I hope you had a beautiful Thanksgiving. I sort of celebrated. I guess I have been out of America for Thanksgiving for too long. I lost the tradition while I was living in London when I was married. My ex-wife was English so it didn’t make a lot of sense. But I miss it. It’s a good time to share wonderful wine and food with friends.
In any case, I did have a sort of Thanksgiving moment last Thursday night at Fattoria Petrolo, the highly esteemed Tuscan winery. We had a big dinner with Jamie Oliver, the British celebrity chef who is better known as the naked chef, as well as actor Jason Flemyng and cookbook writer Gennaro Contaldo. Jamie also bought about a dozen of his apprentice chefs from his restaurant in Cornwall called Fifteen.
I have known Jamie for a number of years, and he is a super-cool guy. He is incredibly successful and has made a bundle of money, but he puts it back into the community through hard work and creative ideas. I have the highest respect for him, and I love his honesty and passion for hearty food and good wine.
The apprentice chefs from his restaurant in Cornwall are living examples of his goodwill, and of Thanksgiving. He essentially takes disadvantaged kids from the streets and puts them in the kitchen in hopes of teaching them a trade they can use. He does the same in London.
Anyway, there was no turkey on Thanksgiving night at Petrolo. We had suckling pig, roasted for hours in a wood-burning oven. (I am not sure if they roasted it in my honor!) The first course was a yummy piccini pasta with wild boar sauce that I had to have seconds of! And combine that with the 2005 Torrione and 2004 Galatrona from Petrolo. The 2004 Galatrona is an awesome pure Merlot. I brought a mag of 1997 Roberto Voerzio Barbera d'Alba Vigneto Pozzo dell'Annunziata Riserva. I thought the juicy Barbera went perfectly with the pork. We had a lot to be thankful for.
There was lots of merrymaking during the evening. And as much as Jamie tried not to believe we were celebrating Thanksgiving. We were. Check out the video of him with the owner of Petrolo, Luca Sanjust, and Jason. They are hamming it up a bit —must have been the pork and wine.