Day 10 Consiglia-54
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Amalfi Coast Inspired Entertaining

Issue 04

Countlan Issue 04 Amanda Tabberer Amalfi Coast

There is something to be learned from the pace and style of entertaining on Italy’s Amalfi coast.  “Entertaining is no big deal to the Italians; it comes naturally to them,” boasts the Australian author of two Amalfi coast books: Amalfi Coast Recipes and My Amalfi Coast. Amanda should know.  She spent more than 18 years living, eating and breathing in the delectable food in Positano, a village on the Amalfi coast.  In addition to her books, she also plans Amalfi based events such as weddings, organizes  food tours and facilitates villa, hotel and apartment bookings and recommendations.  A true renaissance woman.

INTERVIEW: Amanda Tabberer, On Entertaining Amalfi Coast Style

01 How does entertaining in Italy differ than entertaining in Australia?
Entertaining for the Italians is not a big deal. It is part of their life and they do it effortlessly, with enormous ease and little fuss.  At least this can be said of the south.  In contrast, entertaining (in Australia) appears to be ‘an event’ that is more structured and more of an effort.

02 How are tables decorated on the Amalfi coast?
On the Amalfi coast, they don’t pay a lot of attention to decor as their natural surroundings are so exceptional. A rocky ledge on a moonlit night by the Mediterranean Sea is often the very best décor you will find.   The scenery coupled with their amazing culinary talent, makes for a magical combination.

May-June 2011 - Italia 402 (800x600)

03 Are there any unique dining customs on the coast?
When dining with older folks, at the end of a meal, they will often lift the table cloth at one corner and place it over the remaining leftovers. This is a signal to the angels that they have finished their meal and are sending their thanks.  It also means they were happy to share their food with loved ones.

04 How are tables decorated on the Amalfi coast?
Sophisticated Italians love their candles but in the South it is all about the food. On the Amalfi coast, they don’t pay a lot of attention to decor as their natural surroundings are so exceptional. A rocky ledge on a moonlit night by the Mediterranean Sea is often the very best décor you will find.   The scenery coupled with their amazing culinary talents, makes for a magical combination.

05 Are there any unique dining customs on the coast?
When dining with older folks, at the end of a meal, they will often lift the table cloth at one corner and place it over the remaining leftovers. This is a signal to the angels that they have finished their meal and are sending their thanks.  It also means they were happy to share their food with loved ones.

06 Can you describe a typical meal on the Amalfi coast?

Italians love their food, especially in the south. On the Amalfi Coast, dishes have more variety and tend to be smaller and are nearly always served family style.  Even at weddings and big events, meals are served family style.  In terms of dish order, the meal starts with Antipasto (starter), then a primo (pasta or rice), and a secondo (main), which is often small and light with a contorno (side dish).  Finally, a dolce (dessert) is served.

Minori4462

07 What can always be found on your table?  
My beautiful ceramic plates and candle stick holders from Vietri sul Mare, a village on the Amalfi Coast.  Also, I always have excellent Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Never butter.

My Amalfi Coast HARD  cover

08 When you invite guests over for a meal, what is your process like?
It depends on the company, but basically I try to keep it very simple so I can spend time with my guests when they are at my house.  Even though I spent over two decades in Italy, the Anglo in me is still there.  I grew up dining at beautiful tables, so I try to make my table look nice.

pp 80-1 Spaghetti with muscles

pp230-1 Il Pirata-69 (533x800)

09 What has inspired your cooking and entertaining?  
The brilliant results the locals achieve with the smallest amount of fuss and the least ingredients. They can make a brilliant meal with next to nothing! It is knowing that a meal does have to be expensive or prestigious, just seasonal and fresh.

Day 10 Consiglia-54
Photo Source: Amanda Tabberer

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