Tag Archives: turin

Eataly: Revisited

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Many years ago I was really excited to visit a big food emporium in Italy called EATALY, way before it became a chain (read about my first experience here). With all good things, sometimes people don’t know when to leave well enough alone!

Frank and I were in Turin last week (see here and here) so why not stop by and get my Eatlay fix?  Since my first visit, Eataly has opened locations all over Italy as well as in New York (I had the pleasure of eating lunch there a while back).

Unfortunately, while my first visit left me breathless, my second visit not so much. They still have the staples of Italy in full force, however the stock seemed unchanged and lacking in imagination this time.

I hate it when a good thing becomes watered down. Alas, I left Eataly a little disappointed. I hate writing this and I hated feeling this way wandering the store, but don’t despair, this was just a blip in the radar screen of good food in Italy. I have been having mostly fantastic food experiences but sadly Eataly just was not one of them! Have you been? What were your thoughts?

 

 

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la Valle | Turin

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When in Turin, eating like a local is a must. Luckily we had a local with us, my friend Paola (who I told you about here) who took us to one of her favorite spots: La Valle. Of course it never hurts to know the chef, and of course if you know the chef he’s got to prepare a 10 course tasting menu paired with some Piedmontese wines.

Here are just a few dishes we tasted, they were all divine. Keep in mind that the region of Piedmont is known for 2 very important things: local suppliers being number 1 and number 2 they use very little onion and no garlic in this region. My American friends are always a bit taken back by the subtle flavors on northern Italy.

Each dish had the freshest ingredients and even the menu had a list of all the local suppliers. Here are a few highlights from the tasting menu…

La Valle was a lovely long and lingering dining experience.

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Bacala, with pea jelly and fresh spinach pasta frond

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Veal with anchovy sauce
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Chicken with fresh egg
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Tomato vegetable bread salad
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Agnolotti with ricotta and mint cream sauce
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Gelato with fresh fruit and vegetables, “minestrone dessert”
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Cream Anglais with chocolate crisp
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Chocolate souffle with chocolate chip cracker
 

Note* The first dish picture was a riff on a poor man’s meal: handmade angoletti with meat, served in a simple napkin. In Italy the poor were given this pasta in a handkerchief, it was a charming presentation and deliciously simple and satisfying.

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Nikon Italy- Studio Tour

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When you’re lucky, well you’re lucky. Why am I lucky you may ask? Because one of my dearest girlfriends Paola and her husband Aldo, own the distributorship for Nikon here in Italy, Nital.

As you know photography is my life plus Frank is a serious amateur photographer! When Paola asked us to visit their new Nikon facility we jumped into Lola (our fiat 500) and headed for Turin to tour Nital’s new state of the art distribution facility, and WOW.

I had been hearing about the build out for quite some time, I even helped her a bit with some of the final touches (mainly in the realm of parties and hospitality for all the reps and sales staff that would be visiting). We organized her “party pantry” and I must say she was an amazing student. The touches around the plant were incredible.

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One of the coolest things in the facility is the Nikon School, it’s a full photo studio and classroom with a lecture hall and theater. It is the perfect venue for workshops and intensive study of photography with all sorts of guest lecturers. My brain went wild imagining the food photography workshops I could conduct here. Stay tuned for detail on my workshop page about upcoming workshops in Italy (!).

Here are a few more shots of the tour. Thank you to Paola and Aldo for their kind hospitality and to their staff for making us feel so welcome. I think Frank is still reeling from seeing all the fun Nikon cameras and toys.

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Everything at Nital is so colorfully branded with this amazing rainbow bar-code on everything

Even the restrooms have all the colors of the rainbow, super happy and chic!

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How cute is this graphic on the ladies room with adorable Paola pointing it out!

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The ladies room had this really handsome photographic cut out to keep you company! Love it! 

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The distribution floor was beyond, it took my breathe away!

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Oh and I forgot to mention that when they moved locations they took the board room and CEO’s office from the 70’s to the new plant and perfectly recreated it. The entire board room with 70’s furniture and lighting in mint condition. There are no words to describe the perfection of these rooms.

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I literally died when I saw it. They did not miss a detail. What a superb design touch and ode to the founder of the company.

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These chairs blew my mind! The lighting was some of the most gorgeous vintage lighting I have ever seen and the installation was divine. All of it, just  impeccable.

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As we left the tour, Paola handed us a really fantastic parting gift. She was clearly inspired by my book and our conversations about thinking creatively. She (like me) loves using unexpected vessels and these jars and the packaging were so well thought out. These gorgeous jars filled with candies and biscotti took the cake! Check out the captions: Passion, Versatility, Energy, Attention. I must say a visit to Nital and it is clear that this company captures each word in the most inspiring way.

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Thank you Paola and Aldo, we are lucky to call you friends!

* note: this is not a sponsored post all the opinions are my own.

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