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Paolo Saturday, 31 October 2015

The Postrivoro, shrine of the wandering gastro pilgrims

Let’s start with the name: Postrivoro. If you look in the dictionary you certainly won’t find it. According to Enrico Vignoli, assistant to Massimo Bottura and inventor of this neologism, the Postrivoro is a strange animal of medieval origin that was born in a brothel and is very voracious.
It loves to eat good things and likes a drink as well. Actually the Postrivoro is a food and wine event that takes place in Faenza in a different venue each time when the animal in question is aroused and hungrily demands his meal, which must be served at sunset and then again before the next sunset. So that‘s Saturday night and Sunday lunch.
The Postrivoro, shrine of the wandering gastro pilgrims
“The Postrivoro is a gastronomic food and wine event, almost imaginary, that takes place from time to time in Faenza and to which I had the honour to participate as a sommelier.”
The nice thing is that Postrivoro loves to have fun experimenting, daring without limits and above all, leaving a free hand to those who are called on to lead the dances in the kitchen and do conjuring tricks with bottles. Usually these are young chefs and sommeliers who work for years in important European restaurants, assisted by voluntary helpers and fans who are willing to do anything: architects, engineers, doctors and other professionals who have nothing really to do with food. In short, the Postrivoro is a bit of an abnormality, in fact rather crazy but which has already become a mecca of worship for the country’s gastro pilgrims. There is only one table that can seat twenty, or a maximum twenty-one people. In this case a reservation is not only advisable, it is essential. To do this you must go to the site (postrivoro.it) and do your best. So you’re wondering why I'm telling you about this strange animal, right? The reason is clear: the last time it woke up, between 26 and 27 September this year, it saw fit to call upon Oswaldo Oliva to head for the cooker and yours truly to take charge of the corkscrew. Yes, the Postrivoro likes to play dangerous and chose for the occasion a Mexican chef, who worked seven years at Mugaritz, one of the best restaurants in the world, located in Errenteria in the Basque Country, and myself, for five years sommelier at the Stüa de Michil. And what can they do, a Mexican nerd with a passion for cooking and an improbable cyclist from Verona who works in Alto Adige chasing after fine wines from all over the place? They do the only thing that makes sense, or at least they try, and that is to combine an idea of a varied cuisine, poised somewhere between Spain and South America with a wine concept that favours small producers who really care about their land and their product. According to the postrivori, that’s to say the diners here present, it seems that the result was more than satisfactory. We started with an old American Corvara or the classic American cocktail backed up by an infusion of berries oxidized for a month and then we followed that with a Trilogy of Carrots matched with Roberto Ferrari’s Pulsar that left everyone amazed. And sure, we had a lot of fun: for the leeks, lemons and mussels we conjured up a Chablis 1er Cru Les Forêts 2009, Patrick Piuze; along with the peanuts and shrimp was an epiphany of the legendary Dolomytos. And again next to herbs, matured cheese and glazed duck on Saturday night, a Côte de Nuits Villages 2003 Domaine Gérard Julien & Fils made a dramatic appearance, while for Sunday lunch a Nuits Saint Georges 2002 Domaine Gérard Julien & Fils took a bow. 
To wash down the hake, pistachios and kohlrabi we thought a white Manzoni Fontasanta Foradori 2014 would be perfect. To set off the beef, coffee and bone marrow we called upon a Cherry Simone Spagnolli 2012. While the perfect partner to the pork curry and black bananas was a Lagrein ris. Egger Ramen 2009. To partner the stracciatella and chocolate, pride of place went to the Bruton 10 beer and finally, to accompany peaches with nasturtium and pink pepper, Timo Limo was a marriage made in heaven. In short: Oswaldo and I we were in full agreement on everything, even on the idea that the Postrivoro is really an intelligent beast, created by people just as capable, who love to cook up with enthusiasm imaginative stories and season them with a pinch of passion.

Paolo Baraldi
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