On a recent visit to Sydney Mr. Livio Busatti, 8th generation CEO of Busatti Italy, along with Mr. Michelangelo Formica the General Manager of the company, visited Pretty Beach House. To celebrate the occasion, Stefano Manfredi hosted a long Saturday lunch in their honour with a signature Manfredi menu.
Stefano and Julie were introduced to the wonderful world of Busatti Linen by Kate Nixon who styled a garden Easter luncheon last year at Bells at Killcare hosted by Emma Scott and photographed by Julie Adams, of an Affair with Italy fame. They discovered that The Busatti family have been weaving linen and cotton in Anghiari, Tuscany since 1842. When other Italian textiles manufactures , last century, were upgrading their hand looms to machines, Busatti by contrast kept the tradition of the handloom alive. As competitors became outstripped by the Chinese factories who were also able to purchase machinery, Busatti found that by keeping traditional methods and skill alive,they had a point of difference with their artisan fabrics, dedication to quality and craftsmanship, traditional methods and designs. Now the fabrics are highly prized by such Italian icons as Miuccia Prada, Georgio Armani and the like.
Inspired by the finesse of Busatti fabrics, fine table linens were selected during the recent refurbishment of PBH, to compliment the modern Italian dining experience in the Manfredi tradition of cooking with the best of Australian seasonal produce. At dinner and formal lunches, tables are laid with fine au-de-nil linen table cloths, rustic placemats in the shade of the surrounding forests of orange angophoras, and napkins in raw ecru linens, creating a table of Italianate origin with a palette of colours and textures inspired by the Australian bush and surrounding landscape of Pretty Beach House.
Guests of honour were welcomed with a champagne toast followed by a tour of the property and villas. Once all were seated, the lunch kicked off with an Antipasto of grilled octopus, black mussel gratin and deep fried zucchini flower with ricotta and local honey. This was displayed simply on the beauty of a fine oval porcelain plate from the Bernardaud digital collection.
A second course of Australian Tooth Fish with borlotti, leeks and peperoncini was complemented with a glass of 2013 Yerringberry Yarra Valley Viognier. Nextup, Stefano produced one of his famous risotti , on this occasion , a chestnut and porcini rendition , served with a nod to his culinary hero Gualtiero Marchesi on a bronze rimmed Bernardaud show plate. As a very special treat for our Italian visitors, Manfredi served a main course of grilled partridge with farro, proscuitto and grape currents, accompanied by a Bass Phillip Gippsland Pinot Noir 2013.
Dolce was a classic from the Manfredi at Bells menu- Cassata of vanilla and raspberry, a big hit with our youngest member of the party -little “Handsome Henry “, who wanted ‘more, more.’!
A quick espresso of di Manfredi Audacia blend and our guests were farewelled and on their way back to Sydney.
Photography by Helen Coetzee
All photos are the property of Manfredi and Pretty Beach House – all rights reserved .
Words by Manfredi