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
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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5/28/2009 02:05:00 a.m.