This month Cynthia Hew, TV personality and owner of cookware-extraordinaire store Bon Vivant, tells us why Italy holds a special place in her heart culinary-wise.
Where do you like to eat on the island?
Ragazzi. There are many more restaurants I love, but Ragazzi stands out as my first choice. Why? Their variety of food and incredible service. I like consistency and while I’m always willing to try something new, I like that this restaurant has a signature taste – whether you’re eating the evening’s special or a pizza you know you’re eating Ragazzi. The food is always delicious, the atmosphere friendly and they are able to deliver consistent service and taste every time.
What’s your favourite dish?
Spinach salad with feta cheese and spicy walnuts, peppered yellow-fin tuna with mashed potatoes and broccoli and for dessert banana cream pie with a cappuccino.
What do you like to drink with it?
A new favourite red wine – The Prisoner. If they don’t have it then Harriman for it’s beautiful chocolate flavour.
Do you like to cook?
Yes – I prefer to bake and leave the savoury dishes to my husband.
If so, what’s your signature dish?
If you asked my family, they’d say Shepherds’ Pie.
Who would be your dream dinner date or dates?
Ha…Hugh Jackman Okay…a dream dinner date would be with my husband and a few friends set in a Tuscan vineyard with Chef Giada De Laureniss preparing a traditional Italian meal – and maybe Hugh could show up!
What’s your most favourite place in the world to eat?
What is your favourite restaurant anywhere in the world and why?
I’m not even sure how to pronounce much less spell the name, but during my first trip to Italy there was a restaurant just outside of Rome where I joined some family for dinner and it was amazing. The food, the experience…. We didn’t have to order anything – we arrived, the wine began to be poured and course after course kept coming to the table. All of us sat there wondering who had ordered all the food…while we worried what we were getting ourselves into we quickly realised when in Rome do as the Romans do. So we drank, ate and by the end of the evening rolled ourselves out into the Piazza for Gelato! It was such a memorable night.
What do you like to eat there, in particular?
I’ve not been back since the first visit, but I hope to return one day. If I had plans to go tomorrow I’d be more than happy with freshly baked bread with aged balsamic vinegar and olive oil.
Formal dinner party or BBQ round the pool?
Funny, but I think my formal dinner parties end up being casual ‘get togethers’ by the end of the night. The men usually depart to the patio for cigars and the women stay indoors to chat about the men.
Any food you cannot stand?
Liver and Onions…can’t even handle it being cooked in the house!