Is there a better way to prepare for a trip to Italy than to have an Italian chef come to cook dinner for you and three friends? I doubt it, and Sardinian-born Stefano Sanna of Shardana Catering did not disappoint.

In fact, from start to finish it was a five star performance. Stefano’s passion for top class ingredients, matched with expert cooking skills honed at one of Italy’s best cook schools and spells at Michelin starred restaurants, shone through and “wow” was often repeated at the dinner table.
When I say three friends, I had arranged for a fourth to pop in later for drinks as she was on a last-minute visit from London and it was a rare chance for us all to catch up.

Chef-proprietor of Shardana Catering, Stefano Sanna www.shardanacatering.co.uk

When I say three friends, I had arranged for a fourth to pop in later for drinks as she was on a last-minute visit from London and it was a rare chance for us all to catch up.

When I mentioned this to Stefano it was not a problem – he had enough food or could make slight changes to cook for five – and he did.

Parmigiana di melanzane

The expansive spread of antipasti was a glorious selection of the finest prosciutto and other meats, partnered with hard and soft cheeses it set the tone, along with delicate appetisers and three different breads Stefano had baked earlier that day.

Starters included citrus cured seabass with lemon gel, burrata and an onion and fennel salad or pan fried halloumi, artichokes with rocket and a balsamic and basil emulsion.

Fillet alla Rossinin

It wasn’t even on the menu, but Stefano added on an outstanding porcini mushroom and ricotta ravioli, just because he could. Finished off with a parmesan fondue cooked in butter, thyme and wine – mamma mia! Ottimo.

After a palate cleansing lychee granita with nectarine and basil salsa, it was on to the main event.

The meat eaters salivated over Fillet alla Rossini – finest Scottish beef fillet, foie gras and truffle, served on a slice of brioche with spinach and beef jus, with vegetarian guests opting for the Italian classic, Parmigiana di melanzane – fried aubergines cooked in layers with tomato sauce, basil, parmesan and mozzarella.

Porcini and ricotta ravioli

This Sunday evening feast was rounded off with an almond nougat parfait, topped with chocolate and a mirto sauce from the mirto liqueur made by Stefano’s father back home in Sardinia.

After learning his craft at top restaurants in Italy and Switzerland, Stefano moved to Edinburgh seven years ago and set up Shardana Catering to offer fine dining to private parties, weddings, celebrations and corporate events.

Mindful of the changing Covid-19 restrictions, Stefano is also offering a gourmet delivery service direct to your home.
For more details contact info@shardanacatering.co.uk or visit www.shardanacatering.co.uk