It’s 40 years since Pino Tomini Foresti opened Pino’s Dolce Vita Fine Foods. Long before that, as a boy of 12 or 13, he started working with his father. Before he was allowed to ever serve customers, he tells me, he had to be able to bone the head of four different animals to the absolute detail required by his father – to remove the meat in one piece.
Pino is known for his sensational salumi. So, that’s how Saturday lunch this weekend started. With a platter. It’s a must.
The star of the platter was the signature Prosciutto di Pino. Included was the best traditional mortadella I’ve ever tasted. Pino tells me he learnt to make Mortadella Normale from an old master: Pasquini. When Pino was younger he asked to learn the tecnique and was put through his paces before (the rare privilege of) lessons were granted. Not one morsel of the other cured and dried treats – Sopressa Picante, Capocollo di Tartufo, Pancetta and Pecorino del Monte – was overlooked by us. We savoured every flavoursome, deep, rich, luscious mouthful.
I was in Kogarah, at the Presidents Ave retail store and cafe, with friend and Kitchen by Mike Chef, Shady Wasef (previously at Osteria Balla, and before that Bells of Killcare.) We’d dropped in for a bite to eat and to check out the details for Pino’s Dolce Vita June cookery classes – Shady is teaching at some of them.
It’s worth the short drive south in Sydney. This has to be one of the tastiest and best value lunches around. Primo and secondo are all around 20 bucks. We feasted on shared plates: perfect pasta with borlotti beans, and veal saltimbocca.
And of course who would say no to dessert.
Somehow we managed to while away the afternoon, chatting and eating, eating and chatting, with the dulcet tones of Dean Martin underpinning it all. Great coffee too! And a breakfast menu that’s tempting even a late riser like me, to make an early start.
Pino’s Dolce Vita Fine Foods
Shop 10, 45 President Avenue,
Kogarah, NSW, Australia
+61 2 9587 4818