Tuesday, July 13, 2010


Personal food updates from your friends at Avanti Savoia

Avanti Savoia has just celebrated our 4th anniversary, so we thought it would fun to share some of the events and projects that have caught the attention of the Avanti family.  We are, of course, very happy to be surviving the challenging economy, thanks to our fine products and great customers.  Our special sales and incredible deals are proving to be very popular!  The weekly trivia contest has become a source of “foodie” fun for us all. We are delighted to be able to now offer top quality cheeses imported directly from Italy.  And, we have all been working hard on our “Recipes and Cooking” section to which you can now access over 700 free recipes on our “Online Cookbook.”

The president of Avanti Savoia, Ben Slocum enjoyed an enlightening trip to Italy, where he attended trade shows, spent time with Vito De Carolis, and visited some of our purveyors of Italian treasures.  Wine, travel with Don Vito, and tasting traditional balsamic vinegars, extra virgin olive oils, and great Italian cheeses… well, someone had to do it!

Ben has also taken up the art of home-brewing and we are all anticipating the first tasting of his labors.  Ben and his wife, Erin, have also become very serious about their health and exercise program.  Crossfit is a strength and conditioning program consisting of specific and intense workouts.  In addition to the workout regimen, they did a ten-week strict paleo diet, which Ben and Erin completed with flying colors.
Their diet consists primarily of foods very high in protein and very low in carbohydrates, so Ben has been asking lots of questions about simple recipes for preparing foods on his “good” list.  In response to cooking questions relating to this program, we hosted a paleo-friendly cooking class.  Our instructions included demonstrations of disjointing and boning a whole chicken, filleting salmon, and the basic techniques required to process vegetables including onions, celery, tomatoes, artichokes, and (much to everyone’s surprise) rutabagas. 

Due partially to the enthusiasm generated by this class, we made the decision to install a magnificent new demonstration kitchen that we have dubbed “La Cucina at Avanti Savoia.”  We started teaching classes a few weeks ago and the response has been fantastic.  We have also added two other cooking instructors and are gearing up for an exciting summer of learning.  Check out the class descriptions and schedules on our website.

Doug Slocum, Avanti’s founder, has been inspired by cooking legend, Jacques Pepin.  This is certainly an inspiration that I appreciate, as I have several of the Pepin’s books and was privileged to take a series of cooking classes with him about 20 years ago. Doug has been interested in the process of salt curing pork and other forms of charcuturie.  However, perhaps from Avanti Savoia’s collection of honeys from around the world, Doug has become an avid beekeeper.  He has even deepened his interest with classes at the University of Tennessee.  Watch for the next post to our blog celebrating all things honey!