Spanish influence in Sorrento

Continental Chef SorrentoLooking out over the bay, Sorrento’s landmark Continental Hotel offers a dining experience like no other, with executive chef Roberto Capogreco serving up a European inspired menu with a few classic favorites.

A decade ago, Roberto made the sea change to the historic town and hasn’t looked back, brining his passion for food to the peninsula.

“I had been a Melbourne boy, born and bred, lived in London and New Zealand, but decided to make the peninsula my home after spending wonderful holidays down here,” says Roberto, savoring the relaxed pace of the seaside town. “I started at the Continental virtually straight away and haven’t looked back.”

Guests and diners enjoy a delicious Spanish inspired menu created by Roberto, who had previously owned Barcelona and his own catering company, Indulge.

“My signature dish would be the Zarzuela, a Spanish seafood hot pot. We make lobster bisque then a paste out of bread and garlic and red peppers and add it to thicken the soup. This is served in a paella pan with crusty bread. We also do a very popular paella, served for one or two to share. It is a Spanish rice dish served in a pan with chorizo sausage, mussels, clams, prawns, calamari, and chicken, cooked with rice, saffron and paprika.”

Roberto is also inspired by European flavors, creating a wonderful marinara cartoccio, a linguine marinara with mixed seafood, wrapped in a paper bag and cooked in the oven, which is opened at the table to serve.

“We try to use mainly fresh local ingredients, which is one of the best parts of living here,” says Roberto. “We change the menu three or four times a year but always keep the popular dishes, and we have about four or five specials that change daily.”

Continental Hotel is at 1-21 Ocean Beach Rd, Sorrento.
Phone 5984 2201.

First published in Mint Magazine – April 2015

Author: Melissa Walsh

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