“What is the pasta that goes with bolognese sauce?” asked Chef Andrea to group of cooks hoping to learn how to create delicious Italian dishes in his kitchen.
I knew this one.
“Spaghetti,” I confidently said with a smug look on my face.
“NOOOO! That is how you do it in your country, but now you are in Roma and you will learn how to cook properly. Fettuccine is what we use!”
When I signed up to learn how to be an Italian style chef I hadn’t figured been shouted at for my lack of knowledge would be part of it. If I’m honest I was a little sceptical of the whole process. Pay someone 65 Euros to allow me to cook my own, probably mediocre, dinner?
My scepticism was completely unfounded. This was probably my favourite day in Rome. I met some great people, learnt a lot about Italian cooking and even cooked myself a pretty damn good lunch too.
We arrived at 10am to be greeted by Chef Andrea, a strong espresso to get us fired up and fresh ingredients layed out in the kitchen.
After introducing ourselves to our fellow chefs we received quick introduction to Roman cooking from Andrea and what we’d be doing throughout the day. Four courses plus sides. It seemed ambitious, but instead of each of us cooking individual dinners we would work as a team to create large dishes to feed us all.
My fellow chef mixed it all up and added it to the coffee soaked ladyfingers.
After we’d all completed our allotted tasks we were each given an artichoke to peel and stuff. Probably the most technical task of the day, each of us were armed with a small knife and were told to cut the spikes off at a 45 degree angle. Not easy, but they looked pretty good by the end.
Next the pots were put on the stove and the last thing we had to do was make the pasta from scratch. One person led on kneading the dough then we all used the pasta boards to roll out the shapes.
At that point, by some miracle, all the food was ready and we were seated and served by Chef Andrea. How did it taste? As good as it looks in the photos. Hard to believe I contributed to this feast!
The day was absolutely fantastic. Andrea is full of jokes, knowledge and charisma. He created a brilliant atmosphere and really enthused me about Italian cooking. The kitchen and restaurant is full of character and is a hub of ingredients and creativity. I can’t recommend Cooking Classes in Rome enough and will certainly be trying out my recipes back in London.