Big Dinner Celebrates Scots and Italian cuisine

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THERE can be no better way to start 2015 than with a Scots Italian food adventure – and the BIG dinner team has the best guides possible.

We are delighted to welcome Carina and Victor Contini as our resident chefs for January – our Italian month.

To whet our appetite for a feast of Italian flavours over January, and to get you thinking about your BIG dinner on 7th March, Carina and Victor, their three children, Orlando, Carla and Arianna and head chef, Suzanne, hosted a special meal in their fabulous new restaurant Contini Cannoball.

You can almost smell the fish pie with its Scottish langoustines and scallops and the fragrant stew made with winter vegetables from Carina’s kitchen garden, which she restored to supply fresh produce for her and Victor’s Edinburgh restaurants.

Carina and Victor are first generation Italian Scots. Their grandparents travelled to Scotland at the turn of the last century, and their families have been wowing us with their amazing food ever since.

Their marriage of Italian passion for food and the best Scottish produce is a magical mix, whether it is fish and chips straight from a newspaper or seared duck breast from Burnside Farm.

The Scotsman’s food critic Gaby Soutar was wowed by the Cannonball experience recently, which she describes here.

You may not be able to muster up members of the Scottish Chamber Orchestra to serenade your BIG dinner guests, as Victor and Carina did with Ben Norris on violin and Nikita Naumov on double bass, but as Carina says: “It is the little changes that will make a BIG difference”.

Your BIG dinner on Saturday 7th March will make a BIG difference to someone in Africa, so sign up today.

And if you are looking for inspiration on what to cook, then look no further than Carina’s bestselling Kitchen Garden Cookbook.

Happy New Year, or as they say in Italy, Buon Anno.