During the recently held Good Food and Wine Show I had the amazing privilege to meet and interview two of my all-time food heroes, Gennaro Contaldo and Antonio Carluccio (Two Greedy Italians). With a freshly baked Matt Preston bread, fresh farm butter, a bottle of South African red wine and soetkoekies I sauntered off to meet these two larger than life icons.
What do you think of Matt Preston’s bread?
G: Mhhh delizioso. I am mad about this. It is brilliant. Grazie! I just love the cloth that it is wrapped in – just like a good Italian mamma would serve it.
A: Ahhh, this breod is fantastic, but I do think it could have been baked for a little while longer. (Thank you chef)
Butter on bread?
G: I personally do not like butter on my bread but I am crazy about butter in my espresso. The next time you have an espresso add a tea spoon of butter to it. So good. You have to try it. (I shall, I shall!)
A: Ahhh, ok Gennaro stop it now, try a piece of bread with some of this fresh butter on it. Mmhhh, magnifico!
About South African soetkoekies
G: Mamma Mia, this is fantastico! I am tasting so much love. Antonio, dunk your biscuit in the wine! Don’t be shy.
A: It is absolutely lovely, mmhhh, I can taste the cinnamon, cloves and ginger and the wine brings out the spicy flavours. Mhhh! Wow bellissimo!
Would you drink wine with breakfast?
A: Oh yes, definitely. Did you know that Leonardo da Vinci enjoyed a glass of wine with his breakfast? In Venice, I saw an old menu that belonged to him and there was wine being served with the breakfast.
G: Yes, my father is 96 and each morning he has a small glass of wine with his coffee. Genuine. He has coffee with milk and right alongside it is a small glass of red vino.
What will each of you cook if you wanted to seduce a lady?
A: Something exceptional, but not complicated because one needs time to seduce her (says Antonio with a broad and mischievous grin). Mhhh, I think I would prepare tortellini served with shavings of truffle. Then for dessert some lovely white strawberries, with a few drops of lemon juice and a sprinkling of fine sugar. (Oh, Antonio!)
G: Antonio, you must please serve a good Rosé with that. I shall make something decadent with lots of chocolate in.
For which famous people have you cooked?
A + G : Prince Charles, Princess Diana, Luciano Pavarotti, Robert De Niro, Princess Margaret en just recently Pippa Middleton.
Antonio, are you a chef or a cook?
A: A cook cooks with passion and a chef cooks because he must. I believe a chef has more fun in the kitchen with food. I see myself as a cook because I cook with passion when and how I want to, and I enjoy myself thoroughly.
Gennaro, who is your food hero?
G: Antonio of course! (Shows with a big hand gesture to his friend of thirty years). He taught me a lot and when you eat his food, you eat part of Antonio!