About Gusto Italiano
Gusto Italiano is an annual gourmet event that brings together some of the best Italian chefs from all around the world to Singapore. In conjunction with this event, the award winning il Cielo restaurant at Hilton Singapore is taking part and introducing new Italian head chef, Riccardo Catarsi, as he aims to reinvent the traditional Italian flavors from his Tuscan roots.
From 12th September to 12th October, epicureans in Singapore can take a gastronomic journey to Tuscany, with an exclusive à la carte menu to savor recreated classics from the Italian region. From the classical Tuscan fish stew Cacciucco to the three-layered Millefoglie and mouth-watering Dolce Ponce dessert, Chef Catarsi adds in his creativity to reconstruct each dish by leaving his own personal touch.
We were fortunate enough to attend Chef Catarsi’s exclusive one-night-only Etruscan Dinner Affair to have a taste of his contemporary culinary skills. The extravagant six course meal featured quintessential Tuscan dishes exceptionally crafted by Chef Catarsi, each matched with wines handpicked by sommelier Stephanie Rigourd.
The Food At il Cielo
The first course was the Salmone all’Antico Toscano. Served on a stone plate, this was a 47 °C cooked Salmon served in Herb-Infused Glass, with a cube of Sherry Vinegar Jelly and Saffron dust. This was intricately put together by Chef Catarsi. The different smoke and herb flavors of the Salmon was not overpowering that was just nice on the palate. Also, it doesn’t come in a large portion which was a good starter.
Next was the Carpaccio di cervo al timo, which was simply Venison Carpaccio with Roasted Organic Pumpkin, Porcini Mushrooms and Thyme. This dish was very simple, yet tasty. The fine combinations of the mushroom and pumpkin were exquisite and a joy to eat.
Our third course was the famed Cacciucco e giardino sospeso. This is Chef Catarni’s interpretation of the Classical Tuscan Fish & Tomato Stew. I really enjoyed his remake of this dish, as he doesn’t just drench all the different flavors of seafood within the stew. Instead, he allows the natural flavors of the tomato and fish stock to blend within the stew, while leaving the other seafood, such as prawns, squid and mussels on a skew. This ensures that the flavors of the seafood are retained while we enjoy the broth of the tomato and fish stew.
My favourite course has got to be the Raviolo allo Squacquerone e Guancia di Chianina. Personally, I love Ravioli and Cheese, so these two put together was just a match made in heaven for me. Furthermore, the Beef Cheek Cream and Morels made the Ravioli even more enjoyable with a burst of cheese at every bite. Truly exceptional.
I’ve tried many birds before, from chicken, duck and even quail. But Pigeon is definitely not one of them. Our next dish was the Piccione e frutti rossi, a 3-way Pigeon Opera with Fennel and Red Berries Coulis.
Pigeon meat has a very strong aftertaste and it wasn’t very much to my liking. I would say it is an acquired taste. As the name of the dish suggests, the pigeon was cooked in 3 different ways to allow you to enjoy this delicacy in different styles.
Finally, we had a Tuscan-style Dessert Symphony called Toscana in un cucchiaio. Chef Catarsi is well-known for his brilliant desserts and this one was so intricately designed and put together that it just looked too pretty to eat. The chocolate was not too sweet, was light and went amazingly well with the gelato and biscotti at the side.
Although it may be on the steep side price-wise, I feel that it is worth the wonderful food and experience. This unique experience of a gastronomic journey to Tuscany is only available for a month, so here’s a call out to all Epicureans!
Getting to il Cielo
Address: Level 24, Hilton Singapore, 581 Orchard Road, Singapore 238883
More Information: Click here.
This post was brought to you by il Cielo.