Italian Passion – Norwegian Ingredients

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Well, the heading is not completely true. Italian passion, yes, but some of the ingredients were more exotic, like the olive oils and the chocolate beans. The private dining at Vin og Grønt was however a delicious and happy experience.

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Raffaele (Raph) Regan (30) is a professional chef, coming from Naples, the Italian city of culinary tradition of food care.  He studied music for six months at the University in Oslo as an exchange student and fell in love with the place and the local vegetarian ingredients.

One year ago a friend told him about an Internet site called Eat with, which invites strangers to become friends over gourmet meals cooked by talented chefs.

I was curious if there were any private chefs in Norway, offering this opportunity. There was only one, in Oslo.

I contacted Raph and he invited me to his home last week, together with nine other fabulous guests, all Norwegians, except a couple from Belgium, Rina and Jan van den Berbm.

The long table for ten persons was the ideal setting for a delicious five course meal, and the conversation between the guests was soon so load that the background music had to be shut off.

Raph told me he doesn’t like to cook meat or fish. He prefers a tasty vegetarian cuisine, made from fresh local ingredients, unlike the meals other veggie restaurants serve.

Michel Cardarilli (left) and Raph Regan preparing the food
Michel Cardarilli (left) and
Raph Regan preparing the food

This evening he was assisted by another Oslo chef, his friend Michel Cardarilli.

The menu was as follows:

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Scapece
Fermented roots marinated in vinegars, dried garlic and fresh mint.


Sweet Pea Mousse
with mussels, apples, roasted onions and seaweed ash.

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Potatoes
and wild chicory with rhubarb and lovage.


Fregola
and chickpeas with stockfish and raw leek.

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Icecream
of Risotta from Røros milk with chocolate beans and black pepper.

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The dishes were accompanied by beer from Grünerlokka Mini Brewery, Oslo, cider and wines.

Strongly recommended!

Italian Passion – Norwegian Ingredients, text and photos: Tor Kjolberg