Thursday, June 17, 2010
Jack and I haven't eaten at Palladio (yet), the highly acclaimed restaurant that is attached to Barboursville Vineyards. The Executive Chef, Melissa Close Hart, has spent time all over the country cooking in Alabama, Colorado and San Francisco, where she learned to prepare exquisite Italian cuisine. She and her staff make an annual pilgrimage to Italy (mostly the northern region), where they participate in a week-long stage at various eateries. A three-time James Beard nominee, she is remarkably humble and seems to get great joy from her work.
Jack and I had the privilege of spending a few hours with Melissa and her latest intern from the New England Culinary Institute (Melissa is an alumna) at a pasta class offered on a night that the restaurant was closed. We learned how to prepare traditional pasta dough (2 1/2 cups of egg yolks!) and then we made delicious stuffed pastas with a lemon, mint ricotta and spring pea filling. After the class, we celebrated the fruits of our labor by trying out some of the pasta and sipping Barboursville wine. It was a great evening and I think we will definitely head back to Palladio for a meal sometime.