This past weekend I was invited to The Grand Blogger Dinner, an elegant culinary press event that brings together food and lifestyle bloggers to enjoy an elaborate dinner party in exclusive locations around the world. This special dining experience has been held in other major European cities, including Amsterdam, Milan, Vienna and Berlin, so I was excited to hear the latest edition would take place in the Eternal City. The Grand Blogger Dinner was held at the Baglioni Hotel Regina on Via Veneto, one of Rome’s most luxurious hotels and a perfect location for this extravagant event.
The Grand Blogger Dinner is a signature experience designed and hosted by Mr. Goodiebag, a Netherlands-based PR and Events Company with an eye for quality and talent for connecting lifestyle brands with bloggers and influencers. Mr. Goodiebag produces memorable events and this grand soiree lived up to its name, with a creative menu, curated details and flawless execution.
Upon arriving to the Grand Hotel Baglioni, we were escorted up to the penthouse suite for a glass of wine and an unforgettable view of Rome. After mingling and swapping Instagram handles, we entered the dining room accompanied by piano music and found our seat at two beautifully-decorated long tables to begin the lavish affair.
With an impressive array of partners across the food and beverage industries, The Grand Blogger Dinner the event is a tantalizing feast for the senses. We were treated to a five-course dinner created and presented by five different chefs who used seasonal ingredients in innovative ways.
Our first course was Risotto Ace, a spin on the popular beverage with orange, carrot and lemon that was highly flavorful and refreshingly novel. The risotto was well balanced, with a touch of acidity and just enough sweetness, and dusted with finely ground fennel powder that added a delightful saltiness to the dish.
The star of the second course were puntarelle, a bitter leafy green popular in Rome during the winter months. It is traditionally paired with anchovies but this dish was served on a creamy bed of hummus and sprinkled with a black olive crumble to compensate for the saltiness of the fish. The mix of flavors worked really well and was a welcome change from what we see on every menu in the city.
I can’t get enough of pasta with artichokes so I really loved our third course: pasta al dente with a light pesto sauce, delicate cheese fondue and pan-fried artichokes.
The fourth and final savory course was a real work of art and almost too pretty to eat. This beautifully-assembled vegetable roulade incorporated a wide mix of vegetables of every color of the rainbow and was a photogenic way to conclude the main portion of our dinner.
Every grand dinner ends with dessert and we were treated to a delightful creation by Grezzo Raw Chocolate, one of Rome’s best raw pastry shops. Grezzo showcased its newest creation, “Emblema”, a chocolate and hazelnut truffle that made with raw cocoa butter and sweetened with coconut sugar, agave and maple syrup. Dense and truly decadent, it was the perfect end to a sinful dinner.
There was one final surprise in store for us at the end of The Grand Blogger Dinner. Mr. Goodiebag sent us off with dozens of delicious treats to enjoy at home, including Italian foods from our sponsors (like Granoro pasta, San Pellegrino beverages and chocolates from Grezzo, just to name a few) and a tin of Stroopwafels from The Netherlands.
Thank you Alwin and Nikolai for inviting me to take part in this very special evening!
Livia Hengel is an Italian-American writer, photographer & digital strategist based in Rome. She helps small-businesses and beautiful brands share their stories online through social media, digital storytelling, content creation and more. If you’re interested in working with her, you can reach her at: firstname.lastname@example.org.