Tuesday, June 5, 2012
Leave the Pizza to the Doctor - Oetker that is...
A few weeks ago, I had the distinct pleasure to attend a really great food event, sponsored by Dr. Oetker, highlighting their new Ristorante Pizza brand. It also didn't hurt that we had Richard Vayda, Director of Wine and Beverage studies at the Institute of Culinary Education join us as well, helping to pair all the pizza with carefully chosen wines. Lisa came along with me, and together, we had a great time learning more about something familiar (pizza) and also about something new (different types of wines).
One of the big draws of the event was the venue, which is always important when hosting a food shin-dig. The evening was hosted in the sleek SeeFood Media space on the Lower East Side, which is a popular place to tape food events and shows. We were lucky to be on the top floor, with glorious views of the quaint neighborhood we were in, and I couldn't help feeling like I was in someone's glamorous apartment.
Although the space wasn't huge, it was smartly laid out, with tall tables that we stood around with our pizza and wine. It was very conducive to moving around and mixing with different groups, which was fabulous for networking. Needless to say, we rubbed shoulders with other guests, who were naturally bloggers, such as Serena from Seriously Soupy and Carol from NYCity Mama.
As I mentioned, the star of this food show was Dr. Oetker's Ristorante Pizza line, which was fun to try, especially because they had every variety available. The pizza itself was really good, which wasn't surprising to me, as my experience with this brand (more with baking products) has always been good, but I had a couple of stand-outs.
Pizza Funghi - As its name suggests, this pizza was all about the mushrooms, so naturally I couldn't help but like it, as I adore funghi! The best part was that the mushrooms were of really good quality, and quite chunky too. I always feel jipped, when a pizza only has a few lonely mushrooms, but this one definitely lived up to its name. Its crust was crunchy and on the thin side, which made the pizza feel lighter.
Pizza Quattro Formaggi - Even though this is probably the most fattening option of the pizzas we tried, it was really delicious. Naturally! As its name suggests, it consisted of 4 cheeses, including blue cheese, Swiss cheese, mozzarella and edam. The latter was something quite unusual to mix into a quattro formaggi and I appreciated the ingenuity, of using this mild, nutty cheese. The blue cheese, which I'm a big fan of too was an easy sell for me, my tastebuds, loving all that sharp tang.
Others - Besides all the pizza, as you can see in the pictures, we also had some simple apps and dessert. One of my favorite combinations is prosciutto and melon, which we had here, paired also with a nice piece of basil for added freshness. It was a great way to get started because it freshened up your palate but still made you hungry for more.
The dessert was nice too, a fruit cup with fresh whipped cream on top, nestled in a crunchy pastry shell. Just like the app, it did a great job of giving us a little taste of something without stealing too much from the main event. It was something delightful that I'd be happy to recreate at home.
Overall, the event was a lot of fun - we learned something new about food, wine and we socialized with other foodies, which is always a pleasure. If you're interested in learning more about Dr. Oetker's pizza line, please visit their site here, and you can also get them in any local supermarket. Buon Appetito!