A few weeks ago personal chef Arturo Dori and I decided to collaborate on a photo story for The Curious Eater. The setting for the shoot was his private home. On the menu his elegant interpretation of a classic Tuscan ingredient: pigeon.I was very glad to find that his place is the ideal setting for a food story. A window with northern light, a weathered wooden kitchen table and the cupboards stacked with Arturo’s mix of old and new.
Arturo is a pleasure to work with; he intuitively pauses his action for me to take the shot, slows down, explains and runs in and out of his garden to pick aromatic herbs. His passion is inspiring. A perfect situation for a photographer.
After an hour of preparation and shooting, we sit down for lunch. First served is a freshly made pasta with aubergine, tomato, spicy red pepper and fresh basil. Of course I need seconds! Next up is grain-fed pigeon handsomely plated with a side of polenta-crusted and thyme-herbed red potato. I have never really been a fan of pigeon but I can only change my mind. The dish I am eating is delicious: subtly-flavored, tender meat that melts in your mouth. Nothing is left on my plate.
What I learn is to never to give up on an ingredient. It needs the hands of a competent chef to rise up to its potential and to be appreciated. Next time I’ll choose pigeon off the menu!