The taste of Tuscan recipes, the quality of Pistoia’s restaurants, a special atmosphere and a desire to make a difference were the key ingredients for the second edition of La Cena di Gala, endorsed by La Toscana in Bocca. 8,280 euros were raised by the benefit event, which turned local flavours to the aid of the Florence Oncology Radiotherapy Foundation. It was promoted by Vetrina Toscana in collaboration with La Toscana in Bocca‘s group of Pistoiese restaurateurs, who work on the Vetrina Toscana circuit and with Pisa’s and Prato’s respective commerce federations. Not a seat was empty in the Toscana Fair‘s Crystal Greenhouse, thanks to the local and regional authorities, organisations and businesses who took part in the dinner and helped to create an atmosphere of joy and solidarity.
The evening was hosted by Simone Gai, the face of the Florence Oncology Radiotherapy Foundation, and the guest of honour was Dario Cecchini, known throughout the world for his efforts in carrying on a family tradition that has endured for 250 years. Further proof that strengthening the ties between cuisine, Tuscany and solidarity was the aim of the event.
At the centre of proceedings was the menu, bursting with typical Tuscan flavours, with dishes prepared by the Pistoiese restaurateurs from La Toscana in Bocca, adherents to Vetrina Toscana. They knew how to take the guests on a vivid journey through the tastebuds, by revisiting and re-presenting tradition.
The Tuscan aperitivo was taken care of by the Montecatini Terme Pistoia Chefs’ Association, accompanied by drinks from Voronoi and Michi Bistrò; the entrées were looked after by Valerio Ricevimenti (Quarrata), and the antipasto was based on zero kilometre produce from Pistoia’s Toscana Fair: a jubilee of flavours that exalted the regional territory and its culinary quality. The first courses were prepared by Le Forri (Pistoia) and Rifugio della Saida (Cutigliano), which handmade more than a thousand tortelli for the occasion. The Locanda la Bussola da Gino (Quarrata) and La Bettola (Pistoia) concerned themselves with the main courses, following the tastiest traditions of local cuisine. The icing on the cake was the desserts presented by Il Taba Dolce di Latte (Pistoia).
The wine was laid on by a number of wineries, most of them hailing from local parts – Cantina della Volta, Dalle Nostre Mani, I Veroni – and service was overseen by sommeliers from the AIS Delegazione di Pistoia.
Rounding it all off, bread and cantucci came from the Fratelli Lunardi bakery in Quarrata, and coffee from Moka j-Enne.
La Toscana in Bocca – a showcase of Tuscan cuisine and tradition which every year fills Pistoia with some outstanding names of regional enogastronomy. It is now preparing for its seventh edition, and has therefore changed attire and put on evening dress for a night that will celebrate regional produce and confirm its importance to the exhibition.