Every now and again there are moments in your life that you just know are going to be great even before they happen; a party, a journey, a gig, a feast, a sound, a taste, a show. Last night was one of these moments. The ingredients were all there. It was going to be quite a night!
The occasion was to mark an important date in the career of five young creative individuals from the catering world whose indefatigable passion, effort, commitment and energy has earned an enthusiastic following in Tuscany.
I say ‘important’ but I also mean a little sad, as the occasion was a farewell to “I 5 Sensi” (The Five Senses) as they hang up their aprons in the Osteria where they have delighted palettes, educated eyes and tantalised tongues for the past five and a half years.
Anyone who has been welcomed to one of their tables in the lush green surroundings of the Il Borro Estate near Arezzo, and sampled one of their stunning menus (the Chianina beef and wild boar dishes without a doubt being amongst the best) will know that they will be missed!
Indeed the turnout of friends and clients from near and far to bid wishes of support and to help spring them onto the next step was testament to their talent.
The atmosphere in the warm and lively Osteria last night was anything but sad however. As the masses poured eagerly over the buffet tables the trays kept arriving; bruschette, crostini, carpacci, salumi, formaggi, involtini, tortelli, risotto…a carnival of colours and edible art!
These five youngsters have been “performing” their work together for several years and have been running the Osteria del Borro since early 2004. As a wedding planner for couples getting married at the jaw-dropping venue ‘Il Borro’ I have had the pleasure of working with the whole team for various events, with various requests, for various sized groups…but with consistent fabulous results! In the whirlwind and stress of a wedding these guys always inject a healthy dose of fun alongside their professional approach – the combination of which is crucial for a positive and successful event. It also goes without saying that the food is simply amazing!
The energetic flavour of the evening was enhanced by some great live music. Following a superb LatinAmerican singer the crowd was treated to a whole new sound, rhythm and volume as the “Zastava Orkestar” literally burst in through the main doors with an array of brass instruments blazing. As they weaved through the crowd playing their quirky Balkan gypsy melodies, you couldn’t help but follow…compelled by the buzz! Truly entertaining and sure to get every toe tapping and every face smiling, I’d check them out at www.zastavaorkestar.com
I’ve seen Manuela in various states but never dancing quite like last night (but then she is supposed to be the “feel” sense of the five strong team!) As the euphoria shifted again to focus on the next live act, out into the room, carried by five pairs of hands, came…dessert. Beady eyes were quick to spot and make a bee-line for the buffet table. I was one of them and luckily I managed to get a good shot of the beautiful, huge fruit-covered cakes which spelled out “I 5 Sensi” and the creators standing behind their work acknowledging the cheers and applause. Who knows when they will be together again in their chef whites!
From outside in the rich dark evening in deepest Tuscany there was a soft calm in the air. Looking over to the Osteria and the life within I couldn’t help thinking how apt the description “life and soul” as the restaurant was at the heart of the night and pumping with spirit. An overwhelming sea of laughter arrived muffled through the smooth charcoal air and was set to continue well into the night…
My personal thanks and warm wishes to Manuela, Fabio, Daniele, Federico and Leonardo… and here’s to the new adventure of the senses…!
(Article by Joëlle Edwards, Wedding Planner, Florence, London)