Mouth-Watering Modena: A Cooking Class in Italy

“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.

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Woodcarvings, Traditional Attire, and the Passion Play: The Bavarian Town of Oberammergau, Germany

For the next few months, we’ll be hanging our (warm winter) hats in Oberammergau, a village situated in Germany’s Alps, where residents sometimes still sport traditional feather-adorned, green woolen hats and custom-tailored Lederhosen, while they hail passersby with a hearty Grüß Gott (literally ‘Greet God’) and warm smiles.

Oberammergau is perhaps best known for its Holzschnitzer (woodcarvers), colorful frescoes (known locally as Lüftlmalerei), and Passion Play, which is held once every ten years.

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