ROMANCE IN THE CITY, AN ODE TO FIRENZE.

Firenze . . . or Florence . . . The city of romance, or at least it was for us.  

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In 1988 Lino and I just happened to land in the same city, working in the same restaurant - Ristorante Enoteca Pinchiorri! Google it, it’s something else, and certainly worthy of their three Michelin stars, and probably requires something of a second mortgage to dine there.

I guess it gives an inkling as to where Lino and I started, and our aspirations to do what we do here in Kibworth with a little extra style and a bit of a leaning towards excellence. 

When we started out, we sought to bring quality and something really special to what we did, whilst still remaining approachable.  In Firenze we were thought to be reaching for those Michelin stars, but really all we were doing was what we loved.

 
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The Boboli Gardens in Kibworth (not the real ones in Firenze) kicked off in 2007 and brought the opportunity to present a more casual affair while still holding on to the standards on which we have built our reputation.  Homemade pizza dough, made fresh every morning in the Boboli kitchens, and all dishes made from scratch with the best ingredients we can lay our hands on.

 
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By 2013, it was time for something completely different, so we set sail and launched The Lighthouse. 

Lino’s first job was in Bordighera on the Ligurian coastline and he has always had a passion for the preparation and cooking of seafood, so when it was time for a change a seafood restaurant seemed like a good choice.

Once again, we endeavour to set our standards high and yet accessible to all.  Fish and Chips on one table, Lobster Spaghetti on the next!!!  What could be better!

But, as we reflect on 20 years in The Kibworths, we remember it all started in Firenze in 1988, with a look across a hot kitchen, with a kiss, and as we celebrate 20 years in Kibworth, we still hold Firenze close in our hearts.

 

Ciao for now!

 Sarah x

 


20TH ANNIVERSARY QUIZ

Q5 Which Gardens in Florence did Lino and Sarah eat ice cream together.

Just answer in the comments below and we’ll enter you into our prize draw celebrating our 20th anniversary!  (Please be sure to put your email address on the comment form so that we can contact you if you’re one of our lucky winners)

Look out for other 20th anniversary quiz questions on our future blog posts.  Prize draw winners to be announced on 1st January 2020.

 

 

Posted on August 16, 2019 .

Crème de cassis… a Right Royally British Version!

Kir Royale? Don’t mind if I do!!!!

But, hold up, why does it need be French?

In a time when we are so concerned about keeping it local and reducing our carbon footprints, we have endeavoured, even whilst embracing our equally important Italian heritage, to source more local produce where we can.

White Heron Cassis is the fine produce of a farm nestled in the rolling hills of Herefordshire and there you will find a tiny blackcurrant, rarely seen and little known. Carefully harvested under the summer sun, fermented with champagne yeast and blended with a tiny touch of vodka and a little sugar, they are making a rich, fruity and divine cassis . . . a British Cassis if you please!

The Whittern Estate is an historic farm with a passion for the contemporary as well as their time‑honoured traditions, in fact, 140 years of passion.  The farm has grown from traditional arable farming into the more careful cultivation of the blackcurrants that are transformed into the uniquely sultry flavour profile of British Cassis.

Whittern derives its name from the White Ern, or White Heron . . . hence the name of the cassis.  These iconic birds, otherwise known as white egrets, used to breed at The Whittern.  Unfortunately, they are now a scarcity and rarely seen in the area, but they are something of a symbol of the natural environment that the blackcurrants are grown in, so it seemed fitting for them to name their company and their cassis after these elegant and sophisticated creatures.

For us?  It makes a mighty fine Kir or Kir Royale . . . and it’s terribly good in a summer berry compote too . . . also, delicious with Panna Cotta!  And we get to support a like-minded and family run farm, not so local to Kibworth, but of our green and pleasant land

 Ciao for now!

Sarah x

 20TH ANNIVERSARY QUIZ

Q4  What’s the difference between Kir and Kir Royale?

Just answer in the comments below and we’ll enter you into our prize draw celebrating our 20th anniversary!  (Please be sure to put your email address on your comment so that we can contact you if you’re one of our lucky winners)

Look out for other 20th anniversary quiz questions on our future blog posts.  Prize draw winners to be announced on 1st January 2020.

 

Thanks a lotta for the lovely panna cotta!

We alluded to this favourite dish and all-time feature on all our menus over the past 20 years in our Favourite Foods Blog . . . but we decided that a mention simply wasn’t enough!

Lino’s panna cotta was causing a sensation even before we came to Kibworth; back at Welford Place which we opened in 1991, it was always received with open arms . . . or should I say open mouths!!!

In Firenze days we often went for the obscure: a liquorice panna cotta, coconut panna cotta with an oh so bitter dark chocolate sorbet with just a touch of chilli, rose water panna cotta with our own Turkish delight . . . the list goes on . . . we even did a savoury panna cotta once but we didn’t want to confuse people so we called it parmesan cream!  We have served it in a mould, out of a mould, tiny cutesy size, and we did a trifle bowl size once.

How often have our customers said to me, “I have eaten panna cotta all over the world and never had one as good as the ones you serve”????

I have pondered what makes ours so special?  And why do others find it difficult to get right?  I guess it’s the fine balance of the ingredients, too much sugar. . . too sweet, not enough sugar . . . not sweet enough . . . and adjusting the basic recipe to suit the extra ingredients that you might add to create something a bit different . How can something which is essentially fully loaded with cream be so light? (Panna Cotta, literally means cooked cream)

The balance of gelatin is critical, not enough and we have a whole runaway affair, too much and it’s something closer to rubber ball . . . my mum and I had an hilarious meal once when we encountered such a panna cotta, so rubbery we could barely get our spoon through it!

So, since 1999 there has always been a panna cotta in one guise or another on all our menus . . . big hint for the answer to Question 1 of our Anniversary Quiz by the way!

We hope that you are a fan of these sweet treats and enjoy the variations on the theme, I wonder if you have a favourite?

Ciao for now!

Sarah x

20TH ANNIVERSARY QUIZ

Question 3: Which ingredient in panna cotta stops it from being vegetarian?

Just answer in the comments below and we’ll enter you into our prize draw celebrating our 20th anniversary! (Please be sure to put your email address on your comment so that we can contact you if you’re one of our lucky winners)

Look out for other 20th anniversary quiz questions on our future blog posts.  Prize draw winners to be announced on 1st January 2020.

Posted on July 22, 2019 .