The Perfect Menu for a Wedding in the Val d’Orcia

29 march 2021

In addition to a guaranteed unique setting - the gentle rolling hills spotted with gullies here and there, the roads lined with cypress trees, and the little medieval hamlets - choosing a destination wedding in the Val d’Orcia also means choosing from dishes and wines that are considered among the best in Italy. As in all Tuscan cuisine, Val d’Orcia fare is based on simple top-quality ingredients: vegetables, legumes, cheese, charcuterie, meat, and bread (without salt since the Middle Ages when the taxes on it were very high), not to mention the very fine wines, like the famous Brunello di Montalcino and Nobile di Montepulciano, but also the small DOC Orcia, or the magnificent extra virgin olive oil, considered among the best in Italy.

It is exactly from these exceptional ingredients that we will create the perfect Val d’Orcia wedding menu. Attilio Mazzei, chef and founder of Roland’s, one of the best-known catering companies in Tuscany, tells us about his ideal format. “Our Tuscan cuisine is the union of tradition and innovation,” explains Mazzei, “because a wedding is an elegant and formal occasion. The quality and the seasonality of the main ingredients as well as the variety of the offerings are what we draw our inspiration from in creating our menus. The aperitif, which can take up to two hours: let’s picture it at sunset, with a view and maybe with live music in the background… along with a wide range of cocktails, bubbly and local wines, there is a great variety of tasty offerings inspired by the exceptional products found in the Val d’Orcia.

Must-haves include the classic Tuscan cheese and charcuterie served with focaccia and bread right out of the oven. Our version of finger food is a tribute to what is modern without forgetting the traditions of our land so (dishes like) panzanella, pappa al pomodoro, little bruschetta with organic vegetables, all in single servings with careful attention to presentation as well as to taste. Deep-fried delicacies, another must-have for happy hour, is a plus if they include battered edible flowers of the Val d’Orcia along with sage, zucchini, eggplants, peppers, and onion rings, which become crunchy little pleasures.”  

The quality of the basic ingredients is extremely important: Roland’s starts with a very rigorous selection from its local suppliers, choosing niche products and small artisan businesses.
And what about the first dishes? “We can let loose on the first dishes,” continues Attilio Mazzei, “given the incredible variety of fresh pasta that we have in Tuscany, like in the rest of Italy - the classic pici, one of the signature dishes of the Val d’Orcia, is a must, but we serve them in a ragù bianco (meat sauce without tomato) - lighter and more refined than the classic ragout made with tomato sauce - and with a finishing touch of crunchy julienne vegetables. Ravioli is another winning idea, usually very appreciated by all ages. As an alternative to the traditional ricotta and spinach ravioli, we also use more summer vegetables such as eggplant, burrata cheese, and cherry tomatoes.
When it comes to these second dishes,” explains Mazzei, “we recommend going with classics. You can’t go wrong with an excellent fillet of beef in Brunello di Montalcino or a cut of Cinta Senese pork. In the hotter months, we serve them with a fresh little salad, maybe with an unusual touch of pink grapefruit, or a summer vegetable flan like zucchini or eggplant.”
Finally, can’t miss the cake: Attilio Mazzei explains that the most requested by foreigners is the Millefeuille with Chantilly cream and fresh fruit, a classic Italian dessert. “We prepare it in front of the guests as show cooking, which, besides being quite theatrical with two pastry chefs who build the cake layer upon layer, it also allows for tasting the millefeuille at its best: fresh and flaky. Among Italian couples,” concludes Mazzei, “the naked cake is a hit, which, in addition to being very good - there are many options for the base and the icing - they are really beautiful to look at and make a great visual impact in photos.”