Italian Week in Brisbane

Opera, gnocchi, limocello and accordion music - it doesn't get much more Italian than this in Brisbane.  Throw in a cobbled laneway and a high profile Italian chef and it's la dolce vita.

Launching this year's Italian Week (May 23 - June 2) was an Italian Alfresco Feast cooked by a master of modern Italian cuisine, Stefano Manfredi, and served in a cobbled lane way. Or that was the plan - unfortunately unseasonal rain caused the event to be moved inside the Treasury Casino & Hotel but clever staging meant the move did not detract from the dinner.

Celebrating its fifth year, Italian Week offers an insight into the modern Italy and shares Italian culture and lifestyle.

Stefano Manfredi's menu showcased Italian olives and oils from several regions, gnocchi made to his mother's recipe (but never quite as good according to Stefano), achingly tender shoulder of lamb and a special 'street food' dessert from Western Tuscany that is eaten with your hands.
Stefano Manfredi chats with new member for Brisbane Central Robert Cavallucci and Treasury Casino and Hotel General Manager Geoff Hogg

I chatted with Stefano about his restaurant at The Star and the roof top garden where he grows cavello nero and other hard-to-get vegetable additions to the menu. Could Sydney's high rise buildings be an untapped resource for frustrated veggie farmers? A bird's eye view would be interesting.

Here's what we ate -

Olives from three different Italian regions -

Hand made grisini
Finely sliced raw fish dressed with lemon and extra virgin olive oil
Poached veal with tuna and caper sauce
Toasted ciabatta with mushrooms, parsley and garlic.
Pistillo Offida Pecorino 1020 (Region: Marche)
The famous gnocchi with a duck ragu
Ca Di Frara Pinot Nero DOC 2009 (Region: Lombardia)
Wood-grilled lamb shoulder, herbs, breadcrumbs.
La Ladra Barbera d'Asti Superiore DOC 2005 (Region: Piedmonte)
Chestnut crepes filled with sweet ricotta
Congratulations to Treasury Casino & Hotel General Manager Geoff Hogg and his team for pulling off the quick venue change with aplomb and a creating delightful evening.

Disclaimer: Ed+bK was a guest of the Treasury Casino & Hotel.