In the midst of the Coronavirus outbreak in the northern part of Italy, the third edition of Bohemian-style The Grand Blogger Dinner Rome pushed through with great success on the 27th of February 2020. Heavy rains and some absences of some guests due to travel restrictions did not hinder the delightful evening. Alwin Pascal Jager, founder and owner of Mr. Goodiebag and his team from the Netherlands made sure that the third edition were as memorable and enjoyable as the first two editions held in Rome. This year’s dinner was held in Settimo Restaurant, the 7th-floor terrace restaurant of Sofitel Rome Villa Borghese. The products of six brand partners were used by three talented chefs in developing an exquisite 5-course dinner accompanied by corresponding drinks.
The Grand Blogger Dinner is a series of five-course dinners, each sponsored by a food brand that takes part in some key cities of Europe annually organized by Mr. Goodiebag, a company focused in organizing exclusive press events in Europe. The aim of the dinners is to put together the best 40 food and lifestyle bloggers from the hosting city as a distinctive way to boost the social media presence of the sponsoring brands of the night.
At Settimo Restaurant, three tables accommodating the 40 guests were set up along the length of the room. In gold and brass tones, lamps, flower vases, gold leaves and small bottles of Sol d’Agrumi Eau de Pardum Racconti from Nature’s made up the beautiful Bohemian-style table setting made by Mr. Goodiebag. The whole dinner was accompanied by San Pellegrino sparkling water, Acqua Panna still water and Valdo Valdobbiadene DOCG sparkling wines from the Veneto region of Italy.
The history of Valdo started in 1926 when a group of entrepreneurs from Valdobbiadene decided to join together, creating the Società Anonima Vini Superiore. It is a company that is principally dedicated to the sparkling wine production of the Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore and Cartizze. When it was bought by the Bolla Family, the name was changed to Valdo Spumanti and the company focused on the quality of the wine production.
San Pellegrino and Acqua Panna, the official water sponsor of the night, are the protagonists on the tables of the best international restaurants that represent the excellence of Italian taste, quality and style in over 150 countries worldwide.
The dinner started with a plate of Prosciutto di Parma with two different aging period sponsored by the Consorzio Prosciutto di Parma and paired with Valdo Valdobbiadene DOCG Oro Puro Brut. Prosciutto di Parma a typical ham produced solely in the province of Parma in Emilia Romagna region of Italy. It is a DOP (Denominazione di Origine Protetta) or Protected Designation of Origin in English which means that it is produced with special characteristics related to the location recognized by official rules of production. The antique technique being utilized comes from the Roman times which, coupled with the unique conditions of the Parma region make it possible to produce the highest quality hams for centuries. Curing of the rear haunches of the pig is made only with pure sea salt to keep the meat soft and sweet-tasting for a minimum of twelve months.The second course was an exquisite dish of Ravioli Melitta Infusione di Cera d’Api, Camuciolo by Chef Tommaso Toniono. It was paired with Valdo Valdobbiadene DOCG Metodo Classico Numero 10 Brut. This was a rather distinctive dish with particular extraordinary taste, the warm ravioli were filled with Blu del Lago cheese and fresh bee pollen then served with infusion of beeswax and oil of everlasting flowers. Tommaso Toniono, the chef of Achilli al Parlamento in Rome recounts the world of bees and pays homage to them through the use of all that they provide: wax, honey and fresh pollen in this dish.
Vegan Panzanella Salad con Cuore di Patè di Ceci (Vegan Panzanella Salad with Chickpea Patè) sponsored by Olio Gugliemi and paired with Valdo Origine Rosè Brut comprised the third course. The Gugliemi Family from the Puglia region of Italy has been producing extra virgin oil with their 60-year old olive trees since 1954. With great respect to nature, the trees are treated carefully and with loving care by the family to attain well-tended healthy fruit that are used for the oil production.
Settimo Restaurant Executive Chef Giuseppe D’Alessio prepared an excellent meat main course of Saltimbocca alla Romana, Cicorietta di Campo Saltata e Stracotto di Cipolla (Roman-Style Saltimbocca Served with Wild Field Chicory and Overcooked Onions) paired with Valdo Valdobbiadene DOCG Cuvèe del Fondatore Brut. Essential flavors, intense aromas and quality raw materials were the the highlight of this dish as proposed by Settimo Restaurant. Through the creativity and expertise of Chef D’Alessio and his team, this outstanding version of the traditional Roman dish plays with few ingredients of excellent quality, innovative technique, tradition and simplicity of flavors.The dinner was concluded with Trifle di Stroopwafel Olandesi e Cioccolato (Trifle of Dutch Stroopwafel and Chocolate) sponsored by Daelmans and paired with Valdo Valdobbiadene Superiore di Cartizze DOCG Cuvèe Viviana Dry. Daelmans is a worldwide market leader in the production of stroopwafels in the Netherlands. It was founded in 1909 by Hermanus Daelmans in a local bakery in Vlijmen in the Netherlands. It grew into a modern, international and independent family business while retaining the products’ original quality and tastes.
Behind the scenes, the three chefs, Tomasso Tonioni, Giuseppe D’Alessio and Stefano Merola worked with their dedicated teams in creating the commendable five-course dinner served that night.