Searching For Stanley
Car Crash Risotto Milanese
As far as Tony is concerned, the search started in Rome with a chance viewing of Episode Two. He shared the news via a (linked) headline: “Stanley Tucci: the flirty hero of foodie TV you need in your life” – together with a note that I was “going to love this”.
As far as I was concerned, the search began when notes started dropping from abroad, early this year, that this series was very much on the US food-world’s radar – they were stanning our man Stanley for his vicarious gift of ‘romanticised travel’ at a time when such a thing mostly represented ‘unrequitable desire’! The reviews came in raptures: “Tucci-mania” was the terminology used by Forbes to describe the effect the series was having; “Tuccissimo” the ‘too muchness’ felt by the New Yorker’s captivated reviewer, and Tony’s own domestic journalistic source (the Guardian), late to this party by US standards, reported a “powerful Tucci hypnodazzle” at play.
Which all goes to say that, as far as Car Crash Cooking™ is concerned, Stanley was a shoo-in. What’s not to want to emulate about a suave Italian American, demonstrating his own brand of ‘sprezzatura’ in the land that invented such an inimitable word for ‘style’ – especially while enjoying good company, good food, and a fair bit of good drink to wash it all down with (us and Stanley both!).
Speaking of which, Stanley had previously ‘broken’ the internet – during everyone’s ‘first’ lockdown – in a homemade IG film in which he shared a perfect ‘Tucci Negroni’ (approx.1.2 million views at time of writing). You can see how he did that on his Instagram account here.
Our dish of choice in our own Search for Stanley – our ‘Car Crash’ homage to the man – is a saffron risotto (Episode 3, Milan) – it blended well with the current CC branding (sunny yellow), and risotto happens to be Tony’s favourite ‘18 minutes of love’ that he offers to Hayley (safe to say, it’s 18 ‘safe for work’ minutes, but if anyone has blushes, prepare to shed them now!). As bonus, and not to be outdone by Stanley, we’ve thrown in the makings of a ‘Negroni a la Tony’.
The risotto recipe (Stanley’s own) is available to reference here (courtesy, CNN). The Car Crash, as it happened, is recorded for posterity on our own Instagram account linked here. Tony was in his risotto making, fungi slinging element and, hence, at his most able in the kitchen, so the ‘car crash’ turned out, counter to its billing, a little more expert than may have been the expectation (we had notes after the event to the effect that we were not staying true to our promise!). We can’t help but be a little bit proud, nonetheless, that it worked out so well – but there’s always the next time … !
Erica, August 2021