The Clever Root

Fall / Winter 2015

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f a l l / w i n t e r 2 0 1 5 | 2 9 S tanding at the granite-topped island in the kitchen of Tangley Oaks, the majestic Tudor mansion north of Chicago that serves as headquarters for Terlato Wines, John Terlato slices plump, yellow-streaked heirloom tomatoes with the precision of a surgeon. Pushing aside one that he deems over-ripe for his Caprese salad, he turns his attention to the imported buffalo burrata. "Wait till you taste this particular bur- rata," Terlato says to a visitor. "I searched for ten years to find a producer who was capable of crafting burrata at this level of quality and was available here in the US. You see, when you have tasted and enjoyed fresh burrata in Italy, it's otherworldly and once you have enjoyed that freshness and flavor, it's difficult to settle for less. In food, wine and in life, we usually try to avoid going backward." He carefully composes the salad on a platter, layering the tomatoes and burrata slices with fresh basil leaves before drizzling his colorful creation with olive oil as a final touch. John Terlato proves that food doesn't have to be fancy to taste great by David Mahoney / photos by Rebecca Peplinski IN THE KITCHEN

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