Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Il Feudo

At first thought of writing this blog I initially had intentions of posting a quick synopsis of the time since my last update. However, I quickly realized that wouldn’t be fair. The experiences I’ve had here in Italy are all so unique and special to me that I must share them all with you separately. In addition, and probably more importantly, I think it is essential that I give due credit and praise to all the kind, open armed and loving Italians to whom I truly owe the success of this trip.There is a small town near to where I stay called Montoro. My good friend, Giusseppe, who also happens to be my Italian manager (he nicknamed himself this because he sets absolutely everything up for me), lives in this town. There is one restaurant and it is absolutely outstanding (without question one of my top three in all of Italy)…Il Feudo. Since chomping down into the perfectly prepared paper thing crust of my first Pizza at Il Feudo I knew I needed to spend time with the chef and learn how he does it.
This operation is exactly what you’d imagine when thinking about a restaurant located in a small village in the countryside of Italy. It is owned and run by one family. Marco is the chef, his wife Nicoletta runs the front of the house, his mother is his assistant chef, his father is the accountant and cashier, and their friends help out when needed. Before and after every meal service everyone gathers in a little courtyard outside the restaurant to talk and laugh. Although I have no idea what they’re saying, that doesn’t stop any of them from talking to me like I speak Italian haha…seriously. The relaxed and family atmosphere is so unbelievably refreshing and I love literally every minute I spend with these people. Ahhh I’m so thankful to have met them and been taken in by them in such a loving and big way.
At the start of work Marco and I made all the dough for the pizza. We rolled and prepped it all into small dough balls and placed them in a drawer to rise until use. As the others prepared miscellaneous things for service, they did as I thought they’d do…stuffed my face full of food. Vera (Marco’s mother), and her friend (who helps out in the kitchen sometimes) were out of control. No kidding, every time I turned around it seemed like they were holding something in their hands for me to eat. If I stayed with these people for an extended period of time I’d have to exercise more self-discipline and say 'no' occasionally…I didn’t exercise any then…I ate absolutely anything and everything put in front of me and loved every morsel of it.
My interest and enthusiasm for everything I’m doing here is out-of-this-world-fantastic and at times a bit overwhelming. Some of you who have read this blog before or who actually know me understand that I can be an extremely excitable person. I can’t tell you how many times since I’ve been in Italy that I have ‘literally’ gone into a corner, a bathroom, a side street, or wherever I can find that is private and seriously screamed out loud or silently while jumping up and down punching the air. It is impossible to contain myself sometimes. I feel like a high voltage wave of happiness and love is running through my entire soul and I have no idea what to do with it…so unreal!!!
I made a bunch of pizzas throughout the night and helped with other menu items as well. Marco gave me a note pad to write on and take notes with (which I've been doing throughout my entire trip and in every kitchen I visit). I didn't want the night to end. This was one of my favorite nights in Italy. At the conclusion of the dinner service the entire staff (aka the family) and some of their friends gathered outside for dinner. We ate on their beautiful balcony which overlooks the rural countryside. I made the pizzas of course:) There was other food as well but I was so engulfed in my own happiness from making such a delectable pie that my taste buds would not let me deviate from the paper thin crust pizzas I had created, MMMMMMM.
Check back soon...these blogs are going to come quickly so I can catch y'all up on the good stuff!
Just another night in Paradise;)


Kait W. said...

AWESOME blog as always!!!! I love reading about all ur adventures! LOL Just curious but when you screamed out loud from excitement, were there by any chance some air kicks thrown in there? HAHAHAHA Glad ur havin fun and stayin safe :)

Ashley said...

SO glad you're having the time of your life over there!!!

I must say, darling, judging by that last picture...you do look like you should be Italian. Hmmm...Are there Jewish Italians? Maybe you are one!! ;-)

The Guru said...

Garret, your adventure looks awesome! I am very jealous! can't wait to hear about it when you come home and come in to the diner. I have a blog now as well, quite different, but check it out...www.roomofrants.blogspot.com

Joe Roy said...

I want one of those pizzas! Yummm!!

Garrett said...

No air kicks...that may be too complicated haha...sometimes I don't jump I just do some crazy move on the ground or something haha

Glad to hear that;) Many people ask me if I'm Italian... There are Italian Jews but not many as I'm sure you've already guessed.

We will definitely discuss it at length when I get back and come into the diner. I am going to check out your blog now.

You will get many of them lil guy...You are my God-son... I Love you:)

J said...

That pizza looks fabulous! You should dedicate a whole blog to the art of making pizza....and any new spins from your other pizza recipe.

ThankfuLL Creations said...

First off I am envious for what you have done this summer and really happy for you at the same time! I kind of want to be where you with all the prociutto! At work we did this thing with sliced melons, prosciutto, sprig of mint, and a little bit of olive oil... you try it! It is awesome!

Christina said...

Salutti Garrett!
Prego, can I order a pizza with frutti di mare? And put some extra aglio on it please...
I hope you wrote all those recipes you mad down. Because you have to share them with us.
And now...summer is coming to an end. Have a safe trip home.

And share those recipes!


Country Boy said...

Did you slaughter any animals on the farm ? Did you make cheese ? Did you prepare a signature American dish for the family ?
I think the family looks more American than you look Italian. Que paso amigo

Garrett said...

I will eventually post some good recipes I've learned.

MMM that sounds wonderful...I will definitely have to try it.

No I did not slaughter any animals...I don't care to. I would have loved to make some cheese but didn't get the opportunity.

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