Last week at breakfast, my table companion was the dashing and urbane Andrea Boffi, restaurateur and consultant chef to Eric Way.
I’d been given a bottle of Ataraxia Serenity 2007, one of the wines that sponsored the previous night’s event. The wine is pricey at R120 a bottle, so I wanted to do something special to go with it and asked Andrea what he thought. “This wine is a seamless blend of classic red varietals yet the emphasis is more on style than cultivar make-up.” So says one online store.
Andrea suggested I choose a robust pasta dish from the menu of his restaurant, Casa Toscana in Trafalgar on the Kwa Zulu Natal South Coast:
Penne con salsiccia e brandy
Penne cooked al dente served with our rich sauce made with Italian style pork sausage, tomato, chilli, brandy and a touch of fresh cream.
This is my interpretation:
Ataraxia … the dictionary defines it thus:
Ataraxia (Ἀταραξία “tranquillity”) is a Greek term used by Pyrrho and Epicurus for a lucid state, characterized by freedom from worry or any other preoccupation.
For the Epicureans, ataraxia was synonymous with the only true happiness possible for a person. It signifies the state of robust tranquility that derives from eschewing faith in an afterlife, not fearing the gods because they are distant and unconcerned with us, avoiding politics and vexatious people, surrounding oneself with trustworthy and affectionate friends and, most importantly, being an affectionate, virtuous person, worthy of trust.
How very appropriate …
If you find yourself in Trafalgar, tell Andrea you read this post and he’ll give you 10% discount on your meal. (Drinks excluded).