On August 24th 2014 Torvehallerne in Copenhagen hosted the "VM i Risotto", a world championship of risotto for it's second consecutive year. This year featured 8 selected participants - including me! Each of us had 30 minutes to prepare and present our individual risotto creations to a panel of judges, in front of an enthusiastic crowd of onlookers.
This years participants and their risotto creations were:
|Photos from VM i Risotto|
Alessandro Jacoponi - risotto al nero di seppia con scampi e pisello
Lasse Angus - risotto with beetroot and a crumble of pork cheeks
Jesper Emil Gøtz - vegetable risotto with foie gras
Mikkel Schandorff - butternut squash risotto with roasted scallops
Matteo Ugolotti - quail risotto
Anders Halskov Jensen - risotto inspired by Japan with raw tuna
Nicholas Hansen - risotto a'la marinieres with mussels and clams.
adventurefood - strawberry and champagne risotto with jamón and manchego
We cooked our risottos in 2 heats, and the best four went to the final. I was in heat one, so quickly got my things together and started cooking. I had 30 minutes to complete 5 perfectly cooked examples of my strawberry and champagne risotto. Gorm Wisweh a Danish TV personality interviewed us while we cooked, and tried to give a play by play of the risotto action. The spectators were crowded around each table, asking questions and taking pictures. People were very interested in the stock I was using, which was made from the leg bone of a jamón ibérico de recebo that Deli Del Toro had given me the previous day. It had a rich salty flavour, which perfectly offset the sweetness of the strawberries I had oven-dried a few weeks before. Opening a bottle of Moët & Chandon champagne to finish the risotto was an extravagant flourish that the crowd enjoyed along with Gorm and I, who had a couple of swigs as well.
I topped the finished risotto with thin slices of jamón , shaved Manchego cheese, deep fried basil leaves, and a syrup I had made of strawberries and reduced champagne. The risotto was ready to present to the judges.
After much tasting and deliberation my risotto was declared one of the finalists, but Matteo Ugolotti and his quail risotto won the day. Matteo is a Michelin Star Chef from Parma, so losing out to him isn't that bad at all. Congratulations to Matteo and all the participants in this years risotto championship. I look forward to seeing what risotto creations the chefs come up with next year!
Thanks to Mia Hargreave for her help photographing the event
Strawberry and Champagne Risotto with Jamon and Manchego
I'm not going to give a detailed description of how to make risotto. Every chef has their own style and you should use the method you are most comfortable with. this is more of a list of ingredients I used in mine.
Cook your risotto as you normally would using the following:
-rich stock from the bone of a jamón ibérico or a proscuitto crudo
-a touch of salt
when the risotto is 3/4 done add the following:
-oven-dried strawberries (here's a simple recipe)
-lots of fresh cracked pepper
Once the risotto is creamy and ready garnish with:
-thin sliced jamón ibérico or a proscuitto crudo
-Grated manchego cheese
-fried basil leaves
-a drizzle of syrup made by boiling strawberries in champagne with a spoon of sugar and straining
This dish is all about balancing salty and sweet. experiment until you find the right amounts for you.