On July 31st, Birra Moretti launched its Moretti Gran Tour event in the vibrant setting of Factory Seven, a popular creative space located in the heart of East London’s Shoreditch.
Long renowned for its premium quality, award-winning lagers, Birra Moretti played host to a four-day celebration of authentic Italian cuisine and culture, providing those lucky enough to attend with a chance to sample the best of Italian street food under one roof.
Like its Pizza in the Piazza event last summer, in which Moretti successfully recreated the Piazza of a Tuscan Town in London’s Golden Square, this year’s affair once again saw the venue transformed into a vintage Italian street setting that reflected Moretti’s own 19th century traditions. Rustic artifacts were combined with intertwined bare bulb lighting, thus creating an almost chic allusion, yet the use of large, communal benching made for a fun, sociable atmosphere.
For £10.00, Guests were entitled to a Birra Moretti along with two plates of food, a traditional coffee and a Gelato as well as access to all master classes and music provided by The Book Club resident DJ’s Jimmy Plates and Sophie Lloyd.
Upon entry, the event’s personnel were more than accommodating, providing each guest with a comprehensive breakdown of what was on offer and the processes by which to obtain the corresponding delicacies at hand.
As expected, there was a broad selection of regional Italian specialities to choose from, including Pizza, Pasta, Risotto and meat-based dishes, in addition to distinguished fortes such as coffee and the ever-popular Gelato (Ice Cream).
For the overwhelming majority, the first stop was the Birra Moretti Bar, which was well stocked and attended, with both draught and bottled lagers on offer. Established in 1859, Moretti is a traditional lager beer, which they proudly describe as being a blend of the best raw materials and high quality hops, ideal for drinking at any time of the day due to its moderate alcohol content. For those that are not well acquainted with the brand, it is one that resident MFM writers cannot recommend highly enough and laid the foundations perfectly for the cuisine that would follow.
Amongst the food vendors present were London-based Gurmetti, Cooking Cooks, Arancina, Pizza Pilgrims and Gelupo, in addition to award-winning coffee distributors, Terrone & Co.
MFM started with Cooking Cooks, a company that prides itself in successfully delivering fresh pasta and home-style cooking to events across England, using only traditional recipes. On this occasion, they presented a masterclass in the delivery of freshly made Ravioli – stuffed with butternut squash, with or without Speck Ham. Created entirely from scratch in front of those present, the dish was cleverly topped with Amaretti biscuit, resulting in a delicious and unique take on a popular classic.
Next up were Soho favourites, Pizza Pilgrims. Whilst there was only freshly made Margherita’s on offer, it is said that great pizza should always be based on this classic, and if this was anything to go by it would certainly be worth testing the variations they offer on another occasion. Whilst the Pizza Pilgrim Van can be booked for events, it should be noted that the company also has restaurants in Dean St and Carnaby St. Considering the company only uses freshly sourced ingredients from in and around Naples, pizza lovers would be wise to check them out!
After a quick trial of the exquisite coffee provided by award-winning Terrone & Co., MFM moved on to Arancina. Hailing from Rome, brothers Edoardo and Michele brought their “tavola calda” (half restaurant, half coffee shop) concept to Notting Hill, London, with the intention of recreating the traditions they were brought up on. On the night, they presented their freshly made, deep-fried saffron Risotto balls. If the ricotta & spinach filling was more than adequate, the beef Ragu’ was exceptional and was the benchmark dish that evening.
Family run Gurmetti, provided the last main course of the evening, presenting their Torta Fritta with Guanciale – a speciality from Parma – that consisted of warm crispy puffs of handmade dough topped with sliced cured pork cheek. This was an example of another fantastic dish and can be acquired at London’s Leather Lane Market and Broadway Market, where Gurmetti are frequent visitors.
Last but by no means least was Gelupo, a company recognised as the best geleteria (Italian Ice Cream) in London. Guests could choose from one of eight flavours of speciality Gelato including, Blood Orange Sorbet, Bitter Chocolate, White Peach and Pistachio. Highly acclaimed and using only the finest ingredients, Gelupo rounded off a thoroughly enjoyable evening… even if the walk home was a bit of a struggle!