On Dec. 8, 2019, Bailli John Crisafulli and Chancelier National Ira Falk kicked off the San Diego Bailliage holiday dinner with the induction of two chefs from opposite sides of the globe who paired up to create a six-course feast marrying a farm-to-table approach with authentic Piedmontese cuisine.
San Diego native and multiple James Beard “Best Chef” Award nominee, Co-Owner/Executive Chef Carl Schroeder opened up his kitchen at Bankers Hill Restaurant to one of Italy’s finest chefs to create holiday magic. Chef Carlo Zarri, the “truffle chef”, did not disappoint.
Chef Schroeder’s farm-to-table approach featured a twist on this particular evening; the partnered chefs transported the San Diego Bailliage to Italy. They brought Italian farm fare to San Diegan tables with hazelnuts and truffles –the local specialties of Chef Zarri’s hometown of Cortemilia, Italy.
Throughout the evening a tray with three pounds of decadent truffles circulated the room and Chef Zarri himself did the shaving honors. Shaved truffles graced every savory dish of the evening including the fennel broth with butter poached lobster, fontina fonduta with chanterelle mushrooms and polenta, and Barolo-braised prime beef short ribs, to name a few. Chef Zarri’s sommelier training supported the expert pairings of Italian wines including Bianco Del Moro, Dolcetto, Barolo, and Vin Santo.
The hazelnut and chocolate budino and caffee could easily have served as a perfectly satisfying ending, but the evening held yet another surprise. In a gesture, indicative of the holiday spirit, Chef Zarri presented a copy of his book “From Sophia to Michelle” to every guest in attendance.
The book contained not only the collection of recipes from celebrities such as Sophia Loren, Michelle Obama, Giorgio Armani but also personal stories. The evening ended with autographs. The book also contained pictures with the celebrity-serving chef who has proven to be a celebrity in his own right.