Armed with a pen and a lens, I have always tried to capture moments and tell stories. About my boys, my passions, food, fun, and adventures. I've just started back into the world of publishing after my motherhood-imposed hiatus. Follow my forays here.
Story by Camilla M. Mann Accompanying Photos were Provided by Il Tegamino (see the EMB blogpost to view those)
May 5, 2015 – The former GM of Cantinetta Luca is getting
ready to open a home-style Italian restaurant of his own called Il Tegaminoin the
picturesque Court of the Golden Bough in Carmel. Giuseppe Panzuto and his
brother Salvatore previewed their new restaurant Saturday as part of the 23rd
Annual Winemakers’ Celebration. “It will be homey,” said Giuseppe, who plans to
open the doors in July and feature Neapolitan comfort food using family
Hailing from Naples, Italy, the Panzuto brothers named the
restaurant as a tribute to their mother, Rita, who collected cooking pots. Il
tegame is one of the most classical Italian pots, characterized by a
flat bottom, short sides, and two handles. Il tegamino is a
smaller version of the pot. With fond memories of growing up in Rita’s cozy
kitchen, Giuseppe and Salvatore hope to create the atmosphere of being in a
genuine Italian kitchen.
Though the menu is not yet set, they are exploring favorite
recipes that their mother made. Giuseppe waxed nostalgic about
her eggplant parmesan and her lasagna di carnevale. “You have
these little meatballs and eggs. You know it’s not like what Americans think of
as lasagna,” he said.
Carnevale falls just before Lent, when Christians abstain
from indulging in rich foods. And, sometimes, meat is avoided altogether.
Carnevale derives from two Latin words—carne (meat) and vale (farewell);
so it’s literally ‘Farewell, meat!’ Lasagna di Carnevale is a
classic Neapolitan dish filled with meat and cheese. Some versions include
salami and hard-boiled eggs. The idea behind the dish is to use up whatever
meat you have in the house before Lent.
small bite they served at Saturday’s preview was another traditional Neopolitan
dish, Sformato di Patate, creamy potatoes mixed with Italian meats
and cheese and baked under a blanket of butter and bread crumbs.
Giuseppe resigned from his most recent post as GM of
Schooner’s Coastal Kitchen at the Monterey Plaza Hotel in March to focus on the
Il Tegamino will be located in the Court of the Golden Bough
in Carmel-by-the-Sea, in the courtyard behind the Cottage of Sweets. It’s part
of a reinvigoration effort that includes opening the Alexander Smith tasting
room and the addition of new fountains through the efforts of Denny LeVett.
Like their recipes, the Court of the Golden Bough holds a bit of old Europe.
‘The Golden Bough’ refers to the Roman poet Virgil’s Aeneid. The
titular hero, Aeneas, bearing a tree branch with golden leaves was allowed to
travel through the underworld unscathed.
The courtyard used to house a restaurant that, for four
decades, served as a meeting place for locals and visitors and fed City Hall
employees, something the brothers hope to replicate with Il Tegamino.
The menu at the new eatery will be largely influenced by
Southern Italian traditions, featuring easy and simple recipes. “Many of the
dishes will have as few as three ingredients but will be full of freshness and
flavor,” Giuseppe said. “It will be like inviting people into our house—into
our family kitchen.”