SPECIAL REPORT from The Travelling Gourmet on the undiscovered island of Isola della Certosa in Italy
A tale of two very different worlds, so near and yet…so different
By Dr. Michael Lim The Travelling Gourmet
Friday 20 Sptember 2008
It is 07:25:18 as I write this.
I have jogged about 2 km and done my 50 push ups but only 100 sit ups today.
The warm golden sun rose slowly over this secret paradise where Salvia, Rosemarino and Lavender grows wild in the large parkland and rabbits run about freely.
The hotel nestles next to the Polo Nautica Shipyard where you can actually observe yachts and sloops being built right before your eyes.
Here, I have enjoyed lovely dinners prepared a la minute by Milanese Chef Luca Basilico served by bellissima Laura whose humility and warm heart has made me value him as a good amico (friend). He uses JADA products which are simply the best gourmet food products you can find, made in the time honoured artisanal way. From raddichio to funghi misto, porcini, pasta, marmellata, miel, salame and formaggio, they can only be described as…mmmm magnifico! As a trained Chef by CIA (Culinary Institute of America) and 3 Michelin Star Chefs like Philippe Legendre, I have cooked and tasted food professionally all over the world, and I kid you not when I tell you this.
Yesterday morning, I also showed Chef Luca how to cook my original recipe of ‘Uovo con basilico, porketta e formaggio’ to put on the special Colazione Menu (breakfast) as a special a la carte item, garnished with a fresh emerald green basil leaf plucked from the herb garden. A fitting accompaniment to the meals, I had Bisol Prosecco di Valdobbiadene Desiderio Jeio Colmei, so soft and sleek like a Lamborghini sports car
on the palate…with hints of honeyed almonds and a perfect balance. It went extremely well with Chef Luca’s Bigoli with garlic, olives, clams and cute, tender mussels bursting with the sublime flavours of the ocean.
I also made a foray into Venezia yesterday morning, the city by the sea that I love for its history and magnificent buildings.
I hustled and bustled and jostled with the hordes of loud and clumsy tourists from New York, shopped and visited the Teatro de Fenice. I love Il Barbiere di Sevilla!
Footsore, I adjourned to my favourite haunt…Caffe Florian right on Piazza san Marco. My amici (friends) in the orchestra aptly named Caffe Concerto Strauss, played especially for me, Luigi Boccherini’s classic ‘Celebre Minuetto’, which I must admit, I enjoyed tremendously. I slowly savoured a cup of ‘The infusa di frutta’ (fruit infusion tea) served in a sold sterling silver teapot, the same way it has been served here since 1720. That was when ‘Schwerenote’ Casanova used to come here wth his many ravishing paramours.
Then it was time to ‘ritorno’ to my top secret paradiso on the idyllic Island of Certosa…to be at ONE with the birds, gabbiano (seagulls), rosemarino and Nature, and to enjoy exquisitely delicious JADA gourmet products married with elegant, effervescent Bisol Prosecco di Valdobbiadene, the ‘sparkler’ that puts many a bad champagne to shame.
I must also mention Sabrina in the hotel who looks after me so well. Her charm & humour has brought me much laughter and joy.
Just five minutes on this island paradiso and all the stress of vibrant Venice and its crowds of rampaging tourists disappeared like the early morning mist of the rolling ocean waves…
Buon appetito e Salute!!
Vento di Venezia
Isola della Certosa
Tel: 39 0415 2085 88