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Food speed dating: Italian dinner with Pastificio dei Campi (part 1)

You know by now- I love analogies and if food is the new sex, then different food experiences can be likened to different types of…interaction. So, when I was invited to join this dinner by Italian pasta brand Pastificio dei Campi, and discovered it consists of “several” tasters of pasta dishes, all cooked in front of the diners in a show kitchen…I thought: SPEED DATING WITH FOOD.

Not as in “chatting- gaily- about- nothing- with- strangers- in- dimly- lit-cheap- bars- whilst- nervously- chewing- crisps- nuts- and- other- horrible- bar- nibbles” (let’s not enter an argument on this, I know SD can be a great experience for some. Let’s say and I didn’t like it and no, it’s not because I didn’t get any numbers).

It was, instead, speed dating with food as a date – getting to meet and know him (sorry, for me it’s a He). And oh boy, my dates this time were all in full “goods display” mode and serious contenders for the Alpha- male status! (sneak peek of my beaux below).

pasta tasting pastificio dei campi

The setting was the rather lavish “Massimo” Oyster Bar & Restaurant, one of the two eateries of hotel Corinthia. First pleasant surprise- I assumed wrongly that such a location (right between Trafalgar Square and Embankment) would imply “tourist trap” or boring businesslike, but I’ve been eating at The Northall (the British restaurant) and now on the Italian side and I must say they’re both really good, with excellent food and great locations. Not the sleek minimalist type, not the restaurant with a concept and who cares about the food type. Proper, grand, gilded/marbled halls with a retro touch and just a tad of old- fashioned grand hotel feeling – which, by the way, ensures that you, your coat and bags are properly taken care of at the door.

We had the private dining room just for ourselves – that is, about 20 happy speed-daters (or tasters, as you prefer). Contrasts are sexy, and I liked the contrast between the overall warm feeling- panelled walls with blonde wood- and the cold metal details- the shiny d itself, with wine cabinets playing a major role and the shiny cooking area at the back.

da massimo pasta tasting

Our chef, Luca Seminara, was not the typical theatrical, fast-talking, crowd pleasing type  you would associate with show- cooking.  In fact, he was quite demure, which I appreciated- as in a well organized speed dating, the host is there to discreetly facilitate the meeting. I am all for letting the food do the talking, especially when it’s meant to be uncomplicated like pasta. It’s really all about the quality of ingredients (OK, this is commonplace but for lack of better words…) and there was no shortage of it.
Want to know more about my dates? Come back soon for Part 2
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  1. Food speed dating: Italian dinner with Pastificio dei Campi (part 2) | Into The F- World - [...] Part 1? Wondering what this whole “speed dating food” thing is? Read it [...]

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