The Papal Fusion Recipe: Food that Takes You To Heaven

Chimi-Cauda, you reckon?

An experimental recipe from Hot Water Cornbread: Kentucky Food Radio


Note: This recipe comes from a cook's imagination, and is offered here for you to imagine yourself, or try with an eye to tweaking as needed.

Inspired by Pope Francis's first visit to the United States in late September, 2015, the Hot Water Cornbread crew imagined using Kentucky ingredients to manifest the amazing mix of cultures and food traditions entwined in this visit: the Pope's Argentine birth, Italian residence, and North American visit. Chef Ouita Michel learned that one of the Pope's favorite foods is bagna cauda, which amounts to vegetables dipped into a "hot bath" of olive oil that has been infused with savory, salty, umami additions. What an idea! Why didn't we think of that?

Chef Ouita innovates on this already yummy food by adding crucial flavorful and colorful elements from an Argentine sauce, chimichurri, which is green, garlicky, and typically served with meats. As with bagna cauda, many of the ingredients for chimichurri grow in Kentucky and can be found easily.

To experience this divinely inspired papal fusion recipe, make the bagna cauda, and then add both sauces, and try combining half of each. Dip roasted or crunchy fresh vegetables in the fusion sauce, or drizzle any of the sauces over cooked or grilled meats.

Bagna Cauda -- "Hot Bath"


  • 1 cup extra good quality extra virgin olive oil
  • 6 cloves (or so) crushed garlic
  • 5 minced anchovies (or whir the first three ingredients briefly in a blender)
  • 4 tablespoons butter, optional
  • Crushed red pepper, to taste


  1. Warm gently over low heat for 15 minutes.
  2. Dip fresh and roasted vegetables into the sauce. Hold vegetables over good bread. When the time comes—you will know it—eat that piece of bread, and begin again.
  3. Try mixing half this sauce with half a recipe of chimichurri, below, for the Argentine-Italian fusion invention that Pope Francis may or may not approve.

Flavors of Chimichurri

Note: Chimichurri, like bagna cauda, is a sauce based in olive oil. Chef Ouita's idea is to add just the aromatic ingredients from chimichurri to the bagna cauda to make "Chimi-cauda," a fusion of the key flavors of the two sauces. Ouita notes that a full-fledged chimichurri would include lots of yummy olive oil itself. This imaginary fusion recipe uses the olive oil in the bagna cauda recipe as the base for both sets of flavor.

Aromatic Ingredients

  • 1 washed, dried, chopped bunch parsley
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon minced red onion
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 tablespoon fresh oregano or 1 teaspoon dried
  • Salt to taste


  1. At the last minute before serving, mix all ingredients together.
  2. Stir the mixed ingredients into prepared bagna cauda.
  3. Dip roasted or fresh veggies into the fusion sauce, or drizzle it over any style of eggs or over roast or grilled meats.
  4. If necessary, ask for forgiveness.