NEW VIN­TAGE

BUON RI­CORDO CHEF AR­MANDO PER­CUOCO CEL­E­BRATES HIS RE­TIRE­MENT AT A SPE­CIAL EVENT AT TYRRELL’S WINES IN THE HUNTER VAL­LEY.

Country Style - - CONTENTS -

Buon Ri­cordo chef and owner Ar­mando Per­cuoco cel­e­brates the end of an era with a spe­cial lunch at the Tyrrell’s Hunter Val­ley win­ery.

WAIT­ERS RUN PLATES of truf­fle risotto down to a gi­ant teepee over­look­ing a vine­yard, where mo­ments be­fore guests were treated to a demon­stra­tion of vine prun­ing. It’s here, at the Tyrrell’s Pokol­bin vine­yard, home to of one of Aus­tralia’s great­est wine-mak­ing dy­nas­ties, that chef Ar­mando Per­cuoco has come to an­nounce his re­tire­ment from his iconic Syd­ney restau­rant Buon Ri­cordo. It’s a ca­reer that be­gan when he was only 14 and started work­ing in the fam­ily restau­rant in Naples be­fore he moved to Aus­tralia in 1972. Fif­teen years later he opened Buon Ri­cordo, Ital­ian for ‘good mem­ory’, and its art-filled din­ing room quickly at­tracted a loyal fol­low­ing. The Ital­ian gov­ern­ment ac­knowl­edged his suc­cess in 1997, with an Insegna del Ris­torante Ital­iano award for his con­tri­bu­tion to au­then­tic Ital­ian food out­side of Italy. Sig­na­ture dishes such as the Fet­tuc­cine al Tartu­fovo, which is a creamy pasta topped with a fried truf­fle egg, fea­ture on the menu along­side braised lamb shoul­der served with broad beans and peas. The lat­ter, from New Eng­land farmer Peter Stre­litz’s Milly Hill Lamb, is just one ex­am­ple of Ar­mando’s ded­i­ca­tion to find­ing the best pro­duc­ers — a pas­sion that brought him, with his wife Gemma, to his Val­ley­field Es­cape prop­erty in the Hunter Val­ley. Nes­tled in Laguna be­tween the Yengo and Wata­gans na­tional parks, the cou­ple spend as much time at the 93-hectare prop­erty as they can. Walk­ing through the 1400 olive trees Ar­mando planted to make oil for the restau­rant, it’s clear that while he may not ac­tu­ally be in the kitchen — he will be leav­ing the cook­ing in the ca­pa­ble hands of head chef David Wright — there will al­ways be some­thing Ar­mando has pro­duced on the ta­ble. “I’ve been here for 31 years so it’s ex­tremely sad and dif­fi­cult for me to say good­bye to my cus­tomers,” says Ar­mando. “But I’m happy my legacy will con­tinue with some­one I trust — David has been with me since he was a 17-year-old ap­pren­tice. I’m 72 now and I think it’s time I en­joy the rest of my life.” Buon Ri­cordo, 108 Bound­ary Street, Padding­ton, NSW. (02) 9360 6729; buon­ri­cordo.com.au

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