POCHI MA BUONI ⋆ our unique story captured by the media
We hosted a very special media event for national food & travel journalists and writers during the recent local food festival…and they captured our Pochi PopUp story with style!
A VERY SPECIAL MEDIA EVENT
We hosted a group of food and travel journalists and writers in the lead up to the 2017 Orange FOOD Week festival, with an exclusive preview event held at the beautiful Bell Hill homestead on Kangaroobie Lane, a corner of the local Orange area that is steeped in pioneering Australian history. Members of the Orange FOOD Week festival committee also joined us for the evening, and not only was Paolo’s exceptional menu of hand-rolled Gnocchi in Gorgonzola with Walnuts, Mandagery Creek Venison Polpette, and Zuppa Inglese warmly appreciated by everyone, but so were the stories behind the food and our two home regions of Orange in Australia and Ciociaria in Central Italy.
The biggest hit of the evening was Paolo’s recreation of a 2,000 Roman recipe for stuffed sourdough bread with figs, sage and honey. The crowd, as they say, went wild! Following are some snapshots of media articles written about the evening:
A GOURMET’S GUIDE TO THE BEST FOOD AND WINE IN ORANGE
Qantas Travel Insider, 20 March 2017
When Italian steel-construction engineer Paolo Picarazzi met Australian communications strategist Kelly-Anne Smith, he cooked her a different meal every night for a year. It was the way to her heart – the pair are now married and living the dream of running their own cooking business. Pochi ma Buoni (Small but Great) pop-up events use fresh local produce in traditional Italian recipes – some millennia old, like the Ancient Roman stuffed bread spilling over with figs, fetta and sage that we eat before dinner at Belle Hill Homestead as the Central West countryside glows in the setting sun. At the table, potato gnocchi comes in a Gorgonzola sauce with walnuts on top and venison and pork meatballs swim decadently in béchamel sauce – a staple to which Italians lay as much claim as the French, explains Smith, due to close 18th-century links between the two royal courts. A born storyteller (“I thought I’d tell you another little story,” she’s wont to say between courses as she materialises at the table), Smith tells us of the Italian region, Ciociaria, from which her husband hails: forest truffles, megalithic walls and an Etruscan dialect that sounds like a whisper. “Ciociaria was famous in Roman times as a food and wine region,” says Smith. A bit like Orange now.
10 AMAZING REASONS TO VISIT ORANGE
Not Quite Nigella, March 2017
There’s a saying in Italy. “Pochi Ma Buoni” is the sort of thing that is whispered between good friends to describe an intimate dinner promising fun and good times with jovial like-minded people. Here in Orange Paolo Picarazzi and Kelly-Anne Smith have translated the saying to mean “Small but Great” pop up dinners…These are held at various locations, usually wineries. Tonight’s is at Bell Hill estate perched high on top of a hill giving us stunning panoramic views of Orange. We start with a glass of prosecco and a slice of the Pane di Antica Roma, a divine loaf of Racine bakery sourdough, figs and local feta served with a garlic sauce. Paolo loves cooking with ancient Italian recipes and this is one of those wonderful dishes that happens to coincide with the current fig season. The entree may be hand rolled gnocchi, soft and given a slight hint of sweetness from honey and gorgonzola. And if he gets the chance, Paolo jumps at cooking venison. In Italy it is a protected species. They use a local venison from Mandagery Creek with pork to make meatballs with a nutmeg strong bechamel sauce. It is accompanied by a summer salad with rocket, cucumber, black figs and cherry tomatoes, all sweet from the summer’s sun. Dessert is an Italian Zuppa Inglese, the Italian version of a trifle. Kelly-Anne who is a fantastic story teller intersperses the meal with tales of their lives and she also leaves a small hint at the end that there is a surprise ingredient. It’s called Alchermes and it is an pink liquor made with Arabic spices and…pink ants!
GAINING ALTITUDE: ORANGE FOOD WEEK
Her Canberra, 15 March 2017
It is clear the next generation to drive F.O.O.D week has arrived…
This new generation is inventing, exploring and changing the way we experience food — like young couple Kelly and Paolo, who have settled in Orange with a love story for the ages. When we meet, we are gathered for a Pochi ma Bouni – ‘a small but great’ dinner party at Bell Hill – a stellar house available for hire with 360-degree views of the countryside (that can be reached by helicopter). Greeting us is a 2000-year-old Italian recipe recreated with local honey, figs, and goats cheese. It is part of Paolo’s dream to reinvent ancient Italian recipes for a modern table, with quality local produce. We are a long way from Paolo’s Italy, yet as Kelly shares the story of how they met and fell in love in Abu Dhabi and returned to her hometown, it is clear the love of food, family and local produce is universal.
PHOTO CREDIT ABOVE: Not Quite Nigella