Wednesday, 4 March 2009

10 minutes with Vito Marinuzzi of 7Numbers Toronto!

7Numbers Toronto is one of those rare neighbourhood Italian restaurants with a family feel, unpretentous, easy going and simple in the best possible way. The restaurant has been in the family for generations and this shows with the quirky interior, filled with authentic Italian kitsch and family photos. Vito is in charge here (along with his Mamma Rosa), his recipes are closely guarded family secrets, luckily we managed to squeeze a few gems out of him in our brief meeting!

1)If you could chose a cooking holiday from Flavours in either Tuscany, Sicily, Puglia or Bologna which one would you choose and why?Definitely Puglia. It is straightforward, and simple, I have always loved food with modest origins. Never complicating flavours or ingredients is what makes it my capital of comfort food.

2)Who would be your ideal cooking companion on a cooking holiday in Italy?
My Grandmother, she cooked for real, made everything, lived off the land, cooked on wood fires. Meals with her were Epic, and all being created in a glorified shoebox of a kitchen, and then there would usually be a food fight. Traveling with her searching for fresh fun food would be amazing!
3)What are your essential Italian cooking ingredients?Garlic
Olive oil
Veal, (all cuts)
And probably the most perfect of perfect vegetables, Rapini

4)I couldn’t cook without my…?My Chef’s knife, and my big misshapen wooden spoon, what Italian kitchen is complete without a spoon and knife?!

5)What do you do when you’re not in the kitchen?
Yoga, and spending time with the family, eating what I’ve made in the kitchen! But yoga makes the chaos of the kitchen peaceful, clears the mind and allows me to focus on the food.
6)What is the best thing about Italy?
The best thing about Italy is the people; they have it right, food, family, nap, fun, repeat. What’s not to like? That and their famous stubbornness, part of the reason the classic foods stay so pure.

7)Have you had any cooking disasters?
Yes. Making a meal for my then girlfriend, (now wife), and my brother. I made a fish in gravy with pesto and some bad cheese and tried to convince them it was great. I am not a very good actor, since then I have let the food speak for itself!

8)Please tell us what your favourite Italian Recipe is?
Veal Stracotto. Stracotto literally means overcooked, it is one of those dishes that you would slow cook all night or day and eat it the next day. The longer the better, it is typically, braised in fava beans, white onions, mushrooms garlic and lots of red wine, bigger the better, so Primitivo di Manduria is my choice.1 btl red wine
2 cup whole fava beans
2 cup button mushrooms halved
4 whole white onions chopped
1 whole veal leg, diced
1 whole garlic bulb, cleaned and quartered
Salt and pepper to taste
½ cup olive oil

Brown diced veal with onions and fava beans and garlic in olive oil, add mushrooms and red wine, slow cook at 250 degrees Celsius until wine is reduced by half, put on simmer and enjoy, oh and you have to drink a little wine while making it as well.

9)What’s your top tip for the perfect Italian meal?Wine, family, fresh ingredients, and simplicity, but most importantly KISS, (keep it simple stupid)

10)Where can we find out more?

Flavours offer cooking holidays to Puglia, with direct flights from London. We are now offering painting and Pilates holidays in Italy. If you would like more information, then please get in touch! T:+44(0)1313432500 W: E:

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