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Oliverio's Sorprendente: A little bit of Italy at the Avalon Hotel

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Recently I had the privilege of attending Oliverio's Sorprendente 2014 at Avalon Beverly Hills. This was the 2nd annual event put on by the Viceroy Hotel Group and the Avalon Beverly Hills featuring the Oliverio’s Chef Mirko Paderno. For those who love Italian food and are a wine enthusiast you might want to consider joining this get together next year.

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Situated around the shimmering lights of the pool at the Avalon Hotel, one found several stations devoted to Italian cookery. My favorite was the delicious Risotto with Truffles. The presentation for serving the Risotto was interesting as a large cheese wheel was hollowed out and used as a mixing bowl.

Santa Monica Seafood had an excellent assortment of shrimp, crab and scallops. The marinated scallops were to die for. They melted in your mouth.

There were two main wine stations featuring Malibu Wines and Southern Wine and Spirits. My favorite from Malibu Wines was Semler 2009 Syrah. I found it very balance and smooth. Southern Wine and Spirits presented four different wines. Of those I liked the Jean Luc Columbo 2012 Rosé the best.

If you are a cocktail fan there was an open cocktail bar. Mionetto also served their fabulous non-vintage Prosecco. I enjoy the flavors of almonds that are present in this Prosecco. If beer lover the event offered a unique take on this quaff. Milano served an Italian beer in a bottle reminiscent of Champagne.

What made the evening exciting was the cook-off competition between the Avalon’s Chef Mirko Paderno and Viceroy’s Snow Mass Chef Will Noland. Terroni’s Italian Chef Antonio Giordano, Food Journalist Lisa Luchesi and Actor Peter Mensah judged this Italian challenge. Both chefs wowed the audience with there culinary showmanship. They were given food and wine from the various purveyors, creating gourmet dishes using those ingredients. After dining on several courses, the judges declared Chef Mirko Paderno the winner.

For those who love creating Italian cuisine here are Chef Mirko’s winning recipes:

Alaskan Halibut “Crudo” Roll With A Cabernet Truffle Honey Reduction

4 slices of halibut

Bread crumbs
1 anchovy fillet
1 cup Cabernet
1 teaspoon truffle honey
1 tablespoon chopped parsley
Sea salt
Pepper
Olive Oil
Shaved Truffle

Chop the anchovy filet and set aside. Mix the breadcrumbs with the chopped anchovy filet, parsley, salt pepper and olive oil. Place the mixture on the slices of halibut to make 4 little rolls. In a saucepan, reduce the Cabernet and add truffle honey. To serve, place a spoonful of the wine reduction on a large plate and arrange the halibut rolls. Top with a touch of salt, pepper, and olive oil and finish with fresh shave truffle.

Bucatini "di Domenico's" with Fresh Crab Meat and Candied Tomatoes

Bucatini
Shallots
Olive Oil
Crab Meat
Cherry Tomatoes
Jack Daniel
Tomato Sauce
Salt & Pepper
Corn Meal (Polenta)
Beer

Cook the bucatini in hot salty water for about 10 to 12 minutes.
While the water is boiling, sauté olive oil, shallots, and the crabmeat in a medium pan. After about 5 minutes, add the cherry tomatoes and flambé with Jack Daniels. Add a spoon of tomato sauce, salt and pepper to the mixture. While waiting for the bucatini to finish cooking, mix the beer with the polenta and put in the oven to dry (2-5 minutes). After draining the bucatini, toss with the crab and candied tomato sauce and top with the cornmeal mixture.

All in all it was a fun evening under the stars at this boutique Beverly Hills Hotel. I must say I would love to return to experience first hand dining at Chef Mirko Paderno’s Oliverio Restaurant.

For more information:

Oliverio at the Avalon Hotel Beverly Hills

9400 West Olympic Blvd.
Beverly Hills
California 90212

310. 277. 5221

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