|The long communal tables at Tutti a Tavola encourage diners to get to know one another.|
|Two Italian boys - Massimo Mele and Stefano Di Blasi share a love of good honest Italian food.|
|Guests are given a Sofi Spritz on arrival at Salt Meats Cheese.|
At the recent Roman edition of Tutti a Tavola, there were diners present who have attended every one of Mele's Sydney events. "Tutti a Tavola is a fantastic excuse for me to celebrate great regional Italian street food. These big communal feasts are so much fun and the feedback is that it inspires people to make feasting with their own family more of a tradition," he says.
|Communal tables are at the core of the Tutti a Tavola concept at Salt Meats Cheese. Photo: Saskia Mulder.|
Last week, the La Scala on Jersey executive chef and owner of Catering by Massimo once again commandeered the interior of the Alexandria food emporium for a feast of epic proportions. Like the space itself, there's a refreshing unpretentiousness to the compact fixed price menu. Pair this with a convivial commotion, musicians belting out traditional Italian tunes and you have an event that is intimate, informal, relaxed and friendly.
"There are no name tags on the tables, so it's very informal and about bringing people together and having fun."
|Tutti A Tavola is such a warm, intimate experience that diners arrive as strangers and leave as friends.|
This month's four-course menu, which was served with wine and beer, followed a Roman Street Food theme. The feast featured time-tested recipes served on three long tables designed to replicate the colour and organised chaos of an Italian feast. Although the first event featured a table set for 40, Tutti a Tavola has, like a good Italian family, doubled in size since the first offing four years ago.
Antipasti platters to share include woodfired pizza with potatoes, garlic and rosemary, proscuitto and pickled vegetables.
|The woodfired oven at Salt Meats Cheese sees a bit of action at the Tutti a Tavola event.|
|Fresh circles of tender calamari fritti served with lemon and rocket. Photo: Saskia Mulder.|
|Meltingly tender woodfired lamb shoulder with artichoke, egg and peas was a standout dish.|
Joining us at our communal table is a friendly couple from the Central Coast, two Italian-Australian sisters who live in Haberfield, a gaggle of women who have attended all of Mele's feasts and a couple celebrating their anniversary.
|Strozzapretti with oxtail and celery ragu is sinfully good.|
|Massimo Mele says he feels like Tutti a Tavola has found its home at Salt Meats Cheese.|
|The Pizza Box woodfired oven comes into play during the Tutti a Tavola event.|
|The dish of the day: the wood-fired lamb shoulder with artichoke, egg and peas|
|Even a simple salad is treated with great respect and seasoned just so.|
|The Salt Meats Cheese warehouse is the perfect backdrop to Mele's feast.|
|Rum babas all round wrap up this Roman feasts of epic proportions.|
The fact that the feast is something a team of nonnas might knock up at home on a special occasion Sunday means it is good honest seasonal food treated with the respect. That's reason enough to encourage 'everyone to the table' at Tutti a Tavola. Mangia, mangia.
The next Tutti A Tavola event will be held in July. Bookings essential: www.saltmeatscheese.com.au/events 02 9698 0595
Carla Grossetti was a guest of Salt Meats Cheese and Tutti a Tavola.