Chef David DiBari of The Cookery in Campania


[From Liz: Chef David DiBari of the Cookery in Dobbs Ferry is on a wine trip to Italy. He’s blogging along the way. Here’s his latest report.]


Our first visit to Campania, the land of grape varietals such as falanghina, alianico, Greco and Fiano, was fantastic.

At La Casa Dell’ Orco a sip of vino spumante, a great alternative to prosecco made from the falanghina grape, was perfect. Unfortunately, this wine is not released in the states or patrons at The Cookery would be the first to try it. The integrity of the falnghina grape was lifted with the slightest spumante showing how people use their land to its fullest.

Later in to this visit, we visited local restaurant owned by the Musto family where we sampled many of the wines. [Edit from Liz: Don’t worry, when David gets back, we’ll ask him the names of all these places, in case others would like to visit!]

To start our lunch were the standard southern style antipasti with buffula mozzarella and a piece of capicolla that was so well marbled and sweet from the natural flavor of pork it made me quiver.

One interesting occurrence during our meal was 20 minute intervals of power shortage. The reason was because there power was solar which lent a real sense of socialist care to their land, health and wine making. So what if the lights go out. I’m savoring a piece of heavenly cured pork not giving a sh@t if I have internet service.

The most exciting part of this visit was entering the kitchen and be asked to take hand in making their local pasta which was orechiette with pomodorini (burst cherry tomatoes) and Olio novella (made from the trees that grow on the vineyards of  La casa dell orco. A touch of fresh basilica finished the dish to a T.

A couple tosses of the pasta and a quick taste before it was presented was beyond honorable. The pasta was perfect in its simplicity. You can find it back home due to popular demand, but when you have it here it’s nearly impossible to replicate solely because of the indigenous ingredients, the comprehension of changing seasons and the correct dressing of the noodle itself. When the season approaches and the fruit is right then I will be sure present it at the restaurant.

Here is a quick pic of Signora Musto.

An honorable moment in tossing the pasta. I think she might have just wanted me to do it because that pan was pretty heavy.

The finished product!!!

Next Stop the Rivera Estate in Puglia.

You must excuse the delay in blogging due to very little time, sleep, service, and sobriety levels. Ciao.


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1 Comment

  1. Dave, I’m jealous! What a great trip! And you shouldn’t be sleeping or sober. Enjoy yourself and keep sharing your experiences with us. Can’t wait until you’re back at the helm of The Cookery.

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