Bourdain Feasting Night - Blog #1 - Will there be Vegetables?
Its 2007 and I’ve just hit the trail of via aurelia antica, a main road that takes me into central Rome. I’m on my own and it’s raining hard. This isn’t the Rome I expected, I walked from around an hour just soaking up the streets both literally and figuratively. I had always been passionate about Italy and here I was journeying into it for the first time, looking for food and hopefully a spiritual home.
Spazios Trattoria was the place I found both, a family was sat eating at a large circular table in the middle of the restaurant, children were running in the kitchen and there was nobody to be seen to serve. I waited patiently. The oldest gentleman at the table rose up and positioned his chef’s hat on his head and slowly ambled over to a brummy gingerboy with some wanderlust in his eyes and money to burn on cheese.
‘’Buona-sera’’ the man stated with an authoritarian tone. I flummoxed my way through an entire sentence of bastardised Italian asking for certain things on the menu to take away. He obliged and proceeded to heat up and package all of the items I had asked for. I assumed the family meal would be lasting at least another 6 hours.
That was my first interaction with real authentic Italian food from Rome… Artichokes eaten like toffee apples tossed in garlic and olive oil, Italian sausages folded into pizza dough, square pizza cut and sold by weight, lasagne … much to my shock with no cheese sauce and meat… just layers and layers and layers of pasta with a small amount of parmesan on top. I had arrived and Italy certainly hadn’t disappointed.
Since this time, I have visited Italy more than I’ve been to Manchester or Cornwall and to this day fall in love with it all over again. Whether its slipping into the ‘Michelangelo of Pizza’ – Gabriele Boncis Pizzarium in the Vaticano area of Rome between a visit to Castel San Angelo… or encountering the much revered Cacio e Pepe by chance in a sleepy outer suburb of the main city.
This is food I have wanted to cook for people for years.
With this in mind – we have had a few requests for Vegetarian options for our Bourdain night and at first, I was somewhat steadfast in my belief that ‘it’s not what Tony would have wanted’ but then I dropped the bullshit.
The heart of Bourdain was conversing with people, bringing them together regardless of beliefs or sometimes even ethics. Something that is a lost art in these present times – everybody seems more than happy to judge another person on ideological belief and absolutes alone.
This is reason we have chosen to make our Bourdain night vegetarian friendly – will there be some meat dishes… you’re damn right there will be.
Will there be some vegetarian dishes you’re damn right there will be, but they won’t be ‘substitute’ dishes – they will be gorgeous comforting Italian dishes that just happen to be made with vegetables
So, if you’re wondering and debating whether to get a ticket for you and some friends… do it. We want to bring people together in the name of an iconic chef and show that regardless of background or identity – it is our humanity and not our labels that bind us.
Put down the phone and pick up a fork.
Limited places available - £29 per head – Buy tickets via Eventbrite
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