Yesterday, our local weather included thick fog, rain, high winds and snow....welcome to a Canadian winter. When we sat down for dinner at The Prune Restaurant in Stratford, they asked us to forget the weather outside and allow Chef Paolo Lopriore, to transport us to a Tuscan countryside. I smiled and sighed and knew it was going to be a wonderful night. Chef Lopriore did not disappoint me.
Chef Paolo Lopriore’s love of food comes honestly. Kitchen life started out at the foot of his mama- a self-taught and passionate home cook who instilled in Paolo the need for quality local, seasonal ingredients long before either term was a catch-phrase on restaurant menus. After school, his talent caught the eye of the culinary master Gualtiero Marchesi, in Milan. Lopriore worked under Marchesi’s tutelage in Florence and at L’Albereta in Brescia. In 2002, he took over as Head Chef of Il Canto, ranking 39 in the S. Pellegrino World’s 50 Best Restaurants 2011. By experimenting with textures and consistencies, using the raw, seasonal ingredients of Tuscany’s fertile countryside, it’s said a meal at Il Canto is a multisensorial dining experience.
Chef Paolo Lopriore's Dinner
At The Prune Restaurant, Stratford
Hosted by the Stratford Chefs School
We started with an amuse bouche of egg custard topped with tobiko (flying fish roe)..creamy, a little salty, delicious
Our first course was Sweet & Sour Eggplant Caponata with Shrimp.....delicate & refreshing.
2nd course was an amazing Squid Ink Risotto....perfectly cooked & the squid was so tender. It was smiley face good :)
Our main was Venison with a Blueberry Sauce.....pink in the middle & perfect with the sweet/savoury sauce.
Dessert was a Lemon Pudding with Lemon, Honey & Coffee ice cream. I must admit, I enjoyed each component on its own more than when I combined the flavours. I was in the minority this evening as my dining companions loved this dessert just as it was.
We finished with petit fours; white chocolate with tarragon, chocolate with mint & nut tuiles. A lovely end to a lovely dinner.