A chef, sommelier, and winemaker combine forces to highlight the living nature of food and wine in Oakland
Oakland, Ca. – Three veterans of the food and wine industry are joining forces in Oakland to rediscover the passionate heat, immediacy, and immersive history of food and wine so often lost in the restaurant setting. Chef Alessandro Campitelli of Chiaroscuro and Contrasto restaurants, sommelier Paul Robinson of New York’s Del Posto and Chiaroscuro, and former chef-turned-winemaker Pietro Buttitta of Oakland’s Prima Materia Vineyard & Winery, are all exploring their personal trajectories while merging their voices at the edges of their disciplines.
Temescal’s Prima Materia Winery’s tasting room will host and provide wine pairings for many of the pasta-focused menus which are scheduled for Saturday March 14th, Thursday March 19th, Tuesday March 24th, and Tuesday March 31st. Each evening will feature a different menu crafted by Alessandro and Paul that will be presented in two intimate seatings exploring three regional pasta and wine pairings with a deep and narrow dive into the history and context of their development.
Prima Materia’s dedication in growing and crafting Italian varietal wines and sharing their history presents a natural fit for Paul and Alessandro, who are also exploring the convergence of art, craft, and history within their disciplines.
Tickets for the March 14th event can be found here.
A few seats will be available on the 19th and 24th for members of the press.
About Paul Robinson
Paul Robinson has been in hospitality for over 12 years. His career began in private events at USHG, leading large-scale galas and dinners at prominent venues across Manhattan. After a meaningful trip to Sicily and Sardegna, he pursued certification as a sommelier through the CMS. Paul moved into fine-dining full-time, beginning at Chiaroscuro in SF, where he led a wine and 20-cheese program, and then back to NYC where he poured wine at Del Posto for over two years. He spent the next two years developing a class series at New York Vintners before moving back to Oakland to open Wine with Paul.
About Alessandro Campitelli
Alessandro Campitelli began working at the tender age of 14 as a waiter in an intimate restaurant in his hometown of Rome, Italy. His passion for the restaurant business grew and he eventually enrolled in the hospitality school Tor Carbone. Upon graduating, he spent the next several years working under some of the most talented chefs in Italy; most notabely Antonello Colonna (ES Hotel) Massimo riccioli (la rosetta), and Heinz beck (la pergola in the rome cavalieri Hilton). Alessandro transitioned to the Bay Area to pursue his own businesses: a fine dining restaurant in SF called Chiaroscuro and then the casual Roman eatery Contrasto in Oakland. He now has left the restaurant business and is pursuing his nutritional certification.
About Pietro Buttitta
Pietro Buttitta has gone full circle, from working amongst Carginan, French Colombard and prunes in the 70’s, and eventually entering kitchens in Portland, Oregon. His experience ranged from small restaurants to large-scale banquet and catering operations, including Napa Valley’s Michelin-starred Terra Restaurant. 2007 was his first harvest, and he never looked back, bolstering his experience with the CMS certification, consulting, and most importantly planting and tending to the Prima Materia’s vineyard in the Kelsey Bench AVA of Lake County, where he specializes in rarities such as Refosco, Sagrantino, and Aglianico among many others in a natural yet classical and age-worthy style. Details are here.
About Prima Materia
Prima Materia grows its own grapes in the Kelsey Bench AVA of Lake County without pesticides or herbicides at 1500′ elevation in red volcanic Forbesville soil, and is focused on Italian cultivars ranging from Sangiovese and Barbera to Aglianico, Sagrantino and Negroamaro among others. Former chef and winemaker/owner Pietro Buttitta planted most of these grapes himself and has worked the vineyard for the last 11 years. Bottlings can be viewed here and samples can be requested or poured in person at our Oakland tasting room.
Prima Materia is located in the Temescal Alleys at 49th and Telegraph in Oakland, just behind Pizzaiolo and Doña Tomås. The wines have always been handled minimally, unfined, unfiltered, pesticide and herbicide-free, and focused on finding an articulate Lake County voice with a distinct Old World finish and feel through bottom-up farming and winery practices.