One of Italy’s most delicious duos was the focus of a recent interactive workshop led by celebrated Chef Dan Doherty with a one-night only takeover of Ladbroke Grove’s Dock Kitchen.
Dan Doherty might be known best for one famous coupling: the duck and waffle dish at the Duck & Waffle restaurant where he’s Chef Director. But the man knows his way around a San Daniele prosciutto and Grana Padano cheese wheel as well. And I was glad to be among the guests attending his workshop. And he seemed very much at home indeed doing his thing in Dock Kitchen’s attractive canal side digs.
For the workshop, Doherty demonstrated some how to slice and serve a whole prosciutto, both with a slicing machine and hand slicing with a knife, and how to correctly crack and serve a wheel of cheese, allowing the guests to also try the techniques for themselves. The chef did up a few dishes for the occasion too, making certain San Daniele and Grana Padano were the key ingredients.
Dishes included Grana Padano, confit onion and potato gratin with prosciutto; poached egg with prosciutto, Grana Padano and rocket with truffle dressing; and figs roasted in sherry vinegar caramel with Grana Padano crisps and prosciutto. They were all excellent, though I think I liked the figs most. And I really appreciated how Doherty did decidedly little to the core ingredients allowing their rich flavours to shine.
Hamming it up alongside the chef with a slice of cheesy commentary about San Daniele and Grana Padano were Daniela Celledoni, from Consortium Prosciutto di San Daniele, and Pamela Farioli, from Consorzio Tutela Grana Padano. Both made sure to stress that the two northern Italian artisanal products work delectably well as a combo and that each has been recognised by the EU as Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) products since 1996.
The prestigious PDO logo guarantees high quality, authenticity and traceability by ensuring certain production specifications. It’s reserved for products that come from a strictly defined geographical area and are crafted using distinctive processing techniques steeped in the history and tradition of that place. Basically, the logo is a seal of approval that you’re getting something tasty and authentic.
I must have been paying pretty decent attention during their presentation, as come time for a quiz at the end I won a whole prosciutto for answering a question based on what was discussed in the workshop. Score!
For info about Prosciutto di San Daniele visit prosciuttosandaniele.it.
For Grana Padano, there’s granapadano.it.
Dock Kitchen is located at Portobello Docks, 342-344 Ladbroke Grove, W10 5BU. Find out more at dockkitchen.co.uk.