Last week Celebrity Chef Todd English hosted a test kitchen luncheon at his namesake Todd English Food Hall in the Plaza Hotel, featuring Cesari Amarone Wines. Nothing like slipping away from work during lunch for a red wine tasting from Verona, Italy.
Chef Todd English, alongside his son Oliver, told us about visiting the Cesari Vineyard in Italy, and how the robust flavor of the wine lends itself to be easily paired with food. To properly showcase this, guests were treated to a delicious Italian lunch curated by Chef English.
There were tiny dishes for us to taste, but plenty to go around for everyone to enjoy. We started with rigatoni in a spicy meat sauce. Not your typical meat sauce, though, since it contained spices familiar to Austria for an added kick.
We popped back the chicken parm bites which were tender and flavorful. While the sliders seemed ordinary at first glance, but told a different story after the first bite. The braised short rib was from grass-fed beef in Upstate New York, topped with truffle aioli and fontina cheese.
For vegetarian options, we enjoyed the tahini crostinis with charred eggplant and the finely chopped cauliflower in a creamy sauce topped with mushrooms.
We rounded out the meal with some flatbread and pizza. The crowd favorite was the flatbread with thinly sliced proscuitto and fig for a touch of sweetness. I personally loved the mini pizzas with the fluffy dough topped with ricotta cheese.
It was truly a unique experience to spend a lunch hour at Chef Todd English’s test kitchen, enjoying his food and tasting Cesari Amarone wines! A trip to Italy is on the short list.