Last month Real Castello di Verduno hosted an amazing three day Local Wild Food Challenge for food lovers in the beautiful town of Verduno, Italy. Established chefs and home cooks brought together by a single common denominator: the ability to create and execute exceptional dishes using extraordinary wild ingredients.
The festivities kicked off on the Friday evening with a four course menu prepared by Alice Delcourt and Alessandra Buglioni of Monale, marinated trout with verbena and wild herbs, risotto with almonds and raisins, wild salad sauce and a sweet final triumph of elderberry strawberries and meringues.
Saturday, May 13, the Local Wild Food Challenge, featured eighteen contestants, including four in the kids category. These children proved themselves to be skilled in researching, collecting and foraging the ingredients for their dishes. The LWFC judges were impressed by the knowledge of these creative children, rich in wisdom handed down to them by grandmothers and mothers and already aware of traditions that make them the new ambassadors of ancient knowledge and tastes.
Wild food festivities continued Sunday with a wild food picnic and workshops.
The passion for local wild food in Verduno was contagious! A huge thank you to everyone who came along.
Here are the extraordinary wild food dishes by the wonderfully talented wild winners:
The Grand Prize Winner– Verduno, Italy Local Wild Food Challenge! -Congratulations Clara Cassina.
Green ravioli of stuffed nettle, local Toma Di Murrazano cheese & spring spinach with beet and mint sauce, cocoa bean and seasonal flowers.
1st runner up – Gianni – a magnificent plate of Crawfish filled with shrimp, wild fennel & nettle chips
Wildest Ingredient – William and Sara -Ravioli with herbs & hazelnuts and a wild boar reduction.
Best Effort – Alice Bertorello e Eleonora Alessandria – Tiramisu of wild berries & mint infusions.
Best Use Of Local Ingredient – Jacopo – Trout fillet fished this morning “Fischer en cips”
Best Story – Katia Korneeva – Cream of spinach with polenta & wild poppy chips
Best from the water -Mary Kawamoto – Rice Soup with Kuzu Sauce and sauteed eel.
Best from the land – Caterina Squillario – Red rice, cannellini & herbs
Caroline Johnstone Award – Francesco Zamboni – Most intriguing – Local Agnolotti pasta filled with Capocollo, traditional cured Italian meat & blue broth.