Tag Archives: Filippo Bartolotta

Martha’s Table and D.C. Central Kitchen Charity Event


Martha’s Table and D.C. Central Charity Event

by Filippo Bartolotta

Martha's Table Logo

I feel good! We have increased the donation of a 40% from last year: $140.00o to benefit Martha’s Table and D.C. Central Kitchen. And the overall spirit and participation was even higher!

What a great energy and how much love!
Sooooooo glad to be part of this. Our dinner last night with Roberto Donna
and Jeff Buben was a blast! Not only everyone had the chance to speak at
the table and to connect on the Martha's Table and DC Central Kitchen
issues but also the mood and the spirit were phenomenal and the matching
food and wine worked to perfection.
DC Central Kitchen
Although complex, this charity machine must be the most fun in the world!
I love the contrast between the super powerful international bonding and
cross-pollination ground and the very intimate nature of the final Sunday
Supper event, where only up to 30 guests per house share this experience.
This generates always new energy, new solutions to big problems!

Jan Buhrman, Joan Nathan, Filippo Bartolotta, Alice Waters, Christoper Lee
My self and my team at LeBaccanti, Italian Wine Merchants, our wine makers and food producers are nothing
but proud to be part of this Washington D.C. family.
Let's get to the diary.
Like always it all starts from Joan Nathan's home. We meet there to work, co-ordinate, cook, share and taste food.
From the head quarters everything moves. So on Saturday night we all go to Greg Nelson and Josè Cannigham for the SATURDAY NIGHT SIPS.
This two wonderful host live in an amazing house down town in D.C. and they are always very kind to offer their space for charity purposes.
But the best part of it is that they are totally committed to it. And so they run about preparing, dressing the tables and everything.
Benedetta and I get there in the afternoon to prepare our wines and foods.
We share the room with Graham Bartlett, Chef at Zengo. PS: Thank you for feeding us your great creations.
at 1830 the first guests turn up and by eight o'clock we have 250 people!
Everyone mingles and chats about the charity, nutrition issues, food and wine.
I believe with Italy at Your Table this year I got the best Fine Wine and Food Selection ever, and great artisan pieces.
The Italy at Your Table Selection is available at Italian Wine Merchants. Collectors may purchase just a few bottles or the full ItalyatYourTable case of: Bellavista, Graziano Pra, Romano Dal Forno, Luciano Sandrone, Proprietà Sperino, Castello di Romitorio, Isole e Olena, Fattoria delle Ripalte, Fontodi, Feudi di San Gregorio, Petra and Arnaldo Caprai; then Modica chocolate Bonajuto, the Gran Deposito Aceto Balsamico Giuseppe Giusti and Galleria Frilli art works.
Alice Waters and Filippo Bartolotta
Alice Waters and Josè Andres turn up at our wine and food station to try Italy at Your Table selection.
I loved it as they made it their room for a good part of the evening.
Josè is thrilled by our wines and seems to be liking also the Bonajuto's Modica chocolate and the Giusti Balsamic vinegar.

Josè Andres and Filippo Bartolotta
Although hectic the Saturday Night Sips is maybe the most buzzing part of this charity and it helps getting more and more people exposed to the issues of the charity and to the great products and dishes brought to talk about this.
The topic moment of the evening though is without doubts the speeches of the souls and minds of this great endeavor:
Joan Nathan, Alice Waters, Josè Andres.
They talk and inspire everyone, they stand and address issues that really counts and they give a purpose to all the efforts behind the charities.

Robert Egger
I also appreciated a lot the unfiltered presentation of the founder of D.C. Central -Robert Egger who started this charity 20 years ago using the over 20 tons of food that would go to waste to prepare 4.000 meals a day, everyday!!!
It's late at night and for us time to go to bed as in the morning we have a Radio Show to attend: The Foodie and the Beast on Federalnewsradio 1500 AM, with Nycci and David
I met this lovely couple last year during the Sips but I couldn't go on-air as I had to go to Kansas City for an Italy at your Table event with Gina & Kevin!
This year Gina and Kevin are going for another round of Italy at Your Table and I look forward to it!
Nycci and David love Italy and...I can tell...they love their Radio Show...the best in town

Nycci Nellis
I spent the whole morning with them and other guests among them Aviva Goldber of The Six O'Clock Scrable.
Aviva came with her son Salomn to inspire ideas for quick and healthy dinners.  Watch this space as Aviva and I will try to combine some Italian Insights to her great preparations!
I can't believe I was given the chance to open Italy at Your Table Wine and Foods throughout the show, but it was great.
The best part? When I was able to shave some Bonajuto's Modica Chocolate and Giusti Balsamic Vinegar on the super delicious Pink Berry Yogurt on Air with President Ron Graves calling form California! Then matching it with our soft and balance wines together with Ellen Grey from Equinox!
Finished the Radio Show we are off to deliver wines to five remaining houses or the Sunday Suppers.
I love this part, although not always easy for an Italian driving around D.C. I mean Downtown even a kid can do it as the streets go from 1 to 30 and A to Z!
Then if you get stuck in Chevy Chase it's like being in a forrest packed with beautiful fairy tale wooden homes, but the street can look pretty similar!
In the end we did it. We also managed to introduced the wines to our last chefs, among which:
Todd Grey from Equinox and Scott Drewno from Wolfgang Puck's Resors, cooking at the Benton's.
Then Fabio Trabocchi from Fiola Restaurant and my friend Nick Wisemann from Roadside organics, cooking at the Kelly's
Fabio Trabocchi
Finally we made it to our "home" at the Fabry/Klein house!
Joan and Mike had me as a guest also last year and they have being all the more wonderful this time.
Quite proudly I managed to get 7/10 of Mike's jokes, the rests remain a big mystery:)
We go straight to prepare the wines.
Liz, Laura and Tim volunteering for the eveniging...THANKS
The two chefs of the evening were Robeto Donna from Galileo III and Jeff Buben from Vidalia.
This two great master Chefs were really cool! At first I though I was gonna get in trouble as they were seriously engaged by the preparations.
Then they see what kind of wines ad foods I brought with me and they begun to be more friendly. By the end of the night I was opening my wines while they were finishing off their dishes!
Roberto and Jeff have being competing all night with roberto saying the Jeff was stealing Italian recipes from him and turn them into french dishes:))
Jeff was telling Roberto to stay away from his dishes as he was scared Roberto was going to sabotage his creations!

Jeff Buben and Roberto Donna
What a night!
I finally managed to take out of the Kitchen and everyone applauded to the two stars of the evening: well deserved.
On a last note I have to say how impressive the matching food and wine went considering that we designed it separated by the big Ocean!
People loved the pairing and listening to the stories of our wine makers, food producers and artisans that I was reporting during the dinner.
Incredible as it might sound I discovered that the Frilli Gallery from Florence -one of Italy at Your Table supporter- made a few statues on the Washington Arlington Bridge.
This helped a lot for the guest to enjoy and appreciate Michelangelo's Bacchus made by the gallery over a replica from the original Pietro da Barga in the 16th Century!
Thanks everyone for the great support!

Quince Mike Tusk and Benedetta Vitali get together in San Francisco with Italy at Your Table


Quince Mike Tusk and Benedetta Vitali get together in San Francisco with Italy at Your Table

by Filippo Bartolotta

The events in San Francisco started off in one of the most important restaurants of the West Coast: Quince by chef Mike Tusk. Mike is a reserved yet very welcoming and open to working with anyone with passion for their work. Benedetta Vitali has a very high opinion of him and his groups of chefs.

As you might know Mike has hired David Lynch to run the wine show and this is making Quince an even more important destination.The restaurant is located near the Financial district in a very beautiful brick building. The inside is very spacious and elegant and the kitchen is all state of the art technology.

It was funny to see Claudio from Boccadama Florence.

We looked at each other and smiled about catching up with an old home town acquaintance from 10 years ago. We get straight to business and prepare all the wines while Benedetta and Mike talk about the last details.

In a blink of an eye it is time to greet the guests for Benedetta’s cooking course.

Everyone blends in and Benedetta kicks off with her usual calm, relaxed and professional style!

I give the guests a glass of the refreshing and citrus driven Cesani Vernaccia di Sangimignano 2008 and our cooks move along to next dish.

Bene while teaching how to make Seppie Inzimino -traditional Tuscan red sauce and spinach squid- is actually putting together bits and pieces for the real dinner, of course with Mike and his crew!

Time for tasting the menu and a coffee break: come on Benedetta…you can do it!

While Benedetta was conducting her class David Lynch, Claudio and I were making sure the wines were all set together with the Prosciutto di Parma nibbles and Malpighi balsamic Vinegar.

Our Zibibbo/Quince brand newly-trained cooks are now ready for the Italy at Your Table wine journey.

All of our labels are displayed on the bar, the whole restaurant is booked exclusively for this event. It’s show time for the wines.

This time we begin with Trento Brut Perlè Lunelli-Ferrari. Classically a lot of people ask if it’s Champagne. I start my evening therefore introducing possibly Italy’s most famous traditional method Sparkling Wine to our 40 guests.

This wine is served with the Broccoli and cauliflower sformato and the Chicken liver patè. I love this wine for its serious body and intensity but also very pleasant drinkability and fine mouse.

Among the wines which we hadn’t showcase till now is the very dense and black driven fruit Nobile di Montepulciano 2006 from Bindella; the powerful smooth and extractive Castello di Banfi Brunello di Montalcino Poggio alle Mura 2004, the very mineral and elegant Barbaresco Punset Campoquadro 2001 and the very austere tar and roses Barolo Pernice 2005 of Elvio Cogno everyone finished off with our usual Aleatico form Melettic Cavallari.

The Menu

The other Wines served for dinner



Lessona, Proprietà Sperino 2005 (Piemonte)

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broccoli di ciccio and prosciutto

“Cepparello,” Isole e Olena 2006 (Toscana)

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cardoon and taleggio

Barolo “Vigna Elena,” Elvio Cogno 2004 (Piemonte)

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blood orange and pear

San Leonardo 2004 (Trentino) / Brunello di Montalcino, Terralsole 2004 (Toscana)

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slow braised squid

“Montevetrano,” Imparato 2006 (Campania)

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Alice Waters and Filippo Bartolotta

A terrific event, fabulous dishes, and an unsurpassable wine list. This is what the remarkable team of outstanding celebrity chefs and the Italian wine expert Filippo Bartolotta offered to the many Vip guests at the fundraising events put on by Alice Waters, Jose Andres and Joan Nathan in Washington on Sunday, January 24th.

The dinners at $500 per person benefit D.C. Central Kitchen and Martha’s Table. Their efforts are directed at feeding the needy by using locally-sourced ingredients.

For this very special occasion, Filippo Bartolotta selected thirty-five top-rated, environmentally conscientious and in some cases all-organic wineries. Fine wines from these estates were  paired with unforgettablemenus prepared by America’s top sustainable chefs, among whom were Cathal Armstrong from Restaurant Eve, Todd Gray from Equinox, Jamie Leeds from Hank’s Oyster Bar, Brian McBride from Blue Duck Tavern and Nora Pouillon from Nora, Fabio Trabocchi from Four Seasons, and of course Alice Waters from Chez Panisse.

Chef Medina and Filippo Bartolotta pairing wines with menu

The wine list? Unbeatable: in effect, a showcase of world-class traditional Italian wines that have deep roots in Italian history and culture: Latium’s Amarone; Barolos of Cogno, Fratelli Revello, Gigi Rosso, Mauro Molino, Massolino; Punset’sBarbaresco; Brunello di Montalcino from Castello di Banfi, Col d’Orcia, Tassi, Tenuta delle Ripalte, Tenute Friggiali, Tenute Nardi, Terre al Sole and Tornesi; Chianti Classico of Castell’in Villa, Castello di Monsanto, Cecchi, Fattoria di Valiano, Fontodi, Isole e Olena and Solatione; Vino Nobile di Montepulciano of Bindella and Boscarelli; Vernaccia di San Gimignano from Cesani, Tenute Guicciardini Strozzi, Il Palagione, Panizzi; the Sagrantino di Montefalco of Arnaldo Caprai; the Montecucco Rosso Riserva of Collemassari, and the very famous Flaccianello, Grattamacco, Cepparello, Montevetrano and San Leonardo. As a welcome? The Italian bubbly of Ferrari-Lunelli of course . . . and as a farewell the rare Aleatico of Tenuta delle Ripalte – Meletti Cavallari.

Wolf Blitzer, Allan Gerson, Greg Nelson and Filippo Bartolotta

Wolf Blitzer, Allan Gerson, actor David Henry Gerson and Filippo Bartolotta
Discussing wine paring

In addition to Filippo Bartolotta’s wine selection, guest savoured two of Italy’s most traditional and deeply routed food products: Prosciutto di Parma DOP and Traditional Balsamic Vinegar from Modena.

Prosciutto di Parma being sliced for menu

The team of top chefs was invited for a visit to the White House accompanied by Chefs Sam Kass and Christeta Comeford. Alice Waters, who had an important role in Michelle Obama’s choice of turning the White House garden in to an organic green garden, of course led the team. The group  also discussed sustainability, food quality, traceability of products, and the economical and social aspects of food production. Read more about Filippo Bartolotta’s visit to the White House on the Obama Foodorama blog http://obamafoodorama.blogspot.com/2010/02/alice-waters-other-chefs-tour-white.html

Alice waters and Filippo Bartolotta before the visit to the White House

Christeta Comeford and Filippo Bartolotta

Chef Medina preparing menu

Nicolas Stefanelli and Filippo Bartolotta pairing wines with menu

The Washington event is one of the stops of the “Italy at your Table” road show organized by Le Baccanti with Chef Benedetta Vitali from the acclaimed Zibibbo restaurant and Filippo Bartolotta.





A trip to Italy featuring sustainable

food and wine

Benedetta Vitali and Filippo Bartolotta, Italian masters in cooking and wine respectively, are coming to America and bringing with them the Italian culture of fresh local ingredients, traditional foods, seasonal eating and pairing of healthy food with good wine. They will be hosting events throughout the month of February to highlight Italy as THE place to go to experience enogastronomic travel and to learn about healthful sustainable eating. You will spend the evening immersed in Italian food and wine culture with a slideshow, Italian music and tons of tips for planning your next trip to Italy. The knowledgeable and entertaining duo will serve up fresh, authentic Tuscan cooking classes accompanied by hand- selected fine Italian wines, and take you on a journey to Italy without ever leaving the premises.

Each event will be tailor-made and will include either a cooking demonstration or hands-on cooking class. The cooking portion will highlight simple, delicious dishes using local, fresh ingredients. The wine portion will include wine tasting games and activities as well as more traditional wine tasting know-how and information about organic and biodynamic wines in Italy.

The festive atmosphere will be complete as your hosts take you on a virtual vacation to Italy, and help you to start planning a visit to the undisputed king of food and wine culture. What better way to get inspired for your next vacation than to hear about a spectacular biodynamic vineyard in the Chianti or a restaurant in Sicily that serves up the freshest catch of the day.

Make a Reservation!

Let us know if you are ready to discover authentic Italy by creating fresh tagliatelle pasta with ragù, swirling your glass of Vernaccia di San Gimigniano, and taking a guess at the definition of the word “umami.” Events will be offered during the month of February on the East and West Coast. They will be booked on a first come, first serve basis so please contact ….. for more information today.

Filippo Bartolotta is a wine journalist, writing for major European and American wine publications such as Decanter Magazine and serving as the editor for the bestselling L’Espresso Italian Wine Guide (English version). He also teaches about wine at the prestigious University of Siena and hosts countless wine events each year in Italy and abroad. His unique, entertaining style creates the ideal environment for anyone to fall in love with wine.

Benedetta Vitali

is a chef and owner of the renowned Trattoria Zibibbo in her native Florence. Zibibbo has received high prise for its authentic Tuscan flavors in the NY Times, Gourmet magazine, Food and Wine and in all major Italian restaurant guides. Benedetta is also a published cookbook author. She loves to host cooking classes and share her knowledge of the Tuscan kitchen with others, always emphasizing fresh and locally purchased ingredients.


Prosciutto di Parma Dop of the Prosciutto di Parma Consortium

Traditional Balsamic Vinegar from Modena Malpighi

Pasolini Dall’Onda Laudemio Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Arnaldo Caprai



Bruno Giacosa

Castell’in Villa

Castello di Banfi

Castello di Monsanto




Col d’Orcia


Guicciardini Storzzi

Fattoria di Valiano


Fratelli Revello

Gigi Rosso


Il Palagione

Isole e Olena



Mauro Molino







Tenuta delle Ripalte

Tenute Friggiali

Tenute Nardi

Tenute San Leonardo