OMGD China Tasting Dinner
Bailliage of Beijing
Beijing, December 16, 2017
'Christmas Eve in Rome'
" On a plated map of the world Chef Nello served a course named "The Cheese Silk Road" "

The OMGD group in Beijing capped 2017 with a “Christmas Eve in Rome” themed tasting dinner. Nello Turco, Executive Chef of Mio at the Four Seasons Beijing and Time Out “Beijing’s Best Chef of 2017”, presented a structured, ultra-modern menu with surprising influences from Rome and beyond.

To complement Chef Nello’s cuisine, we brought in opulent Italian wines produced using the unique “appassimento” technique. Appassimento is an Italian term for drying harvested grapes, traditionally on straw mats, for a few weeks up to several months to concentrate the sugars and flavours. This process is used in making Amarone, Recioto and Sforzato.

We began in the bar where our own cocktail mixologist from New York, OMGD member Tim Perry, made us Negroni Sbagliato, an aperitif of Campari, Sweet Vermouth, and Prosecco. Chef Nello’s snacks were modern versions of classic Italian palate openers.

Moving on to the private dining room, Chef Nello paired our highly tannic Sforzato di Valtellina with “antipasti” inspired by cheese fonduta, a rustic dish from Italy’s Piedmont region.

A play on double fermentation was Chef Nello’s starting point for his “primi” and “secondi” courses, both paired with a rich Amarone Della Valpolicella and a double-fermented Ripasso Della Valpolicella.

After three bold red wines, we moved on to our first white of the evening, a Recioto Spumante. On a plated map of the world Chef Nello served a course named “The Cheese Silk Road” combining cheese, spices and fruits on the caravan route between Beijing and Rome.

Our final wine of the evening was a favourite of the Hapsburg Court, a honeyed Passito made from Picolit grapes. To accompany it Chef Nello wheeled in a dessert cart of three traditional Christmas delights: a Neapolitan rum baba, a strufoli of round fried dough glazed with honey and bergamot juice, and a classic panettone.

A big thank you went to General Manager Andrew De Brito, to Chef Nello and to his amazing team for an unforgettable “Christmas Eve in Rome”.

We look forward to 2018 with Chef Nello as OMGD Beijing’s Chef-in-Residence, as we continue our “Avant-Garde Variations” series of ultra-modern cuisine paired with specially-selected wines.

Michael Delacruz