Get ready to pilgrimage El Camino De Santiago, via a taste journey from Roma to Santiago de Compostela in Galicia. Anthony Power, chef and co-founder of Liverpool restaurant Pilgrim, teams up with Italian chef Paolo Arlotta of Young Bloods Diner in Fitzroy, to bring diners local ingredients and diverse flavours from along the Camino Roma.
The tasting menu is a mix of vegetarian, inspired by Paolo Arlotta's herbivorous nights, and seafood and pork from Pilgrim. All dietary requirements can be catered for, with notice at booking.
We began with snacks, a chickpea fritter, zucchini roll encasing mushrooms and olives, and the best potato terrina you have tasted: thinly sliced potatoes salted and seasoned with thyme, then made into a terrina. Find the recipe here. Paired with a refreshing and light Adelaide Hills Sparkling Chardonnay.
The pilgrimage then starts in Roma, with a glass of Italian Trebbiano, and a beautifully presented tortelli with liquid cacio and pepe. For dairy-free and gluten-free diners, a generous helping of thin brown rice pasta, with blanched collard greens and roasted chestnuts, tossed through with a creamy vegan sauce.
Next stop Turin, where we enjoyed locally grown rice made into a creamy vegan risotto with burnt eggplant, black garlic powder, and delicious roasted Turin hazelnuts. Chef Paolo serves diners each dish whenever possible. He will tell you the story of the ingredients as well as the place and even share secret ingredients. His smooth Italian accent certainly helps to create the Italian atmosphere.
St Jien Pied Au Port, 741km from the destination, is my favourite stop: offering a seared scallop, served in the shell, atop celeriac puree and decorated with sprigs of Geraldine Wort which to me tastes like lemon myrtle. Matched perfectly with a glass of Jean-Luc Jamet - Côte du Rhône Couzou.
Stop 4 Leon, the final stop before the destination, we are treated with chargrilled pork fillet with leek, guindilla, and pepper salsa. The vegetarian option: zucchini cooked three ways and presented as a work of art sprinkled with zucchini flowers. The different flavours from a single plant provided inspiration for my home kitchen.
Arriving at Santiago De Compostella, I felt content with fine food and wine. But every meal should end with something sweet. The perfect end to the tasting menu - a Saint James tart, with white chocolate cremeaux and baked Brillat-Savarine mousse, served with an Italian Bera Moscato d'Asti. The gluten-free and vegan option was a delightful raw cheesecake sprinkled with raspberries.
Pilgrim x Herbivorous Nights* is being held at Young Bloods Diner in Fitzroy, easily accessible by tram #96. The venue is a restaurant with a beer garden and rooftop bar, with this special event held in the main restaurant, decorated with wall murals and hanging spider plants and devils ivy.
The event has 3 seatings, each hour, from 6:30-8:30, taking a maximum of 20 people each time, and can be booked through EventBrite. Spanish music and mood lighting is fitting for the pleasant journey. Do not miss this special event.
*Please check for cancellation updates due to government directive to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.