Published on March 31st, 2021 | by Darren Paltrowitz


A Look At Chef Karen Akunowicz & Mixologist Fabio Raffaelli’s Recent Collaboration With Martini & Rossi

As chef and owner of the Fox & The Knife Enoteca in South Boston, Chef Karen Akunowicz was named the 2018 James Beard Foundation Award winner for “Best Chef: Northeast,” honored with a “Food & Wine’s Best New Restaurants in America” title in 2019, and recognized as a 2020 James Beard Award finalist for “Best New Restaurant.” Chef Akunowicz became a fan favorite when she competed on season 13 of Bravo’s Emmy-nominated show Top Chef season 13, and the aforementioned Fox & The Knife was inspired by Chef Akunowicz’s time spent living and cooking in Modena, Italy. She notably blends both traditional and modern techniques to introduce new versions of beloved classics.

Martini & Rossi Fiero is a wine-based aperitivo made with a blend of white wines and carefully-sourced botanicals, including sweet Spanish orange peels grown in Murcia, which are hand-peeled and dried under the sun in a traditional method that takes time and care to protect the natural essential oils. While the orange peel provides the vibrant citrus notes, botanicals artemisia absinthium and artemisia pontica — which are both harvested in the village of Pancallieri in Turin — contribute the signature bitterness and herbal aromatics that are the distinguishing characteristic of Italian aperitivo drinks. The result is the distinctive intense citrus flavor orange flavor of Martini & Rossi Fiero.

Recently it was announced that Chef Karen Akunowicz would be hosting a virtual cocktail and culinary experience to celebrate the launch of Martini & Rossi Fiero. As part of such, Chef Akunowicz — along with top mixologist Fabio Raffaelli — would teach Zoom attendees how to make an authentic Italian dish inspired by her time spent living in Italy, which would pair properly with a Martini & Rossi Fiero & Tonic. That authentic dish, you ask? Mozzarella in Carrozza with Curried Tomato Sauce. A recipe for a Martini & Rossi Fiero & Tonic and the ingredients needed to prep Mozzarella in Carrozza with Curried Tomato Sauce are both below for your home-prep pleasure.

More on Martini & Rossi is online at and, while more on Chef Karen Akunowicz can be found at and

Martini Fiero & Tonic

– 3 oz Martini & Rossi Fiero
– 3 oz tonic water
– Glass: Balloon
– Garnish: Orange Wheel

– Pack a balloon glass with ice, pour in an equal ratio of MARTINI & ROSSI Fiero and tonic water.
– Stir gently for a few moments and garnish with orange wheel.
– Enjoy.

Mozzarella in Carrozza with Curried Tomato Sauce

– 1 ball fresh mozzarella
– 4 slices white bread, crusts trimmed
– 2 large eggs, beaten
– 1 ½ teaspoons minced garlic
– 1 heaping teaspoon flat leaf Italian parsley, chopped
– 2 cups seasoned breadcrumbs
– Olive oil for frying
Kosher salt
– Ground black pepper

Curried Tomato Sauce:
– 2 tablespoons olive oil
– 1 tablespoon red curry paste
– 1 clove garlic, minced
– 1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
– Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
– 1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil leaves
– 1 tablespoon chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

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About the Author

Darren Paltrowitz is a New York resident with over 20 years of entertainment industry experience. He began working around the music business as a teenager, interning for the manager of his then-favorite band Superdrag. Since then, he has worked with a wide array of artists including OK Go, They Might Be Giants, Mike Viola, Tracy Bonham, Loudness, Rachael Yamagata, and Amanda Palmer. Darren's writing has appeared in dozens of outlets including the New York Daily News, Inquisitr, The Daily Meal, The Hype Magazine, All Music Guide, Guitar World,, Businessweek, Chicago Tribune, L.A. Times, and the Jewish Journal. Beyond being "Editor At Large" for The Hype Magazine, Darren is also the host of weekly "Paltrocast With Darren Paltrowitz" series, which airs on dozens on television and digital networks. He has also co-authored 2 published books, 2018's "Pocket Change: Your Happy Money" (Book Web Publishing) and 2019's "Good Advice From Professional Wrestling" (6623 Press), and co-hosts the world's only known podcast about David Lee Roth, "The DLR Cast."

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