My soups are often laced with a smidgen of Parmesan rind. The Parmesan cheese rind or skin still holds some cheese and once cooked with a soup stock it lends wonderful flavour. So whenever I finish a wedge of good Parmesan I save the rind and add it to stock. You know this is partly for the love of the cheese, partly because my kitchen has a policy of minimal waste going out and partly because of my middle class Indian upbringing that believes in upturning the oil tins and bottles till the last drop is collected. We never waste food.
And of course cheese is such a precious ingredient, a cheese like Parmesan is imported and it's wastage means disrespect for the cost we pay as our larger footprint.
So if I get to experience a meal that plays with Parmesan in all courses, I would definitely not be missing it. Chef Luigi and Chef Neeraj Tyagi at Sorrento (Shangri-La's Eros Hotel) designed a menu as a tribute to Parmigiano-Reggiano and I had to go as I heard Chef Luigi brought different aged Parmesan cheeses (12 months, 24 months and 36 months old) from Italy by himself. We don't get aged Parmesan here easily so this meal at Sorrento was a revealing experience as well.
Our meal started with a salad of mixed variety tomatoes that had shavings of 24 month old Parmesan and foam of 12 month old Parmesan. Garnished with micro greens and balsamic jelly this salad was a delight.
This was followed by Culatello paired with 3 types of Parmesan aged 12 months, 24 months and 36 months along with sweet chili jam, sweet balsamic and mustard. The matured cheese evidently more strong and brittle, the combination was delicious.
Among the pasta the Ravioli was my favourite, stuffed with 24 month old Parmesan creme brulee. It was garnished well with flavours to complement the ravioli wonderfully.
Risotto with stewed duck leg was another delicious rendition of 36 month old Parmesan where the cheese was converted into gelato to top the risotto. This became the best risotto of my life easily.
Another main course that was a chicken leg cooked sous vide and then in wood fired oven was a surprise package. It was stuffed with 24 month old Parmesan served with a delicious Saracena Moscato sauce and spinach.
We had picked a white Italian wine (Masi Levarie Soave Classico) with this meal that was dry and crisp, paired really well with the Parmesan loaded meal.
Desserts were 12 month old Parmesan cheesecake with 24 month old Parmesan gelato, served with fruits. I had a bite and loved it despite my dislike for cheesecakes in general.
The other dessert was Pizzo calabro tartufo with 24 month old Parmesan foam. Was nice for me but Arvind loved it and polished it off in a blink.
The meal finished off with a shot of Limoncello, the perfect end to a delectable experience.
This promotion was on from 16th to 26th of September but Chef Luigi whips up wonderful food always at Sorrento. I love the fresh wood fired pizzas and Polenta dishes a lot at Sorrento.