Prosecco brand collaborates with Italian Embassy

Prosecco brand Ca’ di Rajo has collaborated with the Italian Embassy for the launch of a cook book by the embassy’s head chef, Danilo Cortellini.

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Ca’ di Rajo is an independent winery in the Prosecco DOC Treviso region at Piave established in 1931, which produces a wide range of Prosecco from its estate-grown grapes, including the best-selling Prosecco Brut Ca’ di Rajo that was served at the launch, as well as a traditional Col Fondo Prosecco, a dry, unfiltered old-style sparkler made from Glera grapes called Lemoss. It is run by the third generation, a young team of brothers aged between 20 and 31 who are keen to put new energy into the family-run business.

Ca’ di Rajo’s export manager Marco Pozzi, said he was happy with the partnership, pointing to the family’s long tradition in producing Prosecco. “We are focussed on traditional winemaking, so we’ve were happy to support a chef who is taking Italian cuisine to a new high in the UK,” he said.

Cortellini, who was a finalist in the Masterchef Professionals in 2015, says his new cook book, 4 Grosvenor Square, provided a great opportunity to showcase not only his own cooking and the dishes from his native land, but also the good work done by the Italian embassy.

“Working here I’m representing Italian cooking in London. It is empowering, it has made me understand what we’re doing. It’s great to open the door on the menu of the Italian Embassy and offer an insight into what goes on here, through the perspective of the kitchen,” he said.

Guests as the reception were served a selection of bites from the book, including baccala’ mantecato with mais Corvino polenta, a traditional Venetian delicacy, creamy salt cod with black corn polenta, which Cortellini paired was Prosecco Brut Ca’ di Rajo.

“I think is a beautiful marriage between a tasty, fatty dish and a nice Prosecco with the right amount of acidity and also I cannot stress enough the fact that I really found that the bubbles of a Brut Prosecco help to clear your palate after a dish rich in oil,” he said.

The book, which is released ahead of the end of the current ambassador’s term, is laid out by occasion rather than being divided into traditional starters, mains and desserts. Cortellini said this was inspired by day-to-day life and menu at the embassy, which encompasses everything from business lunches to gala dinners, family meals to drinks receptions which he said could easily be adopted by home cooks.

Cortellini moved to the UK in 2010 after several years working in restaurants and kitchens across Italy. He worked with Alain Ducasse at the Dorchester and at Zafferano in Knightsbridge before being appointed head chef of the Italian embassy in 2012.

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