The idea was forged over four bowls of pasta, two forks and an Instagram feed.
Teddy Diggs, executive chef at Il Palio, has long championed the heart and soul of regional Italian cooking, from his early apprenticeship under legend Fabio Trabocchi to his recent pilgrimage through Tuscany. Italian guests claim that his authentic pastas, smoky sauces and daring dishes – like wood-grilled octopus – summon fond memories of their homeland. So it was no wonder that Teddy connected almost through cosmic destiny with Katie Parla, acclaimed Italian author and colleague of Mario Batali.
After volleys of bounced emails, Katie sent Teddy an Instagram message with a friendly yet unlikely dinner invitation. She lived in Rome. Teddy worked in Chapel Hill. But as luck would have it, Teddy just happened to be on a nine-day sojourn through Italy, and it wasn’t long before the two were sharing forkfuls of carbonara in a Roman cafe.
“Italian cooking is like a language of its own,” said Chef Teddy. “It’s accessible and approachable, but there’s a deep connection between the ingredients and the heart of the chef. Both Katie and I have a passion to share the spirit of Italian cooking with guests around the world.”
With that, these two fast friends set their sights on Chapel Hill. On November 15, 2016, Katie and Chef Teddy will fire up the grill to offer a culinary tour of the hidden hearths of Italy’s capital. Hosted at Il Palio, this Tasting Rome feast will feature recipes from Katie’s acclaimed cookbook, Tasting Rome, along with classics from Teddy’s regional Italian repertoire. The culinary line-up features gems like cacio e pepe, an elegant Italian hallmark crafted from only three ingredients. And lest ye forget, Italy is famed for its wine, and no Italian feast is complete without a glass (or three) of the country’s treasured vintifications.
“After spending more than a decade in Rome, I have cultivated a love for the heart Italian cuisine,” said Katie. “I was excited to connect with Teddy, since his approach to ingredients and regional cooking so closely reflects what I have come to know as true Italian food.”
For those saving pennies for a plane ticket to Europe, Teddy and Katie recommend Flavio, a delightful ristorante tucked off the thoroughfares of Rome. For the rest of us, they’re bringing the heart and soul of Rome directly to you.
For more information, visit www.ilpalio.com. Tickets may be purchased by calling 919-918-2545 and include signed copies of the Tasting Rome cookbook, wine pairings, tax and gratuity.