Gino D’Acampo’s Italian Coastal Escape!
Fantastico! Bellisimo! I enjoyed every twinkling minute of Gino D’Acampo’s zany, picaresque, exuberant, culinary adventure on Gino’s Italian Coastal Escape. It’s an ode to slow fast food. There’s a dash of the Italian Jamie Oliver laced with the legendary Keith Floyd about Gino. He takes the mystery out of cooking great slow food, democratises it and shares the same zeal for authentic ingredients – bravo!
Culinary Bliss for Food Lovers
Watching him rise at dawn to visit the ancient food market in Venice before the rest of the world wakes up, is a moment of nirvana for the serious foodie. Gino is in search for the right ingredients to make a classic crab linguini with fire red tomatoes, glistening pink-flecked white crab and juicy black olives from Liguria. Food is something to get excited about, to cross oceans for… What foodie hasn’t crossed town in search of the one culinary ingredient to make a dish memorable for someone we love?
I defy anyone not to get excited by the plump whicker baskets, piled high, with the freshest local seafood from the Adriatic and rainbow-hued tomatoes looking like sweeties, and not a whiff of plastic in site. Watch it on the ITV Hub.
This is real food. This is what cooking, eating and sharing food is all about. Slow food you can smell and squeeze and touch, talk about and get excited about. Not sad food shipped halfway around the world, entombed in plastic, after any number of Frankenstein interventions. And the light does look intoxicating on the Grand Canal.
The Secret to Great Pasta
We learn that the secret to great pasta is not to overcook the ingredients, and to tip the pasta into the sauce to bring out the flavours rather than emptying the sauce into the pasta. A simple, brilliant tip and one I will never forget. Fantastico! Do I mind that Gino is a little over the top? Not at all! Food should evoke passion. This is what Gino communicates with fizzing flair and a charismatic sense of fun as he cooks his way through Venice, and then on to the UNESCO towns of Ravenna and San Marino, the Conero Riviera, and then to the remote islands of Tremiti – known as the pearls of the Adriatic – where our culinary crusader goes diving to see abundant healthy coral, ancient Roman shipwrecks and an abundance of local fruits, herbs, and vegetables.
Of course, the locations are beguiling, wish you were here postcards…. who wouldn’t want to cook pasta as princely gondoliers glide by? Or dip bright fruits in chocolate for the couple who grow vines on top of a mountain hugging the coast, whilst Gino coos over their bambino. It certainly helps to get the viewer salivating, but that isn’t what we remember.
What we remember are his tips on how to cook pasta to perfection. How to ensure it is just al dente, and why flat leaf parsley is so superior to curly leaf parsley.
Gino succeeds in giving us an authentic glimpse into the true flavours of Italian culture, its food, and its people, with a dash of art and history thrown in, while he demonstrates with great flair and confidence how to cook simple and sublime, great Italian food to exclaim over – Bellissimo! Mama Mia! I like a man with a crazy, life-affirming passion for real slow food. Will you marry me Gino?
Watch Gino’s Italian Coastal Escape on the ITV Hub. There will be more episodes in December.