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Gwen Ashley Walters
September, 2009, Page 173
Photo by David Moore
Life-loving Italians are too busy enjoying themselves to fuss over crimping dough for a beautiful pie; so instead, they whip up a crostata – a free-form version filled with the season’s best fruits. Taggia, at the FireSky Resort & Spa (a hip Kimpton property) understands the Italian way with food, especially when it comes to dessert.
To honor both the season and the style of cooking, Chef de Cuisine James Siao (pronounced “Shaw”) created this rustic, seasonal crostata ($7) using summer peaches at their peak, cooking them simply with sugar as they slowly meld into a sweet jam.
Cookie-like shortbread dough is folded over the sticky, glazed peaches and slid into a hot oven until the edges are browned. Cut into a fat wedge and dusted with powdered sugar, the crostata arrives on a wooden board with a dollop of just-sweet whipped cream – a homey dessert that’s somehow still elegant.
When the peaches run out, perhaps by late September, Chef Siao will simply replace them with the first fall apples and then perhaps winter pears. It’s a dessert that effortlessly yields to the seasons.
Taggia also introduced a “white” strawberry tiramisu with amaretto-soaked lady fingers and cooked strawberries, and of course, they still serve the simplest Italian dessert of all: seasonal fruit draped in an ethereal, foamy zabaglione sauce tinged with Marsala. Any way you look at it, dessert at Taggia adds up to la dolce vita – a sweet life.
(FireSky Resort & Spa)
4925 N. Scottsdale Road, Scottsdale
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