By Chef Alessandro Di Maggio
Chef Alessandro Di Maggio was born into a big Italian family that is both strict and wildly passionate about the culinary arts. No one was allowed to leave the table until the end of the meal. When he was 16, his family sent him to the Tuscan Culinary Institute of Siena.
After three years of culinary education and many work stages around Europe, he decided to fly to Vancouver and began work for the Royal Princess Cruise Line. He sailed around the world for two years before moving to Florida. In 1993, he met passionate and talented Italian chef, Mario Zorzetto, who was known as “Jet Set Master Chef,” since his resume included the likes of Onassis, Aga Kan, and President Pertini. Di Maggio followed Zorzetto for seven years, between New York, New York; Miami, Florida; and Boulder, Colorado.
Every normal recipe has to become special, whether it’s through improvisation or mood. The recipe itself is not enough, you always need to add a little curiosity, a little imagination, and a lot of passion. What takes it from one level to the next is the presentation or one particular, standout ingredient to refine an otherwise simple dish.
This recipe is certainly one of our favorites among chefs and patrons alike:
3 Pork tenderloin medallions cut 2 oz. each
1 Portobello Mushroom
3 oz. Pancetta or Bacon
1 oz. Dijon Mustard
2 oz. Port wine
2 oz. Heavy cream
- Wrap the Pork tenderloin with the Pancetta or bacon.
- In a medium hot pan with olive oil, pan sear the Pork tenderloin on each side for about 1 minute, then add the whole Portobello mushroom and cook in the oven at 350 for another 5 minutes.
- Put it back on the stove on low heat, add Brandy, after 30 seconds add the Dijon mustard, cream, some salt and pepper and let it reduce a little.
- Serve the 3 Pork medallions in a serving plate with the portobello on top, the sauce around and some seasonal vegetables or roasted potatoes.
I have been working in the kitchen since I was 14 and I really feel fortunate to work and to be able to create and spend most of my life doing something I really love: The Art of Cooking. Chef is co-owner of the Watkinsville location.