Think of Tuscan cuisine, and immediately platters full of vibrant, sun-kissed produce and bountiful plates of pasta usually spring to mind. But few can forget that Tuscany also specialises in meat and is home to that mightiest of juicy, thick-cut steaks: the bistecca alla fiorentina, Tuscany’s version of a Porterhouse steak from the prized Chianina breed of cattle.
Visitors to Tuscany who are serious about their gastronomy often make a visit to Dario Cecchini one of their first stops in the region: The legendary butcher from Panizano village in Chianti has been in the business for over four decades and is widely known as a master of nose-to-tail butchery. While his eponymous butcher shop and adjoining restaurants sees foodies flocking from all over the world, Hongkongers will be able to get a taste of the legendary dishes next month without ever having to leave the city, as Cecchini returns for the third time as a visiting guest chef at Umberto Bombana’s CIAK – In The Kitchen.
From 8–9 June, Bombana once again invites Cecchini to showcase his all-time signature dishes in the Italian trattoria, from Chianti-style steak tartare to boiled beef and vegetables, and of course, impressive Fiorentina T-bone steaks prepared with utmost precision and flair. Embodying the essence of Tuscan cuisine, each dish is meant to embrace the spirit of family-style dining, with the premium cuts showing off Cecchini’s talented (and theatrical) knife work and his vast knowledge of butchery passed down through many generations.
To celebrate his third visit to CIAK, Cecchini will also introduce three new dishes: pork shoulder with fennel pollen, roast lamb with Pecorino cheese, and a Chianti-style pulled pork. To top off the experience, Cecchini is once again partnering with Fontodi Estate, which produces champion wines in the heart of Chianti. Along with the prized cuts of beef, Cecchini will be bringing to CIAK five organic wine labels from the renowned Tuscan producer, including the special Sangiovese “Dino” BIO Colli Toscana Centrale IGT 2014, which is fermented and matured in the wine maker’s ancient terracotta containers.
Whether you want to treat yourself to a nice steak dinner or have planned a romantic date night, you’ll want to get your bookings in early to take advantage of this nose-to-tail dinner that’s an homage to all things meat. With the convivial atmosphere of the trattoria setting the mood, the two-night butcher’s extravaganza is sure to be a celebratory event embracing the true spirit of Tuscan’s deep-rooted food traditions.
“The Butcher’s Journey” is available from 8–9 June, priced at HK$1,380 plus 10% surcharge per person; email firstname.lastname@example.org for reservations.