Hi Chiara!!!!!!! How are you? Rob and I made it home from our WONDERFUL Italy trip and are back with our little ones, Gabriella & Anthony!! I want you to know that our day with you and “Nona” (as Rob likes to call her!!) was the most special day of our week long adventure and was the highlight of our 10th wedding anniversary! It truly was a dream come true to be in the kitchen with two amazing Italian women who know so much about the food and have such a passion for good, wholesome cooking! What a spectacular event it was! I’ve attached the pictures we took with you and Mamma.
And I’m writing you with so much excitement this evening because Rob and I just finished our first Mamma Agata recipe of Eggplant Parmigiana and we couldn’t be more pleased! I must tell you everything…
First we went shopping and didn’t find the Eggplant that you recommend at the first grocery store. So we went to a 2nd store which has more specialty items and we found Chinese Eggplant which was very thin and very long (longer than the ones in your kitchen) and they were much lighter purple (not dark). We also found bottles of organic strained tomatoes which were imported from Italy and they were in the same jars as your tomato puree. We bought an imported cold pressed extra virgin olive oil from Italy as well. Our grocery store did not have smoked provolone cheese but they did have smoked mozzarella so I just switched them and used regular provolone, smoked mozzarella and plain mozzarella. We also decided to take some fresh asparagus and lightly coat it with the same flour we used for the eggplant and fry it in the peanut oil. As soon as we took it out of the oil, we sprinkled a pinch of sea salt and parmesan cheese. It tasted great!
We also made Italian meatballs using organic ground beef, veal and pork. Rob made the Eggplant Parmigiana. I must say it tasted great! It d take longer to cook in my oven. After 20 minutes at 325, I increased the temperature 10 degrees and it took another 15 minutes after that to finish cooking. The eggplant tasted great and wasn’t bitter at all. Next time I will go a bit lighter on the smoked cheese as it was slightly stronger than it needed to be. Overall, I’m very pleased with the meal and now that I know I can do it, I’ll definitely be preparing it for family and friends very soon!
I hope it makes you and Mamma happy to see the photos and know we are putting your fantastic cooking lesson to good use in our home here in Houston, Texas! We miss you and I must say you are such a warm and beautiful person, it felt like we were with family! And even though we couldn’t speak Italian with Mamma, we had that same warm feeling with her too.
I hope we will be able to come back to Ravello and see you again! Next time we must meet your husband and your father as well! Please keep in touch and if you are ever coming to Texas, you must let us know. We would love to have you to our home!
Much love and God Bless,
Gaynor & Rob
Stuart & Lavinia Hemingway
Just a short note to say many thanks for the great day at the cooking class.
I have been back in Sydney for 1 week now … and I am so wishing that I was back on your beautiful Amalfi Coast sharing that amazing food that Mamma Agata prepares with such love and passion.
It was indeed a pleasure spending time with you both and experiencing a very personal side of Ravello. Deb, Catherine, Jackie and I all enjoyed the cooking class very much. I must confess that I have already made the Spaghetti del contadino and Pollo al limone, and although they both tasted very good to my family, to me they will never be anywhere as good as your mothers!!
Should you ever travel to Sydney, please, please call me … I would love to catch up with you again.
Cheers & best wishes
Paul and Susan (Wedding September 2008)
Hello Chiara, I hope you and your family are well.
Thank you again from the bottom of our hearts for making our wedding so utterly amazing. Our family and friends, and of course we simply were awestruck with the beauty, perfection and personal warmth of our entire day at the “Hidden Treasure”. My mother called it a “fairly tale”, and my father equated it to a scene in a Hollywood romance movie. And the food and wine….oh all sooooo delicious. I can still taste the eggplant parmigiana, the pasta, the lemon cake. That reminds me, thank you so much for the delectable red wine you opened after dinner. Everybody raved about it for days - you are so generous.
The day was just so unbelievable; our only regret was that it ended so quickly. The carefully manicured yard, lovingly arranged flowers and ceremony area, beautiful dinner table, and oh-to-die for view, everything was just beyond our imagination. And as you remember, I was quite stressed due to unexpected travel delays and other problems, but all that stress just melted away the second I walked down your steps, hugged you and took in my first incredible glimpse of the Hidden Treasure. And notice I hugged you before I even took my first look around – after 10 months of emailing you I just had to hug my friend. I had seen so many pictures of the Hidden Treasure on the internet, but none of them come close to capturing what my eyes took in that very first minute. I think I cried it was so beautiful.
And it was like nothing could go wrong; the clear sky, perfect temperature, full moon, fireworks down in Maiori, the church bells, I could go on and on, it was just the most romantic thing any of us had ever witnessed.
All night long, perfect service delivered by a loving, caring family. The night would not have been nearly as complete without your personal warmth and ever-constant personal, loving attention. Everything we asked for was executed flawlessly, but with so many additional little touches that we did not expect. Oh, and thank Gennaro again for selecting all the delicious wines and then constantly keeping our glasses full all night. And of course a big kiss and thanks to Mamma, I can’t imagine how much work it is for all of you to pull off a day like that, including 10 months of planning on your part. Given the amount of work and how little you charge, (ridiculously inexpensive in my opinion) – it’s no wonder you don’t do more weddings! Also please thank all the other service providers you recommended – the florist, violinist, Rosie, Michelle and his wife, Claudio and his team of drivers – everybody delivered impeccable service as you promised.
We are forever grateful for everything you have done for us. Please let us know if there is anything we can do as a small token of our gratitude and appreciation – including providing personal references for the rest of our lives. Please feel free to provide my name and email address to anybody willing to listen to me describe absolute perfection.
Our 2 week honeymoon in Italy was wonderful, but the absolute highlight of the trip of course was being with my family and yours at the “Hidden Treasure”.
Our sincerest thanks and please stay in touch,
Paul and Susan
P.S., I will send you the picture of you and me once I receive the photo files from Michelle. And that picture will proudly be displayed in our wedding album!
We have arrived homely safely, but still are talking endlessly about our wedding dinner at Mamma Agata's (September 2008). We had such an incredible evening that I couldn't have even imagined that it would be so perfect. The minute we arrived at Mamma Agata's, we were swepted into an enchanted evening. You, Gennaro, Mamma and and Guiseppe made us feel so very special. The food was in abundance and absolutely delicious. The setting of Mamma Agata's put us in our own private world.
Someone from our party will start saying, I think the eggplant was the best, but as soon as it comes off their lips, they say, but no, the Lemon Chicken was my favorite. For myself, I still can taste the Pork's beef, but would not be able to say I had a favorite because every single bite was delicious, afterall we had the Spring Risotto too!
I would recommend Mamma Agata's to anyone and everyone for a magical evening. No where have I ever been treated so impeccably and that ever single element was completed to perfection. Thank you so very much for making our wedding complete.