Tavolata’s Italian specials for mothers

BEING a mother is a blessing and is probably the most important role a woman will assume in life.

In a typical Filipino family, mothers are in charge of household matters and raising children falls mainly on their shoulders. Fittingly, we salute our dear mothers and celebrate motherhood with a culinary feast to please them.

At Tavolata, which recently opened its second branch in Ayala Center Cebu, Patrick Corpuz, Abaca Group chef and operations director, takes pride in the Italian trattoria’s hand-made pastas and hand-tossed pizzas. Thirty-year-old Chef Patrick, who hails from Olongapo, Zambales, abandoned his engineering studies for a culinary course at the Asian Culinary Studies under renowned Filipino chef Gene Gonzalez. He polished his skills by working in the USA and for Filipino brands like Pancake House and Max’s Group. He joined the Abaca Group of highly successful California chef/hospitality entrepreneur Jason Hyatt three years ago.

Italians, like Filipinos, are very matriarchal. Mothers have a special place in the home and are always in control of the kitchen. And at Tavolata, the Italian specials are almost like home-cooked with “Mama’s” touch. For starters, the delightful salads are farm-to-table freshness: Beet Salad with greens, pecorino cheese and walnuts lightly tossed in olive oil and lemon juice; the Chopped Salumi Salad with Italian cold cuts, lettuce, marinated beans, artichokes, roasted peppers, green veggies, olives and tossed in balsamic vinegar and fior di latte (literally mans flower of the milk) or a soft cheese from cow’s milk. Italian salumi or French charcuteri are cured and smoked meats. Crispy Calamari served with arugula, grilled lemon and Crispy Chicken with lemon aioli followed the healthy openers. The fresh hand-made pastas spell the difference. Italians are renowned for pasta dishes and Tavolata keeps the tradition with pizzazz. The Traditional Bolognaise uses strozzapreti sometimes called clerical collar because of its shape and has so many interesting stories behind it, is an elongated hand-rolled pasta typical of North Italy cooked with meat and pork tomato sauce drizzled with Parmesan cheese. Egg yolk-rich Papardelle, a flat wide pasta noodle which derives its name from the word “pappare” or to gobble up is irresistible with braised beef short rib with wild mushrooms and veal jus.

The hand-tossed pizza is exceptionally good–delicately crusty outside, moist and soft inside. Their technique, according to Chef Patrick Corpuz is a trade secret. The Frutti di Mare (prawns, clams, scallops with pesto and chili) and the Prosciutto with arugula and Parmesan are classic favorites. Not to be overshadowed are the Pork Chop Milanese and the Chicken Parmesan, both juicy and tender.

The traditional dessert of Northern Italy in the Region of Piedmont, Double Panna Cotta, chocolate and vanilla with berry compote, sweetened our palates. Panna Cotta means cooked cream, thickened with gelatin and molded. Budino di Cioccolato, a rich chocolate pudding, salted caramel and vanilla cream is just as exciting.

TAGS: Italian, mothers
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