FX Excursions

FX Excursions offers the chance for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in destinations around the world.

Houston, Texas, Ristorante Cavour, Chef Renato De Pirro

Sep 1, 2010
2010 / September 2010

DePirroTuscan-born Chef Renato De Pirro has a soft spot for the kitchen. It’s where he spent his childhood learning to cook in the company of his mother and grandmother and where he began to build a culinary legacy rooted in family tradition.

“Italians are about family, cooking and tradition,” says De Pirro. “The kitchen is where we spent all of our time with family and friends; creating recipes, enjoying wines and creating meaningful traditions and techniques that I still rely on to this day.”

With more than 20 years of experience in some of the finest kitchens in Europe, South America and the United States, the executive chef at Houston’s Hotel Granduca and its signature Ristorante Cavour combines traditional Italian culinary principles with his extensive travel experience. The core of his style, though, remains firmly rooted in understanding the origins and finely fragmented diversities of Italian cuisine.

“The best part of preparing Italian cuisine is tradition: Every region, province, community and valley has different traditions and eating habits. I’ve always believed it’s critical to study and understand the cuisines of the past in order to work the present and build the future,” says De Pirro.


Mixed greens with heirloom tomatoes, pesto dressing and pine nuts Serves 4

For the salad:
8 long, very thin slices of cucumber
6 ounces salad mix
8 ounces baby heirloom tomatoes, sliced in half
4 teaspoons toasted pine nuts

For the dressing:
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon Champagne vinegar
1 cup basil leaves
1 clove garlic
1 tablespoon grated Parmesan Reggiano cheese
Salt and pepper, to taste

Place all ingredients for the dressing in a blender and blend until smooth.

For the garnish:
4 Grissini breadsticks

Presentation:
For each serving, use 2 cucumber slices to make a crown in the middle of the plate. Place 1/4 of the dressed salad mix into the cucumber crown. Top with tomatoes and pine nuts. Garnish with a bread stick.

Gnocchi with eggplant tomato sauce and fresh ricotta cheese Serves 4

For the gnocchi:
1 pound Idaho potatoes, skin on
5 ounces all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan Reggiano cheese
2 egg yolks
Salt and pepper, to taste

Boil the potatoes until well done. Mash cooked potatoes through a food mill to a fine consistency. Set aside and let cool completely. Add the remaining ingredients and mix well until a dough forms. On a lightly floured board, roll the dough into a 1⁄2-inch “snake.” Cut the dough into 1⁄2-inch pieces. Roll each piece of dough on the back of a fork to give it the classic gnocchi shape. Set aside. When ready to plate, cook the gnocchi in boiling, salted water. Gnocchi is ready when it rises to the top of the water.

For the eggplant tomato sauce:
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 clove garlic
1 medium eggplant, peeled and diced to 1⁄4-inch
1 small can imported Italian tomatoes, pureed
1 tablespoon basil chiffonade
Salt and pepper, to taste

Heat the oil and garlic in a pan. Add eggplant and fry for a few minutes. Add the tomatoes and cook for about 5 minutes. Add the basil. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

For the garnish:
Fresh ricotta cheese Basil sprig

Presentation:
Toss the gnocchi with the eggplant tomato sauce and place on the serving dish. Finish with a dollop of fresh ricotta cheese. Garnish with a sprig of basil.

Pan-seared branzino with heirloom tomato sauce and fennel salad Serves 4

1-1⁄2 pounds branzino (Mediterranean sea bass)
8 ounces baby heirloom tomatoes, cut in half
1 teaspoon garlic, minced
1 tablespoon basil chiffonade
6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
8 ounces fennel, shaved
Salt and pepper, to taste

Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a sauté pan. Season fish with salt and pepper and sear in heated oil on both sides until done. In another pan, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Add garlic and tomatoes. Cook for 4 minutes. Season to taste with salt, pepper and basil. Season fennel with remaining 2 tablespoons of oil and salt and pepper, to taste.

Presentation:
Place the seasoned fennel on the side of a plate. Place the fish on the other side. Top the fish with garlic tomato sauce.

Introducing

FX Excursions

FX Excursions offers the chance for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in destinations around the world.

#globility

Insta Feed
Daily
Jun 28, 2022

Samaná, A Hidden Gem, Nestled in Stunning Caribbean Destination

Tucked away between the verdant hills of the Dominican Republic and beautiful waters of the Caribbean Sea, Samaná is the perfect year-round destination. No matter what time of year you choose to visit this hidden gem, you can check things off your travel bucket list. In the summer, escape the busy tourism hot spots and explore off-the-beaten path areas and activities; in the winter, embark on an eco-excursion like whale watching in Samaná Bay.

8 Reasons to Press the Green Button and Visit Ireland

Start planning that long-awaited trip to the island of Ireland. With all travel restrictions now lifted, there has never been a better time to visit.

Daily
Jun 28, 2022

All-Inclusive Luxury in Antalya on the Turkish Riviera

The coastal town of Belek in Antalya serves as the setting for the brand new, 5-star Cullinan Belek, named for the largest rough diamond ever discovered. Set along the sparkling azure waters of the Turkish Riviera, the new property boasts its own private white-sand beach, with 600 plush guestrooms (including 10 luxurious villas), all providing sea views. The hotel also has 13 swimming pools, 10 dining venues and five bars.

Leisure Lifestyle 2022
Jun 28, 2022

Look for Unique Museums Filled with Fascinating Artifacts Wherever you Travel

Museums beckon wherever we go. They amuse and enlighten travelers and bring to public attention historical, artistic, scientific and natural wonders. Most are thought-provoking and educational, stretching our minds and our knowledge of the world. Some, however, stand out as just plain quirky: personal and sometimes whimsical collections, museums dedicated to a unique skill or long- forgotten industry, arcane collections originally designed for scientific study. Others devote their space to sharing a subject that represents one person’s consuming passion.

Why the Future of Business Travel Might Look Different

Global business travel is making its way back, even as the pandemic and other world events continue to challenge its return. In a recent poll from the Global Business Travel Association, more than four in five respondents (86 percent) from across the industry said they feel more optimistic than they did at the beginning of the year. Business travel bookings, the need to travel to do business and employee willingness to travel are all on the rise.

Daily
Jun 27, 2022

Seoul Tourism Organization Joined IMEX, Shares Cultural Highlights

The Seoul Tourism Organization participated in IMEX, the world’s largest MICE exhibition, in Frankfurt, Germany, May 29–June 2. IMEX celebrated its 200th anniversary this year.

Daily
Jun 23, 2022

The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection Completes Sea Trials

The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection celebrated an exciting moment recently when Evrima, its inaugural yacht, completed a series of successful sea trials. On June 9, in Santander, Spain, Evrima reached what is considered one of the final shipbuilding milestones prior to launch with the sea trials, a series of tests carried out when the yacht is sailing on open waters. Captain Steven MacBeath led the trials, alongside a team of senior officers, engineers, contractors and shipyard staff.

Celebrity Cruises’ Spring Sale

There’s no better time to plan the vacation you’ve been missing. Step aboard with your better half, your friends or the whole family and reconnect, reunite and rejoice with 25 percent off cruise fares for all guests. We’ll also help everyone get there with 25 percent off airfare from 20 major gateways across the country or $100 savings per person on flights from all other gateways when you book your air travel using Flights by Celebrity.*

Daily
Jun 23, 2022

What’s New in California for Summer 2022

California entices travelers to visit the Golden State this summer with new programming, events and offerings.