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Sun dried Tomatoes

Tomato Passata sauce, part 1

Tomato Passata sauce, part 2

Hey presto , I had it !

Sea bass with curry,light pesto and fresh vegetables.Picture by Nick Cornish


Ok  , I wish I could claim to be the creator of theses amazingly beautiful  dishes you can see here , but unfortunately I am not . They are the work of head chef Antonio Strammiello from the Castello di Fighine restaurant in the tiny hamlet of Fighine …. However I did get the chance to try them this very lunchtime.

A few weeks ago Nick was called by the Sunday Times newspaper in London to go and photograph an isolated hamlet called Fighine in the Tuscan hills . Not only was there the hamlet but also a castle , all of which had been lovingly restored by a London-based couple,  Joy and Max Ulfane .


Fighine Village in Tuscany

Fighine Village in Tuscany


On returning from this assignment , he was very excited . Not only was it an incredibly beautiful place but there was also a little restaurant , managed by an  acclaimed three Michelin Stars Chef Heinz Beck . Plus , apart from being right on our doorstep ,  it was very fairly priced and within our meager budget.


Head chef Antonio Strammiello from the Castello di Fighine restaurant.


Castello di Fighine restaurant , managed by Chef Heinz Beck

Castello di Fighine restaurant , managed by Chef Heinz Beck


Fantastico ! Perhaps now we could get to go out for an evening . Nick is always saying there’s no point going out to eat when we can eat just as well at home . A very nice sentiment , but not much fun for me .

Anyway , he wanted me to see this place so much that one Sunday morning we went by car to San Casciano dei Bagni and then ran the rest of the way to Fighine , a distance of around 10 km .  All very nice and healthy ,but I couldn’t very well go into the restaurant in my sweaty track suite .

I needed an occasion , to convince Nick that we should perhaps drive all the way to Fighine, in our evening cloths and actually eat at the restaurant …. Hey presto , I had it , our 16th wedding anniversary .

So , today was the day .  Showered and fresh and not wearing the usual outfit I have on to work in the vegetable patch , we headed off.

I’m not going to go on and on about how wonderful everything was ( and believe me it really was). Anyway, I’m sure you can tell that just by looking at the pictures  . Instead I’m going to say a really big thank you to Head chef Antonio and his team for making our anniversary lunch so unforgettable….

Panzanella with sheep ricotta cheese and lemon. Picture by Nick Cornish


Rabbit terrine with mediterranean vegetables. Picture by Nick Cornish


Ravioli filled with duck and porcini mushrooms with Grana Padano sauce and black truffle. Picture by Nick Cornish


Bosco. Picture by Nick Cornish


Head chef Antonio Strammiello



Now , I’ve put a nice bottle of wine in the fridge and am going to start to plan our special evening meal . Perhaps if I just do a plate of egg and chips ,Nick might be more inclined to go out once in a while , but on second thoughts he would probably love it !

2 comments to Hey presto , I had it !

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