It was with a mixture of excitement and trepidation that I sat down at the communal table of 8 for my Creative Department by Messina culinary adventure. I had read all the reviews and they all promised beautifully crafted sorbets and ices dished up with a sense of theatre in an intimate fine dining space. Think Tetsuya on a sugar high! Hell it was even free, a gift won from the Kick Start Smart conference I attended in September this year after listening to Declan Lee. Declan is one of the brilliant minds who co founded Messina Gelato, he gave an inspiring talk on business and creativity that had me rethinking my approach to business and how I can inject more out of the box thinking into Fresco Creative.
What was I afraid of? 7 courses of dessert means only the sweetest of sweet tooths need apply and I have been a sugar free Sarah Wilson devotee for years now. I’ve been known to turn down the most enticing sugar laced treats with steely resolve. How was I going to cope with 7 courses of dessert matched with drinks that were painstakingly created to bring out the notes and flavours of the ingredients – major one being sugar? I had visions of myself bouncing off the walls, babbling incoherently in an insane sugar high.
Let me firstly say the creativity was amazing, the Chefs took our intimate table of 8 on a journey far beyond my expectations, this was nothing like I was used to eating from the Messina Chain of gelato stores. In fact most of the dishes didn’t even resemble icecream. There was the trickery, experimentation and sense of fun you would expect from a sitting at Heston Blumenthal’s Fat Duck in Berkshire. Thankfully there were also unique savory granitas like green asparagus sorbet with soy sauce and spices and a pickled turnip granita in a blackberry cone and preserved blueberry. Each dish was gorgeous, an artistic feat of genius and definitely worth the visit. Admittedly by plate 7 I needed to stop. Despite the initially savoury ices and exotic, smoked spiced granitas and drinks the majority of dishes were sweet and I struggled to finish the final creations. As for the incoherent babbling from a sugar high, well you’ll have to ask my table companions that one, but I can attest there was lots of giggling and omming and ahhing at the creations that kept coming from there kitchen. The Creative Department is a wonderful concept and a good reminder to keep pushing your boundaries on how to approach tried and tested products and services, and infact on how you approach everything you do in life!