by Alexis Ann
When I received an invitation from Kim at Mohegan Sun to attend National Ravioli Day, March 20th, at Tuscany Restaurant, I knew right away that if my calendar was clear, I was definitely attending. “What a hoot,” I wrote in my R.S.V.P. … “I’ll be there.”
It seems raviolis spark fond memories and as Chef Shaun Houle says, “You eat a ravioli, you SMILE.” For me, raviolis take me way back to Mondays in the Borough School cafeteria because that’s when Mrs. Santos served the tasty morsels.
You may know that raviolis were the product of an Italian immigrant and restaurateur, Chef Boyardee, a.k.a. Hector Boiardi. Chef Boyardee owned an eatery in Cleveland and the story is that’s where he first began serving raviolis.
Chef Shaun dazzled the Resident on Ravioli Day. Four wonderful courses were served:
1st…Ravioli “3 ways” – Doug Woodward serves up creamed spinach, egg yolk, mushroom ragout, brown butter and toasted bread crumbs.
2nd…Ravioli Fegatini – Maine lobster, scallops, and shrimp, asparagus, brandy and fresh dill in lemon butter and chives.
3rd. . . Short Rib Agnolotti – Wild mushrooms, fresh herbs, mascarpone cream, finished with parmesan and truffles.
4th…Chocolate Hazelnut Ravioli – Complete decadence! Sugared mint and raspberry sauce.
Chef Shaun, a resident of Killingly, is a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, N.Y. Shaun, no stranger to Mohegan Sun eateries, began his career eleven years ago in the casino’s early days at Pompeii & Caesar. After a stint with Bobby Flay in Restaurant Americain, Chef Shaun joined Todd English’s Tuscany three years ago. A glance at the above course-listing demonstrates Shaun’s creativity and passion for food preparation.
“I love the freedom to create and the flexibility to experiment with food,” said Chef Shaun, when asked what he likes best about his job. Shaun will individualize a menu for diners whenever possible and encourages creativity for private parties.