Thursday, July 14, 2011

Pasta fatta in casa!

Wheat fields in Parma, Italy

"Pasta fatta in casa" will be theme for our blog today!   Since our first discussions of our new menu were in the early infancy- we knew that we wanted  ALL the pasta that is served to be made in house.  Everything will be made by hand.  After the trip to Italy, the chef's discovered so much about the importance of flour and the quality of wheat. Wheat and water: a primer to the most recognizable food in all of the Italian cuisine. After perusing the internet and all of the Italian books in house I came across a quote that fits the idea of the blog for today. “There is a famous scene in a film that is a cult classic in Italy called, Un Americano a Roma. The beloved Italian actor Alberto Sordi tries his best to eat like an American, snubbing the plate of pasta that has been left out for him in favor of the unappetizing “Americana” concoction he’s made for himself. But it’s hopeless-after just a few unpleasant mouthfuls, he can resist no longer. He grabs the bowl of spaghetti and plunges his fork into it with passion and desire that just about anyone in the world over would recognize- the insatiable love for PASTA. What is it about this food that makes adults lust for it beyond reason and children squeal with delight? If you ask an Italian to explain it, the question will most likely be met with a laugh, a shake of the head and look towards the heavens: clearly, it is not something to put into words (!

Needless to say we would need numerous blog postings to discuss the importance of the quality of flour in making the pasta dough. This is a part of the journey we are taking in opening a new restaurant.  Getting a perfect consistency and moisture content for each pasta flavor, its shape, and it's journey from boiling water to the sauce, and then to the bowl. 

Since the chef's returned from Italy. They have been on a mission to learn, experiment and take in all that pasta making by hand is about.  Trial and error (with lots of error) is how the chef’s are learning.   Brandon has estimated he has tossed over 100 kilograms of pasta, because it did not pass the test. The chef's are on the hunt for perfecting each recipe before it hits the table. Fresh pasta making is such a complicated yet such a rewarding procedure. When you get to the right consistency and moisture level, when you choose the shape and sauce to match, it is such an accomplishment. The Chef’s decide on what sauce they are going to be making first, for instance the bolognese here at Luma, they prefer a sturdy shape, like strozzapretti, and then extrude it in a special machine from Italy. This allows them to make any desired shape or flavored pasta that they have in their repoitre.  If a delicate egg pasta is desired, say garganelli,  for a garlicky shrimp sugo (sauce), then they will cut and roll it by hand on a special grooved wooden board. 

There are so many things to take into consideration when hand rolling or extruding fresh pasta. There are many grades of flour from semolina or durham to some of the very finely ground flours like tipo (type) 00.  Choosing the right flour is only the beginning.  The chef's are working with all the different grades of flour and moisture contents to create the perfect pasta. They have used flours such as farro, rye,  and chesnut;  the moisture has been added in many multiple forms, in either liquid or puree form,  such as alleppo pepper,  garlic chive , ramp green, egg, whole milk, beet juice, and the list goes on. This is a very exciting time where we are learning new ideas and concepts,  but also remaining true, with respect for tradition and quality, which was echoed on their trip to Italy. 

They learned so much, and are so thrilled to be able to share it with you back home!
And they are just getting started!  Arrivederci for now!

pasta dough for the maccherotto

making our maccherotto for the Bolognese sauce

individually hand rolled garganelli pasta

some of our brass dies. We started with four and now
we receive two new dies every month to keep the excitement alive!

fresh egg tagliatelle

housemade agnolotti

house made strozzapreti pasta
allepo pepper bigoli

green garlic fusilli
matt filling freshly rolled beet pasta with braise swiss sward
fresh english pea torteliini
matt filling freshly rolled farm egg pasta with
lobster marscapone

corn Agnollotti (which is on Luma's menu tonight), a recipe that
Brandon learned while working underneath Thomas Keller

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

From Italy to park ave

"da pizza americano," inspired from their trip to Italy. Chef Brandon McGlamery and Chef Matt Cargo testing and tasting  pizzas in preparation for the new restaurant

Sunday, July 10, 2011

"Ci sei mancato molto," we missed you a lot

Hey everyone! Long time no talk or should I say blog. Don't fret! We are here to stay! As the blog title states, we are just beginning this journey, and there is so much more to come! Thanks to everyone for following us! There are so many new exciting things in the future but until then we have more pictures of Italy. Pizza is the subject for today!! 

more beautiful pictures of the coast!

Chef Brandon talking to the pizzaiolo's of the kitchen- (certified pizza makers in Naples)

Olive oil

Italian flour, it's very important to have the best


Pizza margarita in Naples (neapolitan style)

Look at the crust, perfezione!

Beautiful pizza ovens!

Before the chef's left Naples they had to go and taste some authentic Napolian pizza. The restaurant that is pictured above, is set with the beautiful view of the coast.  The pizza was prepared by certified pizzaiolo's, that have perfected the art. You must become certified, to be considered a pizzaiolo/a. Becoming a world class pizzaiolo requires commitment and training in the tradition of Italian artisan pizza making. It is an art and is classified as one in Italy. There are many different styles and preparations of pizza throughout the Italian regions, making the chef's journey very enjoyable and educational. Trying all the different styles to bring the authenticity and tradition to Winter Park.

The pictures below are from Sorrento, Italy. Sorrento is a small town wonderfully located over white steep cliffs and offers a fantastic view over the Bay of Naples. Brandon and Matt were headed to Sorrento to see "one of the most famous products of the Italian gastronomic tradition." The pizza "a metro" which means a long and rectangular pizza. It can be several meters in length. A bright invention "patented" by Gigino Dell'Amura, who at the beginning of the thirties established the bases for the transformation of the historical family bakery in the biggest Pizza-Restaurant of the world, whose fame spread beyond the national borders.  A new name has been added to the primary one, "The University of Pizza", suggested by the variety and deliciousness of the pizzas produced in this Pizza restaurant. It was once said that " It's impossible to explain or to tell about the secrets of such success if you have never had the pleasure, at least once in your life, to taste, one of the most unexcelled, superhuman pizzas!"

Headed to Sorrento, Italy

university students making the authentic rectangle shaped pizza

What a classroom to have?! At the kitchen in the University

"Delight of the stomach, of the sense of smell and of the sight,"
 Professor Carlo Zecchi at the University of Pizza

You can have multiple pizzas on one rectangle shaped dough. Many different ingredients, allowing family style and sharing for everyone. Tradition is important ensuring one of the most important ingredients in Italy, family. Until we meet again, arrivederci!