Tutti a Tavola – Better Food’s Italian Adventure …
“We did get a shock when we saw them spreading polenta and ragù along the length of the table: even the Italian friends who came with us had never seen anything like it! But it turned out be a very sociable way of eating.” (Annette Hardy, guest at Tutti a Tavola)
On Friday 24th November, we celebrated the grand finale of a long and beautiful Italian adventure – our Tutti a Tavola event – Everyone at the Table.
The story began in 2016 when our Founder and Owner Phil Haughton visited friends in Penne, Abruzzo, central Italy to help with the olive harvest – a sort of grown-up WWOOFING (Willing Workers on Organic Farms, see wwoofinternational.org for details). During his visit, he met his friend’s neighbours, the Ferrante family, and a plan was hatched. Phil is always on the look out for new products that tell stories, inspire enthusiasm and link us to growers and farmers.
We have imported, under our own brand, a consignment of the Ferrante’s single estate extra virgin olive oil and a special batch of farm-pressed passata. The planned borlotti beans frizzled in the searing heat of 2017’s unusually hot summer. The farm is certified organic, so the oil and passata have been exposed to nothing but good soil, sunshine, some rain and several generations of experience and expertise.
The Ferrantes were so thrilled by the idea of their goods turning up in our stores that they booked flights and came along to ensure a safe landing. The event on 24th was the culmination of this. Ercolino and Filomena celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary while they were here, and, get this! It was their first holiday in all that time. AND their first time ever out of the region of Abruzzo!
Polenta on the table is Sunday lunch, Abruzzo-style, transported to our Wapping Wharf store. What a night.
“The food was very, very tasty. We really enjoyed the novelty of it, as well as it being fantastic quality.” (Darren Hall, guest at Tutti a Tavola)
Packed to the gunnels, 55 of us enjoyed the most amazing traditional feast, cooked by the whole family, using their own cheese, our passata and olive oil and other ingredients they brought with them. They even brought their own polenta!
They have gone, sadly, but their legacy lives on in our own-branded olive oil and passata …