The Heavenly Risotto of Lake Como’s Villa d’Este

What exactly is it that makes Lake Como’s Villa d’Este feel like heaven? The perfect location on a shimmering, serene lake? The sumptuous decor? The acres and acres of botanical gardens? All of the above for sure and then there’s the food. In the March 2007 issue of Dream of Italy, we pull back Villa d’Este’s culinary curtains and discover two gastronomic powerhouses – Executive Chef Luciano Parolari, also known as the “King of Risotto” and his much-heralded repertoire of risotto recipes, which have been wowing famous and non- famous guests alike for decades. Parolari and the hotel’s longtime director of public relations, Jean Govoni Salvadore, have collected the recipes and related stories in the new book, Tales of Risotto: Culinary Recipes from Villa d’Este (Glitterati, 2006). They have generously given us permission to reprint the recipe for “Risotto with Artichokes,” the dish Frank Sinatra always ordered when he visited. Click here to see the recipe.