Italian Home-style Food With Semplice Cooking

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MELBOURNE | Semplice is one of the newest “private chef” type services to have popped up in Melbourne and aims to differentiate itself from the crowd by focusing on the end-to-end experience, with an element of interactivity.

Italian-born Michele Scovotto moved to Melbourne with his girlfriend in February this year and through Semplice he aims to share his love and passion of Italian food and culture. We were invited to a dinner at the home of Melbourne’s Prosecco Queen, Mel Brauer, along with Dave from The World Loves Melbourne, and had high expectations for a night of good food, drink and company.

With Semplice you are given the choice between a Naples inspired menu or a Roman one, and throughout the night Michele entertains while cooking and it’s hard not to get into the spirit given his bubbly, chatty personality. Semplice means “simple” in Italian and the food that Michele cooks is simple, home-style cooking at heart. Don’t hire Michele if you want a fancy dinner, as the Semplice experience is all about enjoying a typical Italian family meal. In fact, all of the food that Michele cooks at Semplice dinners uses recipes passed down from his nonna.

We all opted for the Neapolitan menu and when we arrived Michele was in the kitchen making gnocchi from scratch. Putting our Prosecco down for a moment, we were given the chance to hand roll some pillows of potato and flour goodness ourselves, using dough that Michele had made up a few moments earlier. It was a fun and interactive experience that set us up for the night ahead.

We hung around the kitchen for a while, chatting with Michele and his girlfriend, watching them cook (and clean as they went) and prepare our meal. We soon sat at the dinner table to start eating – and Michele served us a antipasto platter full of goodies. It was hard to resist filling up on the assortment of bruschetta pomodoro e basilico, Prosciutto di Parma wrapped Grissini breadsticks, Salame Napoli and Parmigiano Reggiano with honey – it was all so good, and a perfect example of how the best Italian food is simple and produce driven. Even better, Mel had just the right Prosecco to pair with everything.

Next was the gnocchi, or gnocchi alla Sorrentina to be preceise. It was served with a sauce of pomodoro, basilico and mozzarella, and Michele wasn’t shy when it came to throwing in the mozzerella. The dish was a gooey, saucey, umami laden delight. Simple and delicious.

To finish was a giant tray of tiramisú Savioardi, filled with layers of mascaropone cream, caffé and cacao powder. Tiramisú is a dessert that needs little introduction, and Michele’s version is fantastic. We were all given big spoons and ate out of the tray, and were joined by Michele and his girlfriend who had cleaned up the kitchen and dishes by this stage and deserved a Prosecco and some dessert themselves.

Michele is happy to share his recipes, so not only do you get to enjoy some fantastic food, you also get recipes, tips and tricks to help you cook up your own Italian feast in the future. Perfetto! And if you need some great Italian or local (but Italian inspired) Prosecco or wine, do make sure to check out the Prosecco Queen website, as Mel has a wine to suit every dish and occasion.

Semplice offers a fantastic, fun, delicious experience that anyone can enjoy, for between $50-70 per head. Highly recommended, and you definitely won’t go hungry.

Semplice Cooking

Telephone: 0406 494 937
E-mail: n/a
Website

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Paul
Paul
Paul founded The City Lane back in 2009 as a place to share photos of his travels around Europe with friends and family. The City Lane might have changed quite a lot since those early days but one thing that’s remained constant is Paul’s passion for food, travel and culture, and a desire to photograph and write about his experiences. Paul has a strong inquisitive nature that drives him to look beneath the surface in order to discover what really makes a city and its people tick, and what better way to do this than over a good meal or drink, with a city’s locals, at places that people who live in that city actually frequent. Paul is also a co-host of The Brunswick Beer Collective, a podcast that may or may not actually be about beer.

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