The inspiration was to create traditional meals which reminded me of my childhood in Bologna; each with its own unique story; an occasion which would make me think back and say: “I remember” or “Amarcord”.
The mother of my wife, Valeria, eventually came to train us and our staff. She taught us to taste everything we were making saying: “If you do not taste, how are you going to know what is good?”
Why? This is the story: More than 200 years ago in the surroundings of Bologna one evening a coach stopped in front of a simple lodge. A beautiful lady climbed out and asked the host: “Can I please have something to eat and can you host me for the night? I am exhausted.”
The man could not believe his eyes. He agreed of course and quickly prepared a meal. After the meal he showed the lady to her room and said:”Good night”. After the door closed the host could not resist peeping through the key hole while the lady inside undressed for the night. Due to the size of the key hole, he could not see much except for her belly button. This was enough though for him to be inspired to create a meal!
He went to the kitchen and found the following ingredients: Parma ham, mortadella, parmesan cheese and chicken breast which he used to prepare a filling for a special pasta that he made and called: Tortellino.