London was graced with a magnificent event at Sauterelle at Royal Exchange last month to mark the beginning of summer. It’s event A Taste of Puglia brought to an unforgettable evening of fine dining from chef Felice Sgarra. Chef Felice is the Chef Patron of the Umami of Andria, Puglia, a Michelin-starred restaurant. I was invited review this wonderfully special dinner showcasing the sublime quality of artisan produce of Puglia.
A langoustine tartare with red lentils, lemon and wild chicory consommé was a fitting introduction to the evening. The combination of citrus flavour and the texture of lentils on the dish prepared the palette for what was an exceptional menu. The main dish of stone bass and black chickpeas from Murgia were as expected a wonderful display of taste and texture. Sautéed cardoncelli mushrooms with courgette flower and orange gel were a firm reminder of Chef Felice’s ability to create palatial dishes from simple ingredients. The subtle hint of citrus on a beautifully balanced dish of flavours was an incredible feat.
If all this was not enough, the dish that won me over, was extra virgin olive oil ice cream served with fresh ricotta, almonds and dark chocolate shavings. Olive oil wouldn’t be my first choice of flavour for ice cream. However, once I tasted it I wondered why it hadn’t been. It was not only utterly sumptuous but felt rich and indulgent; exactly what we must expect from a fine dessert.
The evening was a resounding success in establishing exactly why Puglia has set the bar for Southern Italian cookery. With such delightful produce created from its soil is it any wonder that the region is home to renowned restaurant Umami. We owe much gratitude to Sauterelle’s Executive Head Chef Stefano Leone for this collaboration. I only hope that Sauterelle will treat London to another fine evening with Chef Felice in Autumn.
Sauterelle at Royal Exchange is located at: The Royal Exchange, Bank, London, EC3V 3LR. For more information visit: Sauterelle at Royal Exchange