Reviving Garum at An Ancient Roman Themed Eight-Hands Dinner

Archeo Gourmet is an ancient Roman themed dinner that took place on the 20th of March, 2019 in Monte Due Torri Gourmet with the joint efforts of three chefs and a researcher specializing in different fields. Josè Amici, Chef Patron of Monte Due Torri Gourmet, the host restaurant, along with Chef Fabrizia Ventura, chef designer of Cook Design Italy, Pastry Chef Antonio Scarfone of L’Officina – Gelato and Bakery and Giovanni Rossetti, researcher of Garum.

It was a renascence cultural tasting of the ancient Roman cuisine based on the works of the most famous cookbook authors during the ancient Roman period, Apicio and Columella. Marco Gavio Apicio who was a gastronomist and a cook, was the author of De Re Coquinaria, a 10-volume recipe book of complex, luxurious and simple natures compiled during the Roman period. Lucio Giunio Moderato Columella instead was an agronomist who wrote De Re Rustica, a 12-volume publication with a wider scope primarily about the agronomic situation during the ancient Roman period, as well as recipes on breadmaking, cheesemaking, viticulture and olive growing.

The dishes concocted by the chefs were inspired by the recipes of Apicio and Columella with the usage of another ancient Roman element, Garum.

It is an extravagant sauce used by the Roman patricians to elevate the flavors of their dishes. It was believed to be the true elixir of long life because the mixture of so many herbs and the fatty acids present in the oily fish interact together carrying thousands of active ingredients in every cell of the body. Researcher Giovanni Rossetti who has researched and studied this celebrated sauce of the upper Roman class has replicated the thousands-year old condiment for use in modern times based on the ancient recipes he studied. Garum will soon be produced in Italy and will be available in the market.

Garum is a very flavorful liquid, a result of the fermentation of three kinds of oily fish and twenty-five kinds of herbs.

Accompanying the whole dinner was a selection of wines, including the Frascati DOC and Frascati Superiore DOCG of Castel De Paolis of the Santarelli Family in Grottaferrata in the area of Castelli Romani. Along with the dinner, bread maker Marco Bocchini also prepared a 5-cereal bread in accordance with what the ancient Romans had on their tables.

The Menu of the Archeo Gourmet Dinner:

Josè Amici: Puff Pastry of Cereals
Giovanni Rossetti: Farro Bread
Marco Bocchini: Five-Cereal Bread

Wine: Castel De Paolis Frascati Superiore DOCG (70% Malvasia Puntinata, 30% Trebbiano Giallo, Bombino and Bellone)
Fabrizia Ventura: Polenta of Farro, Lard, Calamint and Dried Figs
Josè Amici: Lentils, Chestnuts and Octopus
Giovanni Rossetti: Meatballs of Garum, Meat and Shrimp
Fabrizia Ventura: Capasanta Moretum (Scallop with Pine Nuts)

Wine: Castel De Paolis Donna Adriana IGT Bianco Lazio (80% Viognier, 20% Malvasia Puntinata)
Josè Amici: Ravioli with Chicken and Dates
Josè Amici: Spaghettone with Egg Yolks, Capers and Lemon Zest

Main Course:
Wine: Castel De Paolis Campo Vecchio IGT Rosso Lazio (50% Cesanese, 50% Shiraz)
Josè Amici: Wild Boar Marinated in Vinegar and Honey with Prunes and Giardiniera Vegetables

Wine: Castel De Paolis Rosathea IGT Rosso Lazio (100% Moscato Rosa)
Antonio Scarfone: Citron and Mint (Pre-Dessert)
Antonio Scarfone: Cream of Dates and Honey with Crunchy Walnuts and Pine Nuts

Monte Due Torri Gourmet

Via Montegiove Nuovo, 77
00045 Genzano di Roma (RM), Italy
Tel: +39 06 936 3276
Open for dinner from Tuesdays to Saturdays (Book ahead)

Castel De Paolis

Via Val De Paolis
00046 Grottaferrata (RM), Italy
Tel: +39 06 9413648