In Northern Italy the bars of Milan and Turin are alive in the early evening with young people, frequently college students,  enthusiastically socializing and enjoying an “Aperitivo” and a meal, substantial enough to be called a light dinner, or “Cena” using the Italian word. So the word Apericena was born by merging the two words, and the days of a simple cocktail (Apertivio), followed by a meal at home or in a trattoria seem to have vanished into the past!  Following the lead of Milan, other more southern cities are catching on where there are urban University campuses, like Pisa, Bologna, and Florence.

Memory Matters held the first ever Hilton Head Island Apericena on Saturday evening, thanks entirely to two wonderful friends of our organization winning a bid at the “Sunset in Tuscany Gala” back in April this year. The Board of Memory Matters pledged to organize an Apericena for the winners – Janet Gorton and Judi Levy – who could have been forgiven for wondering quite what was going to happen! Janet and Judi brought 16 guests to experience the “abroad” evening with them.

The signature Aperitivo was a limoncello and prosecco with fresh raspberries and a small sprig of mint (recipe to be found in Pat Branning’s Shrimp Collards and Grits book), supported by a selection of other Italian wines.

The Cena was inspired by our own Chef in Residence, Kim Baretta, and included dozens of tasty bites. Special thanks go to Chef Kim and Jan Smith.

The Apericena food included: homemade ravioli served with sauce and  pecorino cheese on a Chinese spoon, rosemary lamb lollipops served fresh from the oven, homemade arancini balls, baked fresh on the day, cheeses, olives, peppers, a Mediterranean roasted beet salad, Mushroom Grape Crostini, Olive Tapenade, Goat Cheese Stuffed Grilled Peppers, a whole prosciutto carved and served with Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, Shrimp Marinade, Autumn Panzanella, Arugula/Kale/Basil Flatbread, Italian Rissole with Tomato Chutney, Chicken Involtini, Butternut Soup Shots.


If this was not quite enough, the desserts included fresh berries with an Amaretto splash, Amaretto Torta and Tiramisu!

Another special thank you goes to Marcia Cornell and her friends who form the acapella singing quartet, “4 The Moment.” They beautifully and lyrically sang and kindly donated their time and talent to entertain our guests.

A couple of unsolicited quotes: “This is amazing. I can’t wait until next year’s auction!” Someone else said, “This food is so unique, so creative, so delicious!” And, “Your Board Members made all of this?”

I believe that we can modestly say that the evening was a considerable success. Our Board members and Staff pulled together to create this special evening for our terrific guests. One that will long live in our memory……Thank you, everyone! Volunteer Mike

Please also share the blog with family and friends and those who might benefit from reading these words. Please call us at (843) 842-6688 for further information about Memory Matters, or for a confidential Baseline Memory Screen.