The 3rd edition of Celebrity Guest Chef at Sweet Poppy brought to Bangkok Chef Massimo Mele from Tasmania for only one night. And we were very proud to have the opportunity to have winemaker and owner Frank DiGiorgio of DiGiorgio wines from Coonawarra, South Australia, attending this event and presenting his wine. Both Australian born but with Italy in their blood, Massimo and Frank combined the outstanding quality of the food with the superb balance and elegance of the wines, in a 5 course menu with wine pairing that had a huge success among the noisy and excited crowd of Nichada Thani.
The night started with a bubbly DiGiorgio Lucindale Sparkling Pinot Noir Chardonnay NV, where the Pinot gives a nice salmon tint and the Chardonnay excellent structure. A very versatile wine, almost impossible to stop to only one glass.
Once seated, the first course was served and the matching of the tuna tartare over a crostini with goats curd, chili and lemon crostini with DiGiorgio Frank Sauvignon Blanc Semillon Chardonnay 2018 was simply perfect: the acidity of the lemon and the freshness of the tuna found a great partner in this crisp and young white blend from Limestone Coast.
For the second course, we considered that the Duck breast with sage, pancetta, sweet and sour eggplant, sherry caramel and almond sauce would perform better with a Pinot Noir. And that’s why Red Claw Pinot Noir 2018 was also present at the table. Sorry Frank, we know it is not your wine but we were happy to see that you have approved the pairing. Grazie!
And finally a touch of Italy: Massimo spent the whole day before this dinner in making and rolling the handmade ricotta “cavatelli” in spicy broth made from local river prawns, with garlic, tomatoes, basil and crunchy gremolata. Here the elegance and the smooth tannin of DiGiorgio Coonawarra Cabernet Sauvignon 2015 combined beautifully with the acidity of the tomatoes and the spiciness was washed down in great style. Excellent pairing and super tasty pasta!
But probably the best pairing was the main course, in a “crescendo” that made all the customers really satisfied. The slow cooked beef sirloin with potato puree, confit mushrooms puffed rice and water spinach was served with DiGiorgio Coonawarra Shiraz 2015 and you could feel how a great Shiraz, especially this lighter and more elegant version than a typical Barossa Valley Shiraz, can be unbeatable together with a good piece of meat. A secure and total success.
Many people had still their Shiraz in their glass when the yogurt with honey parfait, marshmallow and passion fruit custard was served together with the sweet DiGiorgio Lucindale Botrytis Semillon 2018: gold liquid, not extremely sweet and very fresh in its 2018 vintage. Nice final touch from Frank, that brought these bottles directly from Australia for this event.
A huge thanks in the end to the amazing job and excellent service that Sweet Poppy provided; to the excellent food that Massimo Mele cooked for us; to the generosity and availability of Frank DI Giorgio; to the media support from Jamie Henshall of TNM Creative Media; and to all the cool and exciting people that was present to this dinner. We can’t wait to discover what they are cooking up for the next event.
A small gallery of the night (credit to @tnmcreativemedia.com):