Once a week we cook for our guests. It’s a fun, informal dinner, with lots of chat, lots of wine, and lots of laughter. Everyone staying in one of our Tuscan villa rentals is invited, and we usually put everyone together on one table so that they can meet new and interesting people. Of course, all of our guests a lovely and interesting. Naturally. So everyone gets along famously.
Now Chef Verity has been cooking for our guests for nearly 10 years. She does all the catering for our Tuscan weddings (we host 2 weddings a year here at Podere Patrignone), and she spends a great deal of time trying out new and exciting dishes. Who does she try them out on? Me. Hence the bigger than average belly.
And she doesn’t like churning out the same old Tuscan dishes you’ll see at every restaurant in Tuscany. Not that there is anything wrong with these traditional dishes, especially if they are done well (as most of the restaurants around here manage with great aplomb). It’s just that she likes to be a bit different, and gets bored cooking the safe stuff. She’s also influenced heavily by what’s available in the garden and in the local farmers’ markets, so she’ll always make the most of whichever vegetables are at their best right at that moment.
The Tuscan Banquet night is rightly popular, and I don’t think I’d be over-egging the pudding when I say that many guests have said it’s the best food they’ve eaten during their entire