“Secrets, especially with cooking, are best shared so that the cuisine lives on.”
– Bo Songvisava
Having just thrown back a rich shot of espresso, we slipped into black ‘Chef for a Day’ aprons. Our cooking class in Modena, Italy had officially begun.
In strolled our instructor, Chef Massimiliano ‘Max’ Telloli of the Osteria Stallo del Pomodoro restaurant. He wore a kelly-green chef’s hat and a warm smile. Chef Max also exuded an enthusiastic willingness to share Emilia-Romagnan cuisine with us.
Earlier, we’d read that Chef Max is a Modena native, longtime gluten-free consultant, award-winning chef, and cookbook author. Now that we’d met him in person, we couldn’t help but notice that Chef Max bore a striking resemblance to the American actor, Gary Sinise. :)
Quickly, we discovered that one secret behind Chef Max’s celebrated cuisine is his use of quality, rich ingredients.
“Each week, we use about 5 kg. (11 pounds) of butter, and 200 eggs at the restaurant,” he mentioned, as he set aside the ingredients for our first dish, a Soufflé di Parmigiano.
Continue reading “Mouth-Watering Modena: A Cooking Class in Italy”
Jakša Bedalov’s earliest winemaking memory was when he was just five years old. Tasked with cleaning his family’s fermentation room near the coastal Croatian city of Split, Jakša remembers his father pushing him so that he could squeeze into the small space. It was a challenging feat since he was a broad-shouldered child.
“It was like being in the womb all over again,” he jokingly recalled during our recent cooking class in Kaštel Kambelovac, just minutes from Split.
The experience of being squished into a contorted position must not have been too traumatic, since today, winemaking is one of Jakša’s great loves. Another passion is creating traditional Croatian cuisine. More specifically, dishes from Jakša’s native Dalmatia. Dalmatia is a region of Croatia extending along the eastern side of the Adriatic Sea.
Continue reading “Fresh Delights: A Cooking Class in Split, Croatia”
As we bid farewell to our charismatic Greek cooking class Sous-Chef, Daniel, he shared parting culinary wisdom with a twinkle in his eye:
“Use your imagination and everything is possible. And remember – you needn’t measure – you must feel the taste.”
We’d come to the elegant, highly-acclaimed Selene restaurant on sun-drenched Santorini, Greece. We would spend the day learning about the island, its Cycladic neighbors, and their unique produce, cheese and wine. We would then try our hands at some of Selene’s trademark recipes and as a reward, savor what we’d prepared. As we strolled out into the Santorini sunlight after our cooking class and lunch, utterly relaxed, with creatively-stimulated minds and taste buds, we reflected on what an exemplary day it had been.
Continue reading “Cooking with Class in Santorini: Discovering the Greek Island’s Unique Gastronomy”
We followed our cooking class instructor, Carole, down a dimly-lit Bangkok passageway that opened up into a large marketplace. Walking among mounds of fresh cabbage, beansprouts, Thai eggplants, mushrooms, dried shrimp and fish, Carole taught us how to select the best ingredients for the dishes we would be cooking that morning: Kang Khiao Wan Gai (Green Curry with Chicken), Pad Thai with Tofu & Chicken, and Pumpkin in Sweet Coconut Milk.
Continue reading “Cooking Class in Bangkok: Our Foray Into a Thai Kitchen”