009 12:19 am, Anonymous divemummy said…

    interesting...maybe it's the bitterness that puts him off. Now I've learnt 2 facts about Chinotto....the flavour origin and the name origin...what did we do before we had Google?

     
  • At 6/02/2009 1:54 am, Blogger Helen (AugustusGloop) said…

    Hi divemummy - I would never have guessed the Chinotto name origins and yes, I heart google!

     

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